“Geppetto’s Wooden Son” by Ian Sanquist

When I hear the wind creeping up from behind I start to fall apart. I beg forgiveness from the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe, and taste Stephen King’s charisma from the waist down. Then I make arrangements with a funeral director.

My girlfriend quoted Leonard Cohen in the letter she sent from New York. It felt like she was sighing over the span of our time together. It felt like our time together only meant anything to her for the poetry it’d inspired.

I liked to take painkillers and go driving around in circles. I liked to get into arguments with waiters, taxi drivers, locksmiths. I liked to scratch my body anywhere it itched, and send letters to the editor about broken trust.

They dug a hole in the ground and filled it with their dreams of tomorrow. They put a fence around it so no one would fall in. Then they found a body in it, and they called it a crime of passion.

Around that time, I was having dreams of parking meters. I felt like Geppetto’s wooden son sometimes, and I’d run away from home. The social workers wanted to know if I’d been abused, but they could tell I was lying when I told them the truth.

Somebody attacked me with a shard of my own confidence; I couldn’t believe they’d steal my secrets like that. I felt like Geppetto’s wooden son in the belly of a whale. I needed someone looking after my conscience, someone honest and real.

“Life is full of shit,” said the blind puppeteer to the chief of police. My girlfriend said she was never coming back, she said New York was the only place she didn’t mind making displays of affection. She said in New York she felt like an exhibition.

I wanted to throw my body into the hole they dug, set myself in flames, make a pact with a crook. But my friends said don’t do it without your conscience. They said, look, your confidence may be shattered, but you aren’t under attack now.

More fiction at Used Furniture.


  1. Krystal Kelley says:

    Nice juxtapositions :)

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