When he sowed, he’d been optimistic. Wow. He’d gone to the IHOP and done some seed genetics calculations on a napkin. Majestic seed genetics calculations. Now it was October and just look at that front yard. Misery. The cucurbits could best be described as, what was the word, the word itself was a seed that would germinate if only he, Charlie, let it alone to do its erotic pre-germination thing. Unprepossessing. A half ton at best, each of the pair. And greedy. Each living being must be true to its essential nature, and the essential nature of the pair of cucurbits was greediness; also, they were matutinal. Like chinchillas. Only greedy as well. Stealthy greedy. As a seasoned grower, Charlie had learned patience. He went indoors and hurried to get ready for his nanoneurointegration seminar. False dawn, then dawn, then one of the cucurbits stole off to the branch of Trashy Lingerie that had opened recently in Lexington’s quaint retail district. The doors of Trashy Lingerie wouldn’t open for another five hours. Greedily, stealthily, the cucurbit used a form of quantum teleportation learned from Charlie and rematerialized on the other side of the windows, among the mannequins. A flounced teddy went missing. A Bad Girl Punk Goth Leather Chest Harness went missing. A lace mousse embroidered bra set went missing. Once all the mannequins were in their birthday suits, the cucurbit drew on another quantum teleportation set of notes it had pilfered from Charlie’s office one early morning when Charlie was out for a run along the Charlie. All the mannequins woke up, sentient, in booths inside the IHOP. Meanwhile the other cucurbit made a beeline for the office of the present author. The present author’s office is a foam pad on a floor without flooring. Unprepossessing. The cucurbit, no less greedy than its counterpart, no less stealthy, no less intellectually curious, rematerialized inside the present author’s frontal lobes. In no time at all the cucurbit had rewired the circuitry of the lateral frontal poles of the present author’s frontal cortex. In much the same way, the unicellular organism M. thanatobacillus rewires the frontal cortex of editors so that they engage in eccentric behavior such as publishing their own stories in the journals they edit. Theodora Oringher was on the present author’s mind because Theodora Oringher had recently opened a branch in Lexington and joined Charlie’s legal team as specialists in intellectual property protection. No longer did the present author muse over the complicated genealogy of Theodora Oringher. Who had courted whom? Who made the first move? None of these questions occupied the present author. Now the present author pondered the relationship between oil futures and the wholesale cost of foam. He pondered the flame that burns the candle and the candle that feeds the flame. His thoughts were hijacked in the direction of trashy candy. In the direction of costumes bulked up with foam. More, though, in the direction of trashy candy. And bariatric gurneys. And money to wager. And the over under.
Fortunato Salazar splits his time between Los Angeles and Berlin, although lately he hasn’t been splitting time but rather wood, at a cabin in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains graciously provided by the Donald S. Carne-Ross Foundation for the Advancement of Translation Studies.