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My Enemy

A man had an enemy
Whom he loathed, hated, and despised beyond words
And so he plotted and planned his revenge
Every morning he would wake and make lists
And every afternoon he would add to them
And every evening he would sit with his shoes off
And have a cup of tea
While he honed and polished them
And oh, his dreams, his richly vengeful dreams
Of shooting him
And watching him die quickly--ha ha
Of poisoning him
And watching him die slow--ooh
And hearing him beg--ho ho ho
Or crushing him
Under a cement steamroller--squish squish
And seeing his blood splatter--mmm-mmm
Or bludgeoning him
And seeing his brains scatter--yes oh yes
Or snapping his neck--crrack
Or tearing out his heart--rrrip
Or puncturing him to death
With a very small pin--he-he-he
Or impaling him
On a jagged, rusted, feces-encrusted iron fence--yeow
Or setting him on fire
And hearing him sizzle--sssss
Or injecting him with rare and excrutiating diseases--oh yeah
Or imprisoning him in a sewer--starving him
Until he ate raw sewage
Until his stomach exploded--ka-boom
Or electrocuting him
And seeing him jump--jerk--sparkle--ah, beautiful
Or cutting his throat
With a butter knife--yuck--a dullone--yuck yuck
Or disemboweling him--oh
With a garden trowel--oh-oh--a dirty one--oh-oh-oh
--a dirty rusty one--ahh
Or dropping him from a plane--whoosh
Into a sea of vomit--splat--glub-glub
Or amputating his body an inch at a time
Starting from his toes up--hey-hey
Or a centimeter at a time
From his head down--yep-yep
Or a millimeter at a time
From his fingertips in--whee
Or sewing a hungry rat up
Inside his belly--uh-huh
Or choking him to death with a slimy boa constrictor
Until his neck squished to putty
And his face turned purple--and his eyes popped out
And his bodily fluids squirted, gushed and geysered
From every orifice
He began matching the deed to each day of the week
Sunday--stabbing
Monday--mauling
Tuesday--throttling
Wednesday--whipping
Thursday--tarantula
Could a live tarantula fit into a man's ear?
Would a transplanted shark fetus grow
Inside a human being?
And what about pinching?
Can one be pinched to death?
Prodded? Poked? Scratched?
These were possibilities worth considering
And tickled--to watch him expire while
That mouth laughed uncontrollably--ha ha ha
But the eyes--the eyes wouldn't be laughing--oh, no no
On special occasions he thought of skinning him--alive
Then rolling his body--not gently--in rock salt and honey
Then suspending him--by a barbed-wire rope
Over an anthill under a hive of killer bees
With a sex-crazed syphilitic gorilla sodomizing him--ha ha
And if he moved forward a giant crocodile
Would snap his head off
And if he lay flat the ants would gnaw at him
And if he stayed still, the panting drooling gorilla
Would love him to pieces
And if he screamed--he would wake the hungry hibernating Kodiak bear
Who slept fitfully at his feet--ha ha ha
Oh, what thoughts he had.
And time went by
And then one pleasant evening
While he luxuriated in thought
Of dipping his enemy in a bathtub of piranhas
Slowly--first the toes--then the feet. . . then
Watching that face twisted in a---
The face. . . the face. . . he didn't remember the face
And when he tried to recall
What his enemy had done
He couldn't remember that either
He had grown old
Old in plotting, old in dreaming, old in list making
Soon, he might forget there was an enemy at all
There was the terrifying possibility
That he might die before the other did
And his enemy would go unpunished
Or worse--the enemy might die first--
Of natural causes
Depriving him of his sweet revenge
He must act now
But how?
No time for the exquisite pleasure of slow starvation
He had no access to exotic poisons
Ants and bees were. . . unpredictable
And how do you train a gorilla
For something like that?
Stabbing? Choking? Amputations?
They needed an expert in hand
And he was experienced in thought--not execution
A bullet. . . the bullet was it Too quick? Yes, but after all
It was the intensity of the agony, rather than the duration
And--the horror--in those beady little eyes
The realization--ha ha
He bought a gun
He went to the house of his enemy
At least he remembered the address
He peered in the window
There he was--older and feeble
But as vile and despicable as ever
Even more vile and despicable in his decay
He leveled the gun
In a moment it would be all over
Flash--bang--plop--all over
The years of scheming and plotting
The endless plans--the endless lists
Flash--bang--scream--plop
He took aim between those red rheumy eyes
And then the thought struck him
The gun--was it loaded?
What if it misfired?
And what if he only wounded him
His hand was not that steady
Let him off with the pain of a wound?
And be apprehended by the law?
Or miss him completely--
And be apprehended by him Find himself completely in his power
What horrible retribution that insidious mind
Might extract
No--not the gun--
What a stupid choice--conceived in haste--big mistake
He dropped the gun and hurried home
He sat down in his chair
Until his heart stopped pounding
He leaned back
He closed his eyes
He thought about the rats
They wouldn't be so hard to come by
And yes, he was none too strong
But the other looked the weaker
Choking and stabbing were not out of the question
And what about garotte?
Feeding him broken glass?--Or metal filings?
Or. . . or breaking his bones
All of them--one at a time--every little
Bone of the foot--one at a time--
Or--hey--sewing the tip of his penis
Into his abdomen--yes--and then forcing
Him to drink gallons of Bloody Mary mix--mixed with lye
He got up and got his list
He danced into the kitchen
He made himself a nice cup of tea
He brought it back to his chair
And settled back down
Bludgeoning!--he hadn't thought of that before
Watching the pieces of that diseased brain--fly like. . . .
Like confetti--ha ha ha ha ha ha
Bludgeoning--yes
He put it under B.

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