Wednesday, May 04, 2005


(Okay, okay, okay. Here I am. This is not the voice of a man whose dark brown stools are hollow, or a terrorist in love with Bush in spite of himself, or a fireman struggling with his tendencies towards arson or any other strange character you've learned to love and expect in these short-short stories. This is me, Kevin Spenst. I suppose I've broken one of the unspoken blog rules up until today by hiding behind various narrative voices each day and not giving you any hint of me: Kevin Spenst. Not even a peep. Well I suppose the interest in a blog is the individual behind the words. In a number crunching machine connected to an impossibly large abstract entity such as the world wide web, I suppose it’s comforting for us to reach through all of that to touch the life of an individual. So starting today I'll try to add a little preamble before each story. A little genesis of how the story for the day came out of some corner of my life.

Today I’m writing about a man who has hollow stools which contain little kinder-surprise type toys. This idea came up in conversation with some friends a week or so ago. Whenever I hang out with M and A, our conversation jumps up and down on trampolines of absurdity. The hollow stool idea was one of a whole circus of blissfully stupid notions that we laughed our way through. The idea still cracks me up and I’m interested in finding some kind of story inside the hollow stool of some hapless protagonist. So without further ado, here’s today’s story.)


Matt and Laura moved in together with the usual expectations of love and comfort and cleanliness. Laura hoped that Matt would change his house keeping habits (or lack thereof) and Matt hoped that Laura would let him hang out with his friends more often. They both hoped that their love would grow in the usual, happy, normal way.

“Are you ready to go ?” Laura asked, rummaging about in her purse for her keys.

“I’m still making brown !!” came a shout from the bathroom.

“Thanks for all the details,” Laura hollered back. Laura was worried about Matt’s health. The man spent a good twenty minutes on the toilet everyday. At first she heckled him from outside the toilet door with the typical comments of “are you gonna be in there all day” or “are you dying in there,” but this gave way to a kind of worried acceptance. Perhaps he was suffering from health problems.

You learn things about one another when you move in together, Laura’s mom had once said to her in an ominous tone of voice.

Laura looked at her watch but Matt was still sequestered by bodily functions in the bathroom.

She puzzled her head over how to bring up this issue with Matt. She spun her jangle of keys around her index finger and swung her purse back and forth. A dozen or so kinder-surprise type toys rolled around inside. Someday they would be married, she suddenly thought to herself.

All the while Matt fingered through his hollow stool searching for the day’s surprise. For as long as he could remember, he found little toys and joys inside his stools. He’d given up wondering what it all meant.


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