Friday, November 10, 2006

The POV Experiment: The Cupboard, by James Scott Bell

The eyes.

They're always there. Looking. Longing. It tears into the very grain of my soul, the knotty fabric of my spirit.

I plead and plead, never again. Voiceless, I can only send out the thought: Don't do it! But then those cold, shriveled fingers slip through my handles, and the nightmare begins again.

I am opened and the eyes look up. Between those strange ears. Expectant. As if I am the repository of all sustenance and pleasure! The place where tasty dreams come true! A treasure trove for mouth and tongue.

How can I possibly be all that when the old biddy keeps forgetting to put any bones in me? I can't take it, I tell you! Somebody stop her!

When I was a tree I made the acquaintance of many dogs. Oh yes. But at least I served a purpose then. I found them innocent, these canines, doing only what God designed them to do.

It was the hands holding the leashes, or standing far off, who bear the shame! The way they talk to these creatures, as if they owned them!

Wasn't it Pascal who suggested that man is a reed, but a thinking reed? I wonder if Pascal had a dog. If he did, I would suggest--

She approaches! Look at her! Oh so innocent and sweet! Like a termite on steroids sweet! Like Dutch Elm disease sweet!

Yo, Lady! Hello! You didn't put anything in here! So how do you expect to get anything out? What is wrong with you? A pinecone has more sense! A knot hole more brainpower!

Quit bringing the dog in here and filling it with false hopes!

Vile crone!

Now look at her. She's turning to the dog with a sad smile and a shrug. The dog cocks its head, then its eyes come back to me.

To me!

Oh, the sadness of all creation is in those eyes! And I die a little. My sides begin to warp. Glue chafes my skin. My nail holes become stigmata.

I am my own cross!

She closes my doors and now I am alone.

What was it Nietzsche suggested? That if you gaze for too long into an abyss, the abyss gazes into you?

He should have been a cupboard. He would have gone insane a lot faster.

Alas, unless I am filled I cannot give. That is the nature and destiny of cupboards and man.

Fill me, I say! And then I can live out that rule of gold. For wasn't it Jesus who said Do unto others as you wood have others do unto you?

James Scott Bell is a lawyer-turned-novelist. Check out his books at .


At 6:34 AM, Blogger batgirl said...

Incredibly creative and funny, but still profoundly true.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Carol Umberger said...

Who knew that cupboards could quote Nietzsche? :) Fun stuff!

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Ann Tatlock said...

I laughed out loud! Everyone who contributed to this POV experiement did a fabulous job.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger PatriciaW said...

I enjoyed the different takes on such a common, simple piece. Great lesson in POV. And they were funny!

Please do this again sometime.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! A cupboard with an attitude! Thanks so much, James. Now every time I look at my kitchen cupbords I'll have to wonder, "what are they really thinking? Are they mocking me?" I'm keeping the nightlight on in the kitchen from now on!

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Richard L. Mabry, MD said...

Wooden you know it! Jim, you're very creative, although a bit warped. Still, you're oak in my book. Nice job.

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I saw the silliest things advertised the other day--little battery operated lights to stick inside one's cupboards in order to see what's inside after dark. Now who in the world would feel the need to look inside a cupboard after dark, as if something might be going on in there...


At 12:59 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Hey--I HAVE one of those stick-on lights in my cupboard! I keep it in the back of the pots-and-pans section. :-)

My hat's off to you, Jim. And here I thought everyone would think you had a typo in that last line. Shows how sophisticated my sense of humor is (not!)


At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should have known you'd have lights inside your cupboards, Angie. And let me guess: those would be color-coded lights, right?


At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Having the cupboard be a dog sympathizer! I knew many dogs when I was a tree ... hahahahahaha!

Oh thanks for that. I laughed. I cried. I... well, I didn't cry, but, I did laugh.


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