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For Rent

Story by DJ McDougle (Read author interview) March 15, 2004

Whoo. It’s tiny.

And blue.

Man, is it blue.

But the hardy-begonias are a nice touch, planted around the stoop like that. Four steps up—isn’t it bad luck to put steps in even numbers?

Just one real room. Nice corner for a lamp, a chair, the willow table…

Probably have to sleep in there too. Not in the chair. No, not in the chair. Had enough of that. Where’s the—

That’s a kitchen? What’s the diminutive of kitchenette?

Ok, ok. It’s ok. That’s a fine little space. And so blue. Too.

It ain’t so much that beggars can’t be choosers. That’s not it at all (though we like to pretend don’t we, precious? Yesss. Yesss we do.) This’ll go for what—two, two-fifty a month? On top of everything else that’s… do-able.

But what if he finds out? It’s out the window then. And it’s so damn BLUE.

Am I blue? Am I blue?

What’s the rest of that? Can’t remember how that song goes.

But the house is blue. The goddamn kitchen is blue. And if I’m blue (and Am I blue?) and the house is blue and the room is blue well then what if—

What if I play the blues in the blue room (or even near the blue room and there’s no helping getting near it) then won’t everything go blue? Won’t everything leap from the shelves in suicide dives while poor blue me bleeds red on the bathroom linoleum?

Well don’t put up any shelves.

And where is the bathroom anyway?

That’s a bathroom?

That’s… that’s all right. It’s all right. I can turn around—see? Perfect pirouette. Why, I could probably do cartwheels in here.

Why sure I could! Just need to scale things down (don’t we, precious, don’t we want to pretend that we do?). One-eighth of actual size. Step right up. Step right up. See the most amazing thing! Are you ready for the most amazing thing?

A live human woman, one-eighth the actual size of a REAL human woman. She does cartwheels. She pirouettes on her tiny, tiny toes. She slices, she dices, she juliennes. She cuts through tin. She’s a floor wax. A dessert topping. She never needs winding. Never needs winding. Open twenty-four hours, put your money where your mouth is, put your mouth HERE honey—if you want the money. Scattered, smothered, and covered.

Step right up.

Step right up.

But what if he finds out? It’s out the window.

There are exactly six windows. Isn’t it bad luck to have an even number of windows in a place? Is it?

It is, isn’t it.

That’s blue.

That is so damn blue.

About the Author

DJ McDougle lives in the Rural South and spends too much time feeding the birds.

This story appeared in Issue Three of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Three

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