Monday August 17th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that is: notorious.

I washed the bath tub this morning. That was pretty much the biggest accomplishment of the day. Oh, I also went out after dinner to harvest some produce for Rebecca to bring home with her. I suppose that counts for something too.

She's heading out tomorrow morning and... yeah. Pretty much miss her already.


I'd rather be known for doing something good. Honestly. Something respectable, decent. Something I could be truly proud of. Something my mother would be proud of.

But in this world being nice and good doesn't get you much attention. I'm sure you know that. You watch the news, read the newspapers. Just look at the cover of any magazine on the shelf. How many good people do you see?


I suppose I could have lived my life in obscurity. Carried out my responsibilities without recognition, day in and day out. That doesn't sound very rewarding though, does it? I mean, maybe that's good enough for you. Not for me though. That ain't me.

You see, I need to be known. I'm not the anonymous type. I want people to know me by sight, to talk about me when I'm not around. To worship me? Nah. That'd be okay though. I wouldn't complain.

So I had to do something. Something big. A big bad something. Something that people will never, ever forget.

And, sorry to say, that something begins with you...


morganna said...

Scum has become
Impossible for me
To stand -- walls of incredible,
Notorious dirt -- a scrubbing is in
Order -- no grime, no mildew will hold
Me back -- determined on
A shining, clean

Greg said...

@Morganna: well up to your usual high standards with that poem! I rather like how you go from Bathtub to Bathtub completely transforming it as you do so. I will confess I spent a little time checking for an acrostic too -- and was very tempted to claim that you'd done a reverse acrostic just to have Marc hunting for it!

@Marc: Your work is getting darker again, clearly the fires nearby have been bad for you! Still, it's lovely evocative writing with a growing sense of unpleasantness as we get to the end, with the final line being... well, rather final, actually!

I'd rather be known for doing something good. Honestly. Something respectable, decent. Something I could be truly proud of. Something my mother would be proud of. Except that my mother's in a nursing home run by criminals, so she's either a drugs mule or something highly inappropriate for her age, and I'm choosing not to think about that. Rather like I chose, deliberately, not to think about the grubby, sordid brochure when I picked the nursing home.
That earned me a kind of notoriety with my family, though not as much as my older brother who was the Ideas Man for the Khmer Rouge for eight years. He's got Interpol-level notoriety, but that doesn't mean I'm not trying still. I think I can beat him, though it means converting to Islam, at least temporarily. And learning an awful lot about the demolition of absurdly tall buildings.
My father, now I didn't much like him and my brother was off in Cambodia, so I got him blind drunk, strapped him to a sit-and-ride lawnmower, attached a Roomba for guidance and set him off in a bedding factory. I was planning on it making the news for two days, but after the lawnmower managed to catch fire after shredding two thousand duvets the blaze nearly asphyxiated an entire nunnery and it was in the news for a week. That's good for notoriety too, but too much of the credit goes to dear old dad. Dear old dead dad, but that's hardly a consolation.
So, for my next trick, before I leave for Malaysia and a tour of the Petronas towers, is pressure-sensitive explosives in the bottom the breathing cannisters for the local scuba school. I'm expecting some rather muted fireworks, and some of the respect I rather feel I'm due.

Marc said...

Morganna - as Greg already mentioned, that bathtub to bathtub trick was very well done. I think it's my favorite aspect of your poem.

Greg - yes, let's blame the smoke :P

Hah, speaking of dark! There are some great references in here, with the death of the father being a personal favorite. The mentions of the brother are pretty great too though.