5.06 / June 2010

Parable of Me and the Adult Diapers and the Gift Basket

Got a call from a young woman who knew of an old neighbor on her street who could use some adult diapers. “Is there any way,” she said, “you could arrange to get her some?” I said, “Sure we can get her some adult diapers.” I didn’t know about adult diapers. I asked my secretary if she knew. She said, “Yes I do know about adult diapers,” and picked some up. I said, “We ought to make a gift basket so I don’t have to show up with just these adult diapers.” So we made up a basket with fruit and other goodies and snuck the adult diapers in there like, “just in case.” I drove to that old woman’s house and when she answered the door, I was awestruck by the rapturous emotion in her leathery cheeks as she sang out into the night, “Is that my adult diapers?” What diapers sit undelivered in the trunks of your hearts? Think, then, of me, and of righteousness, and of how you might somehow begin to cross the chasm between us. As we stand. And as we sing.

How to Know

Look left. Create personal meaning from that. No. Up a little. That. It informs you, doesn’t it? Friend, do you think this is a coincidence? That I am pointing you towards meaning during exactly the time when you could use it? Don’t be coy—you know which thing. You’ve been waffling for ages and now it’s time to let what’s up and to the left step in and solve you. Break up with her, for instance. Quit that job. Convert to that holy mode. Keep that germinating baby you started. Bomb that. Cry for once. Decisions: Who are you to make them? You’re getting older at it, but better? Left and up knows best, and so do I, and do not reply as this message is a Do Not Reply—if you try it, your thanks and asks will be hurled into a void on the ocean floor. I will be elsewhere, escalating blissward, my own choices having been made in childhood by rays of light on this rocking chair we had.

Little Things

He’s alright, he’s fine, he’s just not welcome here anymore. I don’t like who you become. When Dan’s here, you’re all: Hey Dan, have a seat Dan, hungry Dan? You never say Dan when it’s just you and me. And did you notice that you put on pants every time Dan comes over? And did you notice that not once did we make love in the living room while Dan was in the living room? Little things. Inconsistencies. Condiments we decided not to like. Integrity is the two of us, on a raft, watching something light then turning in. Be the change you want to change, Dan. I mean, dear.


You’ve been brave, so here, a story. “You, slave, back to work.” “I’m so tired.” “That doesn’t matter for me.” He whipped, him so hard. Richard lived in Ancient Egypt, as a slave, all his life. That night, Betty said, “Richard you’ve got, to stop getting whipped. You’ve got to work hard.” “I hate being a slave,” Richard cried, in a tent. Richard went out in the night. Can you imagine his life and the suffering? He found the guard. He speared him. Richard never met his own parents. He looked out and upon the full moon, the pyramids in the horizon. Betty: “You’ve gone, and you’ve did it now.” Richard nodded. They got on a boat, sailed for the Americas. They hoped, for freedom and many new opportunities. They got them.

Something Sager

When you’re hungry, go someplace starving and shame your body. Say: Here I was thinking that a sandwich would be good, not realizing what atrophy could be. When you’re lonely, stand near someone who has scabbed her knee and shame your brain. Say: Here I thought I missed the people I loved who died, but here is my skin, intact as all get out. If the starver and the bleeder are as noble as they claim to be, they will overhear your confession and say something sager than anything I can think of, as I haven’t quite been one hundred percent lately, or ever.

Gabe Durham is the author of the novel FUN CAMP and the editor of Boss Fight Books, a series of books about video games. He and his projects have been featured in The Onion A.V. Club, Nylon Guys Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Kotaku, Largehearted Boy, and Julie Klausner's "How Was Your Week" podcast. He lives in Los Angeles.