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Being Sax - Short Story by Jim Meirose

That dog was perfectly trained, my man—that dog would let me know he wanted to go potty, and we’d go on a walk and he would do nothing, just enjoy the hell out of the walk and look all bright-eyed and proud that he had held it and asked me to take him out; as it was generally considered to be the last witchcraft trial in early modern France, the Cadière affair was central to the volatile politics of seventeen thirties France, a time when magistrates and lawyers were seeking to contain clerical power, but, no never mind that all, sure we went out, and then after I was all exhausted from the walk in the hundred degree blazing knifeblade of a super-sharp Summer day, I’d bring him home and let him in, and right after I took off the leash he’d squat and let both numbers out on the floor, and wag his tail and look up and smile at me all big-eyed, fully expecting a treat! Perfectly trained!



No please not hobo, after all that’s too ridiculous, chuckled Doctor Sax. It makes me laugh like hell yes it makes me; as the two men sat taking a break from Stannie’s weekly eight-hour intensive boot camp supersax lesson, in the tiny airless music studio with their gigantic tenor saxophones laid across their bone-dry knees.

What Wally.

Here’s what; that Mapp was once, while riding in her plain everyday quite colorless carriage, mistaken for one of George the second’s mistresses by an angry mob.

The Bermuda-shorted Doctor with his saxophone laid cold across his bare hairy leg knobs, and Stannie with his saxophone down prone across his outdated hand-me-down too large itchy but free so what the hell mohair suit pants. Kinski? When Stannie had had his message from God to lay everything aside in favor of mastering the tenor sax, the notion of God’s command being a reality was that for the twenty-five years he had worked as a maintenance mechanic for the gigantic prosperous city borough’s vast hundredfold garbage truck super-fleet, he had passed the abandoned blue house rimmed with six-foot weeds with the great sign DOCTOR SAX MUSIC STUDIO—ALL INSTRUMENTS nailed above the narrow rotting door. William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, born. The saggy chain link fence thrown up around the lot, shouted this house is abandoned—this business is failed—this idea was stupid—this joint is so over—this teacher’s long gone—and Stannie passed it every day and every night until it became invisible—as the road and the route and all the rest of the little splinter of the world that he rubbed himself back and forth to work over six thousand five hundred and twenty-five times in the last twenty-five years which meant that he had passed the DOCTOR SAX sign coming and going around thirteen thousand and fifty times since he started his career with the borough. Gould? And this can be reduced by vacation days and snow days and sick days and if we so chose we could provide a super polished spreadsheet presentation complete with the obligatory sprinkle of humorous and/or caricatured typical corporate assholes intended to lighten the leaden ponderous content up a few hairs, these assholes presented as detailed superhappy comical creatures or simple-stark black blank silhouettes, which are a lot cheaper and much less likely to offend the hypersensitive viewer made already tense by entering the fifteenth hour of the mandatory serious portion of their drunken moneypissing team-building overnight mandatory quarterly big-division meeting, but we choose not to spend any time on that product, and leave you the reader to calculate the details on your own offline, which would be silly of you since those details are entirely unimportant to this text. She is reported to have responded to the angry mob by yelling, Damn your blood, don't you know me? So—at any rate after the big nervous breakdown had hit him and the burning need to blow into a saxophone for ten hours a day had infected him and he had procured a cheap but possibly historic dirty dented worn-out discarded South American tenor instrument from the three-balled intact pit bull gyp-man’s super-narrow pawnstore. The planet Venus passes in front of Mercury. He reached the end of his allotted disability period and returned to work knowing the plan was he would do no work at all and thus get fired in time and thus be able to collect showers of unable to work money-medicine dollarbucks from the federal gov’ment, and driving down the roundabout blackramp, the asphalt strip laid down to facilitate commerce wrapped round and he saw nothing but the writhe of the fastlane; his mind was on sax, and sax only, no o’phone suffix dangling after.


And Stannie filled the driving-time with the neverending subconscious search inside everyone for things pertinent and new which is synonymous with interesting and thus able to ratchet up each individual consciousness from the blindly automatic to the semi-aware semi-automatic state, bringing the DOCTOR SAX sign, which he had ignored totally the last thirteen thousand or so times he had flowed past over the last twenty-five years. Folly of distraction; pure artist upon success being coopted by hypnosis into professional applicable race applicable sexual identity and orientation applicable nationality applicable socio-economic origin, whatever, and thus get locked in with lucre and crash and burn in the hazy privileged hell of media-corporate-complex blessed success to be forgotten the spigot turned off no longer useful two weeks after death replaced by another to be entranced and detoured away from their true artistic destiny to be forgotten two weeks after death and over and over and over eternal chain of lost promise goes on eternally—wasted trail of rotting less than asterisks winding fading away to less than nothing behind as—nature abhors a vacuum of wasted talent; thus, the large Doctor Sax sign exploded instantly into re-existence and flew superfast exactly toward him, and he reflexively dodged being brained by braking steering slowing and sliding to a parked-state before the chain link fence barring the entrance to the sax studio one section of which though rusted nearly gone slid aside inviting whatever object which had come up before it to enter the green clapboard shack just like the automatic sliding supermarket doors that no such place dares do without command the object to come up before them, all perfectly performed by none other than the stunning young virtuoso Kimiko Douglass-Ishizakaon, piano. Vocations. The opened doors shout Enter! Enter, whether you wanted to enter or not come enter or I will have spent less than one penny’s electrical power to slide myself open in vain—do not insult me by not entering—do not insult me by not entering—do not—and this never needs to be repeated soundlessly more than half a dozen or less times before forcing the object whatever it may be to enter. I am Mrs. Mapp, the bone-setter. Thus, made to enter in this way, Stannie came for the first time into the presence of Doctor Sax in the hot pale skinny wide-eyed flesh who in the first instant he was beheld by Stannie nearly shouted, Welcome! Hermetic. So, Doctor Sax went on to say, What instrument are you interested in knowing more about our curriculum for it on which must be the reason you have entered, huh? James Johnston, diplomat, Secretary of State for Scotland, died. This twisted grammar tangled braided maybe purposefully maybe not question that Doctor Sax rudely thrust in Stannie’s face woke him up the last remaining hair to enable him to reply sensibly, with, The saxophone, doctor. I have recently realized, a future fully devoted to saxophone is for me. So what curriculum do you offer?

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