36. I Shall

At the diner, a man spoke to his pancakes. He said, “I shall consume thee, my warm fluffy cakes, so buttery and sweet.”

In the office, he told the copy machine: “I shall press thee, green button, and thus procure 15 copies of these, my required documents.”

“And so, my friends, we shall set forth and convince the Lord that this project is indeed shovel ready,” he said to his colleagues in the boardroom.

In the parking lot, he said, “You bags, laden and heavy with groceries that shall provide me and my family with sustenance and nurture, settle into my trunk, and I shall transport thee home where I shall stack the cans, stow the pasta, freeze the ice cream, so creamy, and then settle into a chair, and I will think of you all with due fondness.”

He said, “I shall pop thy cork, fine red wine, and enjoy you with this soft cheese of which I know not the name, though I shall inquire it of my wife, who, at this moment, is observing me with mouth agape and countenance aghast.”

In the garden, he said, “I shall cut thee, callistephus chinesis, and place you gently in the vase I have for just such a purpose on a table, where thou shalt be a pleasure to us at dinner, and, upon wilting, be replaced with yet another.”

In the bathroom: “You, handle, I shall depress thee with my finger after relieving myself at toilet, then wash my hands with soft water from the tap.”

Back at the diner, he told his cup, “You are a pleasant liquid that sustains me, Coffee, so rich and brown and never-ending, though I feel guilt at the many that die for my and my fellow humans’ pleasure.”

The waitress said, “What’s the matter with you?”

A younger colleague stuck his eyes in the office and said, “Can you guess why you go uninvited to the office party?”

“Squire,” the man said, “you subvert the momentum of the universe. Go gently, obnoxious sir, through thy house made of the thinnest glass.”

Falling through the cold roaring air, the man yelled, “And now that it is time, about five thousand feet, I shall take you, my precious cord, and yank thee and thus use the parachute that explodes forth like some biblical miracle to glide my soul gently to the earth like a bird.

“The sun burns like a sudden and lingering flavor. The air, it smells like refrigerator ice. I sense the warming of the oceans north of my face and the departure of the whales, but it would appear as I yank and yank, you my ripcord, that some saboteur has harmed the mechanism with fatal vandalism. I shall continue to yank thee, and wait for you, my final, thousand foot fail safe which should engage quite soon.

“The earth, it is rising quickly, its colors and edges so like fractals, yes so like the small wonders we encounter daily and that go uncommemorated, and so, earth, if I do indeed impact you with my fall, treat me gently.”