FOR LOVE OR MERTYL
(originally performed on 16 To Midnight)


I knew I loved her the first time I laid eyes on her. Maybe it was the way her housecoat veiled her ancient frame, or the musty scent of old comic books. My passion vibrated inside of me, lubricating itself with fantasy. I helped her out of her Barca Lounger. The momentum of my helping caused me to yank her frail bones into my loving arms. My eyes seemed to drown in the mist of her cataracts. We kissed. Her dusty lips seemed to ignite when fused my fresh, young ones. Her fire fed by a passion some sixty years older than my own.

She pushed back. "No," she said. "I don't want it to happen like this."

I ran my hand along the ragged surface of her cheek. "Hush," I said. "Be still."

"But you're only here to retile the floor." She moved away from the love that festered inside me.

"Simple kitchen ceramic tile is how it started for Romeo and Juliet," I said as I pulled her to me.

"My husband will be home soon."

Just as the warning had sprung from her lips, the door rocketed open with heart stopping intensity. A moment later I saw the first two legs of the walker. At the first site of me he lunged forward a few feet. Then he lunged a few more. After a few minutes of lunging, he was close enough to hit me.

"You kids! Get off my wife!" He shrieked in a mind-poppingly high voice. With that he took a swing at me with his oxygen tank. The weight of the tank pulled the old man into its circular path and he toppled into a frail mess on the floor. His walker flew into my love and knocked her back into the porcelain Dalmatian. The oxygen hose that fed the old man's lungs snagged on the coat tree and ripped from his face. The hose danced like a horny cobra on the floor. Spitting and hissing endlessly.

As the old man tried desperately to breath and my love lay bleeding, I chuckled to myself. Mostly at the funny way of the world.

'And all I came in here for was some caulk,' I thought.