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3/29/10

'Elmo' by Ron Porter

A knock at the door confirmed his nascent suspicion;
they were there all along. Waiting in the wings.  Now
they are made real, these demons of the mind. Men
too willing to act as judges, ready to pull information
out of his head like so many rabbits. The audience
cheers: they want blood; anybody's blood as long as
its not theirs.
The accused: "What do you want with me?"
First agent: "Are you Elmo?"
The accused: "Yes."
The first agent: "Is there a more comfortable place to
sit, somewhere we can speak in private?"
The accused: "I'm not sure what you mean; I don't
really want you in my house."
The first agent: "You don't have a choice; the infraction
is too grave. Again, someplace more comfortable"
The accused: "Again, I don't want you in my house."
The first agent: " A moment of your time."
The second agent: "Listen, Buddy, we got your number.
Whether you like it or not, we are coming in."
The accused: "OK. You're in; what now?"
The first agent: "Sorry to inconvenience you but it has
been brought to our attention that you may be involved
in un-American activities."
The second agent: "And it is up to us to find out just what
you are up to."
The accused: "I understand too clearly that there are nuts
out there and that you are just doing your job..."
The second agent: "We do the speaking; first question: Do
you own a gun?"
The accused: "No."
The first agent: "Are you emotionally disturbed, because if
you are maybe it is not us who should be speaking to you;
we have men in white coats."
The second agent: "What's it gonna be; they or we?"
The accused: "How about neither; I want you out of my
house."
The first agent: "Not so easy once we are engaged."
The second agent: "Yeah, the system is a monster. We see,
eat up guys like you all the time."
The accused: "Funny world, eh. It has become so political
that I cannot write that it is politcal or say something that
may be out of step. I am just trying to understand myself.
A person stuck in traffic, a person that other people tailgate."