Meat Bag

You haven’t written anything in 13 days, says my inner critic. People are going to stop reading you.

I’m just…tired, I reply. I’m tired of trying to be profound and/or hilarious. Tired of trying to make people like me. I think I just want to be for a while without having to prove anything.

That’s OK, my inner critic says, shrugging. I mean, after all, you’re just a bag of meat. You’re gonna die and rot like everyone else, so why should you bother trying to achieve anything?

When I accuse my inner critic of being morbid, he responds, The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out/The worms play pinochle on your snout.

So why bother, I say.

So why bother? Why bother, Meat Bag?

I purse my lips and take a breath. I’m really not liking that you’re calling me Meat Bag.

In my mind, Inner Critic is taking on a human form. One of my friends calls his meany inner critic “Roger.” I don’t know what mine’s name is, but sometimes he taunts me like a schoolyard bully.

What’s wrong? he laughs. He turns to one of his cronies. Meat Bag here doesn’t like being called “Meat Bag.” I wonder what Meat Bag’s gonna do about that.

I can feel my anger rising. My own cronies are gathering behind me. Some of them are starting to snap. Not snap as in lose their shit, but literally snap, as in snapping their fingers. We’re going to do this Sharks and Jets style. Just play it cool, boy, my wingman sings softly. Real cool.

Damn, these Puerto Ricans are good dancers. They have a suavity that I and my white brothers lack, which angers me.

I bite my thumb at you, sir! I yell, while trying to keep up with the dizzying choreography.

What? That’s not even–

Uh-oh, it’s Officer Krupke. Everybody disperse!

I need to take the rest of February off. I think this is obvious because two fictional gangs from the 1950s are having a dance-and-sing-off in my head. Whenever that happens, I know it’s time to give myself a vinegar scrub, run through a few cycles of cold water, put in some fresh grounds, and let things percolate to restore the proper flow.

In the meantime, I will revive some old posts via social media, so if you’re a new reader, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

And to the silent readers out there—the ones who are along for the ride but don’t comment—thank you.

See you in March, meat bags.

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