“Dear Eric”, by Sean Raune

Oct 20th, 2008 | By | Category: Prose

Dear Eric,

Frank Sinatra wants to take your ape to the picture show because he has some extra money and he is inclined to do so. Allow him to do this. He will comport himself in a manner befitting the most respectful courtier. He takes a casual approach to apes; maybe a bite to eat at the club before the picture show, maybe not. It could be he’ll just buy candy and pop and then watch a movie with her.

Just when will Frank Sinatra make a move on me, your ape will ponder, its hind quarters wedged between unyielding armrests never meant for the audacity of ape-hips. Your ape will not really be watching the movie; it will want to give Frank Sinatra a blow job. Wait! It is okay; Frank will place a finger beneath her chin and gently guide it back to eye level. The music of his stare will say something like “Hey, not now, ape; but later, definitely, in the cab.”

Then your ape will begin to speak; Frank Sinatra will slap your ape because he is in no mood for your ape’s emotional trash. “Eyes in front!” he’ll whisper. His finger, still resting beneath her chin, will slowly guide her head back towards the movie screen.

Frank Sinatra will turn back to the movie and watch it; your ape will watch the movie, too, but she won’t remember any of it because she will by this point be whipped up into a brilliant sexual frenzy.

During a sad scene Frank Sinatra will appear sullen and your ape will seize the opportunity to show sympathy by gently grabbing his hand and bringing it up to her cheek. He will recoil because even though she is clean shaven, her face still bears post-meridian stubble and crude tool marks; as grim a portent as the long shadows on the jowls of a five o’clock matador…then, as if this will solve everything, she will ask for a quickie in the coatroom. Frank Sinatra will shrug his arm away and light a cigarette. He will blow smoke at the screen and then point to it with an outstretched hand as though he has opened a cosmic door wherein lays the answer to some ancient riddle. But he only wants to watch the movie.

Please, ape, the movie.

Apes don’t get Chlamydia, so don’t worry. He will whisper this to your ape after the movie.

Frank Sinatra will be telling the truth; well, at least he is fairly certain that apes can’t get Chlamydia. After the picture show though, probably the very next day, Eric, you should get your ape tested for Chlamydia.

Your ape has been reading ‘Common Sense’ by Thomas Paine and will want to discuss it with Frank Sinatra. Frank Sinatra will say that personality is the accumulation of small disasters over time; passion, how you react to them, the manifestation of the soul as it herniates through the interstices of a fragmented mind. Your ape will struggle to find a connection between what he said and what she has gleaned from the two pages of ‘Common Sense’ she’s read; it is a limitation of apes to try to connect irrelevancies. Frank Sinatra knows this.

Frank Sinatra will tell a funny joke and your ape will accidentally inhale some hair from her wig and it will get stuck in the gum that she’s chewing. This will be awkward for your ape, but Frank Sinatra will laugh as if possessed of three mouths and then toss back a gimlet of bourbon. He will take your ape home. You will be surprised to see her back before curfew.

Frank Sinatra will remain in the taxi cab as your ape walks herself to your front door. Your ape will stumble and fall into the zinnias as she looks back at the cab and Frank Sinatra will see this and smile…a smile that’s there and then gone; evaporative, leaving his face cool and empty. His smile is in the air somewhere, floating on the current of a turbulent night as might the poorly clothes pinned underwear of a dashing madman.

Poor coquettish ape; she writhes in the zinnias, teasing the air while you, poor Eric, croon into an empty trashcan, a poor man’s Dean Martin. Hard myriad life, driven to manic disregard for what love really is, thinking you’ve found it…

Frank Sinatra is whistling in the cab…”sometimes a smile and a fuck is all you got, baby…”

The cab driver isn’t listening; he has on giant headphones.

Sean Ruane has been published or has work forthcoming in Thieves Jargon, Monkeybicycle, decomP, Oragami Condom, Eyeshot, Sien Und Werden, 3 A.M Magazine, Elimae, and other places. He writes shit in a grad program at Johns Hopkins University.

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