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“Good point, good point.” Bartholomeus leaned back in his chair. He wasn’t too sure what anyone had been talking about for the last half-hour or so. He had been having a lot of “trouble” “concentrating” “lately”. He rested his high-def chin on his gender–neutral hands, which were locked contemplatively, elbows propped on the conference table, his face twisted in a grimace of thoughtful determination (asterisk!) and then slowly began the complicated biological (not to mention spiritual) process of turning himself inside out.

(asterisk!) It was a face his wife, Barbara, would describe as his “meeting face”, (although she never actually saw her husband in a meeting she liked to think that this was his face (taking the liberty comforted her; manufacturing in her a counterfeit sense of camaraderie between she and her husband) because it reminded her of the bewildered look he sometimes got manipulating a new appliance, or wrestling with a moral dilemma.)

Bartholomeus would laugh heartily at his wife’s joke provided he wasn’t preoccupied with his crazy ideas about turning himself inside out. But if his mind was elsewhereish, or if “things” became too “busy” in his brain he would stare blankly at his “wife”, Barbara, like a hunting dog confronted with math. This would trigger, depending on her mood, one of two reactions in his wife, Barbara.

If she felt confident about her self, she would tilt her head to the right, and a look of matronly empathy would crawl over her face. She pitied her husband in those moments. She saw him as an idiot savant, a capable manager, hardworking leader in touch with the subtleties of his business concern, but ultimately an emotional klutz, an overgrown man-child in need of her compassion and understanding. She felt she and she alone was equipped with the emotional machinery capable of processing his complex readings – machinery uniquely calibrated after years of partnership.

However is she were feeling self-conscious, racked with self-doubt and poor body image, she would interpret her husband’s inexplicable behavior as a judgment of the entire shambles of her quiet, desperate life. In his quizzical look she felt ashamed for doing nothing with her life but tending to the dreary routine of domesticity, like a small town museum-keeper dusting off a diorama hoping for someone, anyone to come and visit.

It was on a day/days like this/these where we began our story… the story of one man’s bio-spiritual quest to turn himself inside out.

Date Written: December 26, 2004
Author: scoop
Average Vote: 2.8889

01/3/2005 The Rid: I identify.
01/3/2005 Ewan Snow (3): This has a lot of problems. Though there are a few nice bits, it just doesn't pan out. I'll provide more detail later.
01/3/2005 qualcomm (2): this feels like the author just sat down and wrote whatever popped into his head. not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it is when you really "feel" it, like here.
01/3/2005 Will Disney: this one has some decent "tone poetry". also, i'd like to hear more about the turning inside-out.
01/3/2005 Will Disney: but maybe in fewer words?
01/3/2005 qualcomm: shut up and rate it, you muppety fuck.
01/3/2005 Will Disney: no!
01/3/2005 hagit mizrachy: can someone explain (asterisk!)
01/3/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I'm not sure if your asking why the author didn't use an actual asterisk, Hagit. I wondered that myself. But the first (asterisk!) refers you to the later (asterisk!) which elaborates on the "twisted...grimace of thoughtful determination..." or, more accurately, Barbara's thoughts about this face. It doesn't really seem to require the (asterisk!) in any form though. I could be missing something, but that's the only explanation I came up with.
01/3/2005 qualcomm: here's an explanation: the author's a jerk.
01/3/2005 hagit mizrachy: Thank's Sorghum, now I see. A parenthetical asterisk in the middle of a sentence that has a second parenthesis refers us to a second parenthetical asterisk which after half a sentence sends us into a parenthetical in which there is another parenthetical in which there is a semi-colon.
01/3/2005 hagit mizrachy (4):
01/3/2005 The Rid: I like Qualcomm's explanation best.
01/3/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (2): Well written, but nothing happened.
01/3/2005 Ewan Snow: Streifen, your comment is right on the money... except that it isn't well written.
01/3/2005 anonymous: I thought Streifen's comment was very well written Snow you Star Wars lampooning bottom feeder.
01/3/2005 Dylan Danko (2):
01/3/2005 Ewan Snow: Jeez, scoop, I didn't expect that one. However, as regards your short, it would behoove you to understand that the phrase "sense of camaraderie between she and her husband" is highly, highly incorrect. “She” is the object of the preposition “between” and so should be in the objective case, i.e. “her”. Between her and her husband.
01/3/2005 anonymous: What is this - amateur night?
01/3/2005 anonymous: Yes its amateur night, anon.
01/3/2005 scoop: For the record, anaon you filthy, abject cowardly lapdog lowest-common-denominator-pandering collection of used douchbags -- why bother with anon if your going ot write somehting so inanely boring?
01/3/2005 TheBuyer (3): I like the first chunk, or (no comment).
01/3/2005 hagit mizrachy: I'm not into the first chunk, but I think the fourth and fifth kick ass- contrasting wivey's reactions/perceptions based on self-image.
01/3/2005 Litcube: Whoah!
01/3/2005 Jon Matza (4): Can everyone just calm down? CHILL! CHILL!
01/3/2005 Ewan Snow: Hey, Matza, what did you like about this one? Was there a particularly Mazola portion that bumped your vote up to a 4? I ask because I was verging on a 2, and though QC would use such an opportunity to vilify you for your quote-unquote wrong opinion, I prefer an open and frank exchange of ideas and values. But hey, that's just me.
01/3/2005 The Rid (3):
01/3/2005 qualcomm: yeah, dicknut, what's so fab about it?
01/3/2005 Jon Matza: I have a weakness for this sort of in-depth subterranean psychological hairsplitting and character dissection. I thought the 'inside out' business was erroneous, though, also the asterisk. Incidentally, I resent (sorry, am frothing with fury about) your implication that I only like and highly rate "Mazola"-like texts. Now can you all PLEASE hurry up and take a mellow mint?!?
01/3/2005 Jon Matza: p.s. QC, you apple-cheeked fauntleroy. Surely you can do better than "dicknut"?
01/3/2005 hagit mizrachy: Whoah is how many stars Clitlube?
01/3/2005 hagit mizrachy: Sorry Cube, I just liked the elementary school feel of it. Love, Magit Hizcrotchy.
01/3/2005 hagit mizrachy: I mean the elementary school feel of calling you Clitlube. Jesus I said it again.
01/3/2005 Litcube (3): That's quite alright, Hagit. I've inserted my chill mint suppository. I can vote now. Among the good, the first paragraph's painting of Bartholomeus was well done. Among my dislikes, "like a hunting dog confronted with math."
01/3/2005 Litcube: 01/3/2005 qualcomm: oh come now, matza; surely you're not going to fault an intentionally stupid insult even as you employ one of my own (fauntleroy)? that's not really cool.
01/3/2005 qualcomm: now stop antagonizing me, or you'll really see something. (I AM NOT KIDDING!)
01/3/2005 Jon Matza: How am I antagonizing you? You started it! Surely your vote-enforcement proposal this morning was at least 20% an attempt to annoy me, given the views I've recently & publicly stated about this issue (you bespectacled statistician).
01/3/2005 Jon Matza: Also, I find your threatening tone perplexing given that I specifically instructed you to mow on a mellow mint.
01/3/2005 Ewan Snow: Matza, “Mazola” is a synonym for “double-fudge” or “value-pak” or “good”, not necessarily “Matza-like”, if that’s what you took it as. Were you really frothing with fury about it, or do I misunderstand your post. Cuz my post was very, very polite, and if it made you froth with fury then that would be, I think, an mis-reaction.
01/3/2005 Jon Matza: Oh! I did think you meant matza-like...thanks for the clarification. Was 100% joking about the frothing with fury/resenting part. I was trying to allude to qc's persistent assertions & implications on the message board earlier today that I was, and constantly am, angry. Damn him!
01/3/2005 qualcomm: it's not so much what you say, matza, as what you leave unsaid that convinces me you are a barely contained lunatic.
01/3/2005 Jon Matza: Are you sure I'm leaving those things unsaid, brother? Maybe I'm merely not leaving them said!
01/5/2005 Phony Millions: Um, Matza, I found QC's 'dicknut' quite effective as a pejorative - almost atavistic in the way it slaps together two phallic-related slang words in a hopelessly senseless way - after all, what would a dicknut be? The dick and the nuts are two separate entities; a dicknut is an anomoly, a mishappen wedge of flesh in the mind's eye - thus the punch it packs as a dis. When it comes to pejoratives, the more 6th grade, the better I say. As for this short, it's sort of 'in search of'. Don't know how to vote - maybe we're all missing some deep-seated shit?
01/5/2005 Jon Matza: In other contexts, maybe. But you're forgetting the mellow mint directive I'd issued earlier pre-emptively rendered all subsequent disses irrelevant.
01/6/2005 qualcomm: yeah, but you consistently "misunderstand" the intention of anyone you're arguing with. part of your intellectual dishonesty.
01/6/2005 qualcomm: sorry, "brother," that was the alcohol pushing your buttons
01/6/2005 Dylan Danko: Pussy.