All’s Temporary
Eldon Reishus

The day after the day it finally came to the point where two workers claimed that Dave or David was a »phenomenal sexist«, he wore a karierte kilt to work. At his feet he kicked a bucket and in his hands he carried a basket of apples not picked from any supermarket, but from a real tree standing outside his apartment complex. The two colleagues had agreed he was a »phenomenal sexist«, because always at conferences, whenever he spoke, he warmed his eyes on Laura’s Busen. Breasts had always been a big thing among Laura’s people, for as long back as any family member could remember, and she had confided to Earl that Dave or David’s eyes made her feel uncomfortable about her genes, her heritage. It was Earl who had first used the term, »phenomenal sexist«; Laura agreed, sehr dankbar.

It seemed to me, as the omniscient temporary receptionist only on my third day, that what Dave or David was doing by wearing a kilt and carrying a basket of apples and kicking a bucket was revealing an unseen side of himself, was neues. He had come in this morning to level. On the counter next to the bowl of breath mints I had freshened als Erstes, he plopped the apple basket. He smiled to me, like we had just shared a joke, einen Scherz, then turned to the office and said, »Good morning«. Nine to elf faces peeked out from the string of work carrels, some returning the greeting in Lutheran fashion – others, not. Dave or David reached into the basket and picked out a wormy apple that wore a huge bruise. He looked the Apfel over, located a section that appeared somewhat appealing, then took a careful bite. He chewed, swallowed. Then he repeated the process, kaute, schluckte herunter. He said, »Unsprayed apples straight from trees you don’t always eat down to the core. You just eat the good parts and the rest you compost. Or you cut out the good parts and make yourself a fine compote.« He plopped what was left of the apple in the bucket at his feet. »Help yourselves everybody.«

Like I say, it was my third day of being the new temp, in this case the male Kelly Girl in charge of the AT&T telephone console at DEC. To this point of this gig, the only memorable Instanz to step forth was when the night janitor came in waving a Schamhaar. »Every night I find these in both the mens and the ladies. On the rims. I will abide this no more! If just one of you soils another toilet rim with another pubic hair, there will be hell to pay.« The year was 1979, the place was Portland, Maine, and I was quite omniscient at such gigs, could disappear for hours inside my head to study German and still sign for packages and discharge my telephone functions. I was saving up for Berlin.

Dave or David had one of the three offices behind me. He helped himself to a breath mint, his smile freezing. Then I heard a sound like a broom being cracked in half, and felt a sting at the back of my neck like a hot piece of fireworks had been cupped by a brilliant hand. Und seitdem bin ich im All.

Eldon (Craig) Reishus entertains a growing, less intimate circle under the Alps outside Munich (Landkreis Bad Tölz – Wolfratshausen). An old school Exquisite Corpse contributor, this year he has work featured at Anomalous Press, B O D Y, and Black Heart Magazine. He is the German-English translator of numerous films and books. He originates from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Visit him here.