Thursday, August 25, 2005

Remember how teachers would give you little tests when your were small and trusting, little trick questions from time to time to ascertain if you were a hyperactive, or hearing impaired, or going to be schizophrenic when you grew up and one of them was to figure out if you were right-brained or left-brained. The teacher would say a word, a noun, "pizza" for instance, and you were supposed to report what the suggestion of "pizza" did to your brain, inside--that little movie screen that lines the flip side of your forehead. And if you saw the word "pizza" spelled out, the way you saw "B" or "orange" marching across the screen in cartoon block letters on Sesame Street then you were left-brained and would some day turn into an accountant or my mother, but if you saw an actual pizza, if you could picture the cardboard box opening and the steam rising from the gooey cheese, or a slice with the cheese all in one piece dropping off the edge and burning your hand, then you were right-brained and would grow up to be an artist, a criminal, or a Scientologist.

I always saw both--the word spelled out in red letters, always red, and the picture of the pizza. It was always like that. Clearly, this was a sign of impending schizophrenia.

Well, I'm not a schizophrenic, except when I am convinced I smell kitty litter even when there are no cats around, to say nothing of their feces, but last night while I was dreaming there were two big red words in my head "SUNNY JACOBS" but there was no picture to go with them. The letters were very large and very red so I woke up and took my computer from underneath the pillow and Googled SUNNY JACOBS. And it turned out that she was a woman who was convicted of killing two police officers and sentenced to death but she was innocent and eventually the verdict was overturned but not until she had spent seventeen years in jail, five of them in solitary confinement on Death Row with only a Bible and a law book to read. Which is insulting, because why do people always assume you want to read the fucking Bible everywhere you are? It's the same with motel rooms. If I owned a motel, I'd put a different book in every night stand, just to keep you guessing. I like to keep things exciting. I'd put in books that I like--John Cheever's Collected Stories, I, Claudius, the Harry Potter Series--and I'd put in some that you've always meant to read but would never get around to were there absolutely nothing else to read--the Decameron, Moby Dick, the Koran--and then I'd put in a few that are guaranteed to put you to sleep, like something by Susan Sontag or An Actor Prepares. And then, if you paid extra at the front desk, you'd get a key to a special cupboard, and that cupboard would be filled with pornography and back issues of Us Weekly.

But I digress. I read the sad story of Sunny Jacobs online and then I said "oh, how terrible" to myself in my head (I heard it, I didn't see it) and then I went back to sleep. Still, all day today I've been thinking of women being executed and having terrible thoughts. Thoughts, fur-lined electric chairs. Glitter syringes of lethal poison, where the end of the plunger is shaped like a star. You can choose which color gas you'd like, Miss Tucker, poppin' pink, pretty purple, or slammin' silver sparkles! We're not just cute, we're EXE-cute!!!!

I smell kitty litter. The cat dragged in a baby mouse and tortured it. Every time she poked it with her claw, it squeaked, at least that's what Ben said. I didn't hear it because I was in the bedroom with the covers over my head.

I don't think I would last very long in prison.


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