An Artist’s Journey

by bernquist

“Trash, garbage, octagonal detritus, throw this out, throw that out, this fills me with hate, etc. etc.” These were the thoughts pulsating through Rodney Malbin’s head as he scribbled out a few lyrics, discarded them in a pile of…other discarded lyrics…then repeated. He did not wear pants. But I digress. Rodney had been trying to come up with the perfect song for months now and had run into a sort of brown musician’s writer’s block. There was no joy. He had several instrumental components lined out and ready for use in that ideal song, but the lyrics just would not materialize.

He had pondered dozens of different subjects for his composition: the loss of his pet halibut, Gerby, in a tragic drowning incident, the attack of bloodhorse on an innocent old lady named Harris, the revenge of PORB on the other PORBS, the tragic emphysema of the velour albatross of Canterbury, one iron mule destined to become senate majority leader, a five gallon bucket full of toothpaste who just broke up with his electric brush, and corn with feelings. All of these had proven poor fodder for songwriting. Rodney needed a break.

He got up out of his bean bag chair which doubled as his studio and decided to put on his actual wool moccasins for a walk down to the Safeway on 47th for some sort of soothing snack apparatus, of which variety he was not yet certain. But he knew there would be a momentary abatement of despair if he were to find the proper item to stuff down his melody deprived throat. He grasped his keys and his halibut skin wallet by the husk off the literally brown table that stood by the front hatch to his apartment (he lived underground for some reason). As he crawled out of his hole home and locked the hatch he recognized immediately that something had gone terribly not normal.

His street, Glazed Marmot Avenue, was typically bustling with enthusiastic motorists on their way hurriedly to and from…somewhere (maybe work?), but today an altogether different sound filled the putrid haze-stuffed air. Brightly colored octagons of all different dimensions filled the streets and alleyways laying waste to everything in their paths!!!

As soon as Rodney closed his hatch a crimson octagon of roughly sixty-four inches in diameter approached him hurriedly from behind, rolling over its corners and slapping its flat edges on the asphalt of Glazed Marmot with an aggression not seen since the time bloodhorse nearly killed the matron Harris!! Rodney whirled to his left just in time to avoid the three dimensional shape as it made splinters of the roof of his cave dwelling and crashed into his study/kitchen/bathroom area where it lay screaming as Rodney sprinted southbound on the Marmot sidewalk.

He was at a complete loss as to destination and as to how there were so many hostile octagons everywhere! He approached 47th just in time to see an army of two dimensional octagons sawing through the Safeway in an apparent effort to bring this particular representative of the multi-galactic grocery conglomerate to its proverbial knees! Rodney was stunned, as well as in disbelief, and shocked, and alarmed! And then, he had an idea, which was a rare occurrence as he was not smart. “I’ll write a song about these octagons!” He pulled from his underwear (again he did not wear pants) the pen and notepad which he never ventured forth from home without and began to write: “Octagon you ruined my house, other octagons knocked Safeway out, how will I sleep or eat now, stab a yak and kill that cow…”

The song, as were all of Rodney’s songs, was utterly atrocious. But the octagon fiasco had given him hope! And he would continue to write songs for years to come. No one ever figured out why octagons were ruining everything, and after the destruction of his house, Rodney lived in a hollowed out horse carcass for three years. The End.