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Music from 1975
by Benjamin Weissman

There was a boy who'd been dead for a long time and he was anxious to return. He'd been sloshing around in the currents of the netherworld, until he noticed a high pitched mosquito hover close to a girl napping on a dingy, and thought, rhymes with mojito. O how he'd like to fly, and so he gathered himself and said, Go soul, into the mosquito. Seeking a dab of blood from the little waif's neck the mosquito boy bit the barely unconscious girl. She flinched and with a slap broke his wings. He fell into the lake where he languished until a beautiful green dragonfly scooped him up in his mouth and took him away. Chewing as it went the gauzy winged dragonfly flew along the lake at 60 mph. The mosquito was positioned sideways inside the dragonfly's mouth, face down. No, it was not a flight of his volition but it was still invigorating and spectacular. A depressed possum limped onto a log on the shoreline and froze. The dragonfly touched down beside the possum who promptly ate him and creature he was in the process of eating, the boy whose soul had drifted into the body of a mosquito. Throat bound the two segmented bugs wended their way through sharp teeth and over a sandpaper tongue. The possum climbed to the top of a chain link fence but was soon attacked by a pack of boys who were in a band called Government Takedown. The boys snatched the possum and chopped him up into little pieces and heaved the fragmented animal over an electric fence, onto the porch of the California governor's mansion with a note that read, this reminds us of your cock.

So true, the hyper sensitive governor thought as he looked at the possum's pink body, my cock is raw and hairless. He assumed the personal note and fresh meat were a gift from his friend the local prankster butcher, another one of his unconventional deliveries, so he had his personal chef barbeque the animal. The boy, still ticking in some dim capacity, via mosquito, dragonfly, garlicy, kalamata olive possum, entered the mouth of the governor, whose breath smelled like a blighted swamp, and he traveled down the gubernatorial gullet as an airplane lifted them high in the air. The governor's personal jet was taking him and a small staff on a goodwill trip to Treblinka. The pilot of the governor's jet was a human sized red squirrel by the name of Walter. Once the aircraft was hovering at a cruising altitude Walter opened the cockpit and mingled with the dignitary from the left hand side of America. The governor raised a glass of champagne in his honor, here's to Walter, the most intrepid squirrel I know, a squirrel I'm proud to call my friend. All the staff members toasted.

"Walter, try the possum. It's dreamy."

"Thank you, sir." Walter said, and dropped a pinecone he was carrying into a trash receptacle.

Walter ate some of the possum. "What are these?"

"Toast points, my boy. They cleanse the pallet."

"The palate of the pilot?"

"Hey, Stewy are you hungry?" the governor asked.

From the cockpit, the co-pilot, a monkey named Stewy, leaned into the aisle, turned around, and gave a thumbs up. "Thank you Governor, but I've got plenty of snacks up here."

"Time to skydive," Walter said.

"O, you daredevil," the Governor said, baring his teeth.

"Break a leg Walter," Stewy said, and saluted.

Walter opened up a hatch and leapt out of the jet. As he fell toward Earth the giant squirrel, Walter, removed his flight suit. Naked and hurtling downward, he grabbed the skin of his testicles with his front paws and pulled it out as wide as it would stretch. This was known as the scrotal parachute and it worked quite well. There is nothing more satisfying than a strong breeze against the genitals, and erectile tissue in general, which always seems in need of an airing and ungluing. The elastic skin could be pulled in all directions like the great sails on seafaring vessels. Walter the squirrel touched down in a treehouse, where a woman had been sleeping on a pile of moldy pillows. Her mouth was open, so were her legs.

"Hello, she said.

"Hi," Walter said.

"Are you a member of the Sciuridae family?"

"Yes."

"I'm so sleepy at this moment but I think it's safe to say that you have the largest testicles I've ever seen in my life."

"Thank you."

"Would you tap me lightly on the head with them," the woman said and moved up onto her elbows.

"Why of course," Walter said and picked up his balls and bounced them two or three times on the side of the woman's head.

"That's very sweet," she said. "You're quite a tease. Are you one of those squirrels that's able to fuck?"

Walter said nothing.

"Do you want to fuck?" the woman said. "I hate the phrase make love. It actually repulses me."

"I agree. That expression certainly doesn't make sense now." Walter said, and scooted on top of the woman.

The soul of the dead boy inside Walter had enough of this foodchain mosquito-dragonfly-possum-squirrel rollercoaster. He was ready to be reborn into a human. So as the giant rodent and pliant tree house dwelling woman made love the boysoul silently squirmed through his future mother's fantastic folds of dark purples and radiant pinks.

"Not so fast," taunted a retiring egg leaning languidly, lecherously, against a shiny uterine wall just prior to conception, watching halfhearted sperm seeds maneuver across the future mum's wombscape. The speed of sperm, larf'd the egg, it really makes a tortoise seem like a cheetah. At that moment the little swimmer-that-could and egg collided and went into the biology business.

Little Rotten Johnny spent three quarters of a year in liquid isolation, a private skatepark, where he was able to practice his dervish kicks, haymaker punches, and windtunnel microphone holds. Not dissimilar to a trouser cough, little Johnny Rotten was the easiest birth imaginable, so says his mum. "I just lifted a hip and he blew right out, a cautionary foghorn in the night. The lil' bugger was like a royal case of gas."

In a small rural hospital on a freezing but clear January morning in 1956 there was a loud colicky baby scream, and the one and only, unmistakable Johnny Rotten was born.

All content in SmokeLong Quarterly copyright 2003-2014 by its authors.



Benjamin Weissman is the author of two books of stories, most recently Headless.

Read the interview.
Issue Nineteen (December 15, 2007): The Off-Season by Jami Attenberg «» A Company Function by Grant Bailie «» Food Spectrum of the Rainbow Family by Melissa Bell «» Holiday Inn by Kim Chinquee «» Killer Pair by Trinie Dalton «» What Happened to My Purple Flip-Flops by Arwen Dewey «» Truth (ii) by Ben Ehrenreich «» How 9) Strange by Laird Hunt «» The Mess You Made in Us by C. Robin Madigan «» Red Brick by Darlin' Neal «» A Boy Not Born Yet by Tori Malcangio «» Taco Foot by Jack Pendarvis «» Boyandaquarter by Ben Stein «» Teec Nos Pos (Circle of Cottonwoods) by Beth Thomas «» Music from 1975 by Benjamin Weissman «» Interviews: Jami Attenberg «» Grant Bailie «» Melissa Bell «» Kim Chinquee «» Trinie Dalton «» Arwen Dewey «» Ben Ehrenreich «» Laird Hunt «» C. Robin Madigan «» Tori Malacangio «» Darlin' Neal «» Jack Pendarvis «» Jim Ruland «» Ben Stein «» Beth Thomas «» Benjamin Weissman «» Cover Art "Desire" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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