Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I was living in that big house alone,
but not completely alone.
I was also living with smoke detectors.
For some outrageous
and godforsaken reason,
the jokers who manufactured
these particular smoke detectors
thought it would be a big funny joke
to build them
so that every minute
they made a shrill chirping sound,
like an electric cricket inside your brain.
So there was a constant chorus
of these fuckers going off,
Every single time I heard a chirp,
I had the thought,
“oh, those fuckin’ things!
I’ll smash them apart with my fists!”
But then I’d look at the ceiling,
some thirty feet up,
and think, “jesus, I can’t get up there.”
But finally one day I got fed up.
A man can only tolerate so much bullshit.
Like a monkey,
I began climbing on ledges
and hoisting myself up on and around beams.
I climbed to the highest detector
and shut off the sound option.
then I nailed another one in the next room.
But the chirping continued.
Floor by floor I scoured the ceilings.
Five, six, seven, eight,
how many of these fucking things do you need,
I wondered.
After each one I silenced
I’d stand and wait and listen,
hear the next
and go find it
and put it out of commission.
I began to feel like I was winning
and it felt good.
At last there was silence
and I listened to it and loved it.
I went back into my bedroom
and was about to start in with the words again,
but then another chirp.
“oh, god! What the FUCK IS GOING ON?”
I began to roam around again,
looking for that final bastard
who had the audacity to shatter the silence
that I so yearned for,
and felt I deserved.
But as I searched,
another chirp was heard,
then another.
From all over the house.
The goddamn things were coming back to life,
as though they had minds of their own.
I swung from beams
and ran up and down stairs,
but the chirps started coming from all over,
louder and more frequent than before.
I shook with rage.
“oh! You motherfuckers! I’ll burn you down!”
I was seething and grinding my teeth,
breathing hard.
It was always something.
If it wasn’t one thing
it was a-goddamn-nother.
There was never any peace in the world.
I wondered where those fools got the idea
that there ever could be.
If all the wars ended,
all the thieves stopped thieving
and the rapists stopped raping,
even if all the hunger was fed,
all the thirst quenched,
all the wrongs made right,
there would still be these asshole smoke detectors, chirping away
and ruining my peace,
ruining my life.

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