Metaphor (met’-a-phor): A comparison made by referring to one thing as another.
I am 14. I am roadkill flattened on the road shoulder of life, dried to stiffness: The Frisbee of Death. I am a macabre plaything, tossed by giggling imps in a hellish competition. Am I the once-fat raccoon who rambled along Rte. 22, heading for the bulging dumpster behind Pompeo’s Grocery Store? Am I the nervous squirrel, anxious at the change of seasons, dashing heedlessly across Rte. 12, going straight for the towering oak tree loaded with acorns? Am I (How sad is this?} a black cat lost in the night looking for home—inexperienced on the highways and byways, scared by his owner’s celebratory fireworks, running from their threatening sound, now, finished running forever, useless safety collar flashing as cars and trucks speed by on Rte. 20 oblivious to the beloved pet Spoony, lifeless in the middle of the road.
I was trying to make today’s diary entry really depressing, maybe too depressing. My mother had tripped over the shoe that I had left in middle of our narrow hallway. She was on her way to the bathroom so the whole thing was a disgusting horrible mess, especially since mom is a little chunky. The ambulance attendants commented on her bulk as they lifted her onto the stretcher. I thought it was inappropriate, but Mom didn’t care—she was used to it. Anyway, Mom broke her ankle and it was all my fault, but in my head I refused to take the rap. Sure, I left the shoe there, but Mom should’ve turned on the hallway light and she should’ve realized that the supplements she had started taking would give her the poops, and make a dash to the toilet.
I kept my reservations to myself. Blaming Mom would’ve added to my sentence in my room—maybe earning me a life sentence. So, I thought if I could give her some kind of gift, we could be buddies again and I would be freed. But I was under lock-down in my room. All I had were my Tinker Toys; wooden shapes and dowels. The wooden shapes had holes drilled in them that you stuck the sticks in to build things. I would build something for Mom! But what? I looked at the white plastic Shmoo on my bookshelf—a sort of 5-inch nesting doll with eyes, whiskers and a smile. I always thought he looked like a standing walrus. All of a sudden, he winked! He said “You got a real friggin’ dilemma here! What the hell can you make for your mother with the goddamn Tinker Toys?” He swore! I almost started crying, but I knew he wanted to help me. He said, “Throw your Tinker Toys in the closet and close the door.” I did what he told me to do. The Shmoo made colored lights shoot out of his eyes for about a minute. I opened the door. There was a two-headed turtle standing there. The Shmoo yelled, “Jesus Christ! Close the goddamn door!” The Schmoo shot beams of light at the closet again. “Ok, open the door,” the Shmoo said. I opened the door. “What the hell is this?” (I had started swearing like the Schmoo) “It is called a microwave oven. It cooks things fast. Your mother will love it.” The Shmoo never spoke again.
I begged my dad to let me out of my room to give mom the microwave oven. With deep skepticism, he let me go, saying “I’ve got questions about this.” I had wrapped the microwave oven in taped-together pages from comic books. I put it on Mom’s tray table by her bed. She began unwrapping it. When she was done, she asked in angry tone: “Where the hell did you get this Herbert?” I was going to swear back at her, but instead I told her where it came from: “My Shmoo made it with magic eye rays out of Tinker Toys in my closet.”
So, here I am in Rock Bottom School for Reality Deprived Adolescents. This is my second day. I won’t change my story about the microwave oven. It is even less plausible to say I stole it. But stealing has emerged as the most acceptable account of what happened. I’ll probably be in this place for a few months, until I can bring myself to lie about what really happened. So much for the truth when you’re dealing with grownups, Goddamnit.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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