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RABBIT JONES by Peter Dean Rickards

 

On October ninth, nineteen-ninety seven, I was walking along the street wishing I had been one of those paparrazzi people who had been lucky enough to snap some pictures of Lady Diana just before she crashed into a concrete pillar when I came across a costume store.

I didn't have a job or anything to go to so I went inside to look around. At the very back of the store I spotted a white rabbit head hanging on a nail beside a devil mask. It was an ugly looking thing.

I had to have it.

I knew a mask like this one probably cost a lot of money to make. It had rubber shit on the inside and coat hanger wire in the ears to keep them pointy and poseable. But I didn't have any money ( still don't), so I decided to borrow it...for life.

I looked around the store to see who might be watching and sure enough there was a video camera up on the wall that had seen me come in. I decided to come back later.

On October tenth, nineteen-ninety seven I went back into the costume store wearing motorcycle helmet and a big jacket. I went straight to the back of the store and took the rabbit head from its nail. I shoved it into my jacket but it was huge. I walked out very fast with what looked like a basketball bulging out of my coat.

Nobody saw me or followed me , but if they had, I would probably have hit them with the empty Snapple bottle I was carrying.

But like I said...I had to have it.

It wasn't the first time I had stolen a rabbit. I had stolen an entire outfit in nineteen-ninety using a credit card but I got caught and had to give it back to avoid prosecution.

I went home and tried on the rabbit head and looked at myself in the bathroom mirror. It fit me perfectly. I liked the rabbit head so much that I started walking everywhere with it on all the time.

I rode the subway with it. I drank Pepsi through a straw in it. I waited for people behind bushes and when they got close I would stand up slowly and stare at them.

People reacted differently to my rabbit head. Some people liked it, particularly children. but others were cautious, or outright frightened.

Often, people would see me coming and cross the street so they wouldn't have to pass me. I think that the fact that my exposed skin was brown made them uncomfortable as well. It was bad enough that there was a guy wearing a rabbit head sitting on the bus seat across from them, much less a BLACK guy wearing a rabbit head.

I decided that I was not the same person when I wore the head. When I put it on I was much more anonymous, less restrained in my thoughts and deeds. I decided to give my new alter-ego a name that would reflect this new found anonymity.

I chose 'RABBIT JONES.'

' The 'RABBIT' part is obvious.

I picked 'JONES' because it is a common name. And commonness is another way to become anonymous, particularly in a large city.

Nothing else to it but that.

These are my thoughts.

 

THE STINKING GREYHOUND BUS

 

The bus trip to New york City took 12 hours. I sat at the very back, near the chemical toilet.

During the trip, a Somalian woman managed to lock herself in the washroom.

She started screaming and kicking the door and everyone in the bus turned around to see what the problem was.

That's when most of the people on the bus first noticed me sitting there, looking concerned for the woman.

As the kicking got louder, I stood up from my seat and started kicking the door back.

I said:

"The driver told me that you have to stay in there until we reach Buffalo."

She really started screaming after that.

Eventually the bus pulled over and the driver opened the emergency exit window from the outside so he could get at the lock and the hysterical woman.

I stuck my head out the window to see what was going on.

The bus driver was a FUCKING ASSHOLE.

He told me to get back in the bus before he slammed the glass on my head.

I didn't get much sleep that night because I couldn't stretch out.

I tried to sleep by curling up on two seats but people kept jumping over my legs all night on the way to the toilet.

The seats also smelled like the sweaty asses of the last thirty people who rode on this stinking Greyhound.

Besides the asshole driver nobody else spoke to me on that bus.

 

 

RABBIT SITS DOWN WITH THE PIGS

After wearily staggering off the bus I asked a toothless security guard where a good spot to have 'breakfuss' might be and he told me about a place called "Missus Eggs" which was across the street from the station. Then I asked a weary looking cop if there were any lockers around where we could put my bags.

He said that the city was virtually lockerless since several recent terrorist attacks in New York had made lockers a security risk.

 

"Fucking terrorists", I muttered.

So, I dragged my bag with me across the street into the diner where the toothless guard had directed me.

The place was packed with New York's finest sitting around eating big plates of runny eggs and smelly pink bacon. The conversation of the morning seemed to be about the Haitian guy that was suing the Police Department and the City of New York because some cops had beat the shit out of him and rammed a toilet plunger handle up his asshole.

That week a few hundred people , many of them waving toilet plungers, had walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest the attack. Apparently, the incident had made a lot of people angry, most obviously the Haitian guy who needed something like 40 stitches to close up his asshole again.

I remember how pissed-off he looked on TV as they wheeled him around in front of the glaring lights and asked him questions like:

"what were you thinking when they inserted a toilet plunger handle into your anus?"

I was tempted to ask one of them if they actually knew any of the cops who had done the ramming. But then I wondered if they would think I was being a prick and drag me into the back of Missus Eggs and shove another toilet plunger handle up my black ass. So I didn't say anything, but they still made me uncomfortable as I sat there watching them stuffing their faces through the noxious clouds of cigarette smoke that was making my top lip stink.

I'll be honest, I don't like cops. They've never done anything to help me. In fact, they've always done the exact opposite. I remember when I lived in Toronto this one cop got blown away by a black guy and the entire city freaked out.

The man who shot him is what the authorities called a "landed immigrant." He had lived in the cuntry since he was 6 years old but the family of the dead cop tried to sue the Department of Immigration for compensation ,even before they tried and convicted the bastard!

They argued that if the Department of Immigration had sent his black-ass back to Jamaica years ago, he would never have had the opportunity to shoot their son's brains all over a wall in an underground garage.

They held a huge funeral for the dead pig and every cop on the goddamned North American continent showed up in their Sunday-best (a uniform) to follow him to his grave. Everyone was talking about how bad the city was getting even though he was the first cop to get shot dead in 20 years.

I remember how I reacted to the event as well:

I invited all my friends over, shared out an ounce of high grade weed; turned down the volume on the TV, and served pie!

 

 

BRYANT PARK MAKES ME ILL

I walked across Fifth Avenue until I came to a big park full of little rickety green chairs and unemployed people (like me)..

I grabbed a chair and sat down to relax for a while. I had spent the last two hours walking around in a pair of shitty shoes and my feet were beginning to feel like Chrisopher Reeve's-numb.

I walked across Fifth Avenue until I came to a big park full of little rickety green chairs and unemployed people (like me).

My stomach didn't feel too good either on account of the fact that I always get an upset stomach when I don't sleep properly and then eat grease for breakfuss. The combination of walking and my upset stomach made my ass feel like it was on fire.

I have always called that condition 'sour-ass.'

You can't see it in this picture because its in black and white but as I sat there a cloud of noxious green gas hung in the air around me and poisoned everything within ten metres of me and my rickety green chair.

With that in mind its easy to understand why the woman in this photograph is scowling like that-she had just inhaled a deadly carcinogenic fart.

After about an hour of sitting there doing nothing, the freak sitting behind me with no shirt (or bra) came and sat beside me. He reached into a plastic bag which I noticed was full of dead flies.

He started to eat them by throwing them into the air and catching them in his mouth.

I left after that.

 

 

THE CALL OF NATURE

The New York Public Library is right beside the park of green chairs and farts.

I went inside to try to find a washroom to relieve my bladder which had not been emptied since breakfuss but I discovered that it was closed.

SUDDENLY,

I had to piss very, very badly and sweat started to run down my forehead as I searched high and low for a place to let it out.

Just as I was about to rip off the rabbit head and piss in it, I saw the statue in this picture.

I noticed that there was a crevice behind the statue and I managed to scramble up the stone structure and get behind the statue just in time. I whipped it out and pissed my brains out.

While I was up there I noticed that somebody probably lived behind the statue.

There was a filthy mattress and four empty bottles of Chinese cooking wine.

I felt sort of bad for having pissed there because I wouldn't want anyone to come and piss near my bed.

If someone pissed near my bed I would probably do something like try to piss back on them.

I didn't want anyone to piss on me so I zipped up my fly really fast and jumped down from the statue.

 

 

YOW PUSSYHOLE JUST DRIVE THE WAGON AND SHUT THE FUCK UP

 

I ever get enough money , I'm going to get a licence to operate a horse-drawn buggy in Central Park. I couldn't believe how much those drivers were making.

Let's put it this way, its cheaper to hire a whore in Times Square to carry you around on her back than it is to travel one city block in a horse-drawn carriage.

 

Despite all that, I still wanted to see what it was like to sit in a horse drawn buggy. I looked around and found an empty carriage. I jumped into it and just sat there for a while. Overall, it was pretty boring.

Just like sitting in an elevated chair behind some smelly horse's ass.

I was there about five minutes before the driver returned.

He didn't see me at first because I kept very still, but then he noticed that people were staring at something behind him.

This picture was taken as he turned around and saw me there.

He was pretty angry. He said:

'Get the Fuck out!'

I didn't obey right away and he jumped down from his perch and moved towards me. I ran off through the opposite side of the buggy into the park and dared him to follow me into the bushes.

He's lucky he didn't too because I would have given him the worst beating in Central Park since those niggas bashed that joggers head in with a brick back in the 80s.

 

 

TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE

 

You can't go to New York City unless you take at least five minutes to go hang around on the Brooklyn Bridge.

It's a nice place to go once you've realized that you hate everyone in New York City. That's because nobody who actually lives in New York City goes to hang around on the Brooklyn Bridge.

If I lived in New York City though, I bet I would visit it a lot.

It's pretty high off the ground and every other week somebody flings themself over the edge into the river of radioactive slime three hundred miles below.

People are constantly getting run over by bicycles that come speeding down the left side of the pathway hitting the morons who can't read the signs that say " Pedestrians stay right."

Of course, its fun to irritate the many tour guides by interupting their explanations with phrases like :

'You're making that up as you go along!", or " Nice lies. got any more lies liar?'

It's even better when you're wearing a rabbit head though because all the tourists want to take a picture beside you and its a great opportunity to feel up women or pick someone's pocket.

While I was on the bridge a German woman came up to me and asked me to let her take picture with me. She asked my name and I said:

'I am Klaus de Aryan rabbit..would you like to buy a lampshade made of real human flesh?'

She was really offended by that and gave me this emotional lecture about how she wasn't responsible for the crimes committed against humanity in World War II. As she talked I just stood there and nodded my head till she was finished.

She was actually crying by the time she was done. That's when I leaned over and whispered into her ear:

'Okay..gimme ten bucks then alright?'

She stomped off after calling me a 'filthee hoont. (I think that means 'DOG' in German)

'I'm a rabbit you blind Nazi bitch',I retorted, ''not no fucking smelly dog!!!'

 

 

BREATHING PROBLEMS AND THE FACTS OF LIFE

 

As I stood there on the Brooklyn bridge I began looking for that part of the bridge where the Facts of Life girls had visited. They were always travelling-those Facts of Life girls.

They even took the retarded one with them when they went to Paris. I didn't really like that show but I know I used to watch it more when the retarded girl was on it. She was always bawling to Blair about how all the boys liked her better because she (Blair) didn't have Cerebral Palsy.

Blair always told her some crap about God loving her and then the show would end with the retarded girl telling some shitty joke and everyone laughed.

Suddenly I felt very unbalanced, standing there on the Brooklyn Bridge , thinking about old Facts of Life episodes and developing a massive migraine headache in the process.

Take a couple deep breaths , I thought to myself, the mask is cutting off your regular supply of oxygen and making you delirious.

So, I breathed in deep and steadied myself on the bridge but I really felt like collapsing in a heap. And then...it happened...

I can't really explain why it happened or what I was thinking when it did. But I knew this much...It was time to get off that goddamned bridge.

 

 

THE POSSESED WOMAN ON THE BENCH

 

I walked down from the bridge and headed back uptown to find something worth doing. I felt a lot better after leaving the bridge but now I was tired. I spotted a stone bench with a Indian woman sitting on it.

I wished she wasn't there because I wanted to stretch out on that bench for a couple hours and have a nap.

She looked harmless enough sitting there but she looked like the type that might get mad if I tried to lie down on her lap. Eventually she looked up and noticed me staring at her bench, but she didn't budge.

I walked down from the bridge and headed back uptown to find something worth doing. I felt a lot better after leaving the bridge but now I was tired. I spotted a stone bench with a Indian woman sitting on it. I wished she wasn't there because I wanted to stretch out on that bench for a couple hours and have a nap.

She looked harmless enough sitting there but she looked like the type that might get mad if I tried to lie down on her lap. Eventually she looked up and noticed me staring at her bench, but she didn't budge.

Not even an inch.

So, I walked over and sat down on the opposite end and waited for her to get up and leave since that's what most people I had encountered had done whenever I had sat down beside them.

But not this woman. She really didn't give a shit.

I began to sing quietly under the mask: some tune that I had heard on TV sometime, somewhere.

'Drugs...Drugs..Drugs...which are good...? Which are bad...?'

She glanced over at me for a second but turned back around and looked out at the street.

'Drugs...Drugs...Drugs...ask yer mom...ask yer dad.."

Suddenly she sneezed and a large string of phlegm dangled from the end of her nose. There was an uneasy silence between us and she sat there not sure what to do since she probably didn't want to look like a pig and wipe it on her sleeve.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out a flyer I had found for some stupid nightclub and held it out to her but she just looked at me like I was from Mars and let the string hanging from her nose break and fall onto the floor where it made a sound that made me want to projectile vomit right through the eyes of the mask.

I swallowed down the puke feeling and gripped the bench tightly and then...

I began to bark loudly under the mask.

"WORF! WORF! WORF!"

She turned around and muttered something but I couldn't hear her over my own barking.

"WORF WORF WORF WORF WORF", I continued.

I could see her through the perforated eyeholes in the mask...she was getting angry.

She started waving her hands around in front of my face and saying a bunch of gibberish in a language that she had invented.

I was feeling quite happy with myself. She was obviously getting upset.

Not long before she leaves, I thought to myself, and then I can stretch out on this stone bench and have a nap.

All of a sudden the woman leapt up from the bench and stood in front of me. She started to bend over backwards, arching her back- limbo-style- until her body was bent into a perfect U-shape. Her palms rested flat on the ground behind her head and then: She made the sounds of every barnyard animal I have ever heard...and then some.

I jumped up from the bench and ran across the street without looking left or right. I just had to get out of there.

A taxi blew its horn as I fled across the street with the sounds of the woman's many animals chasing behind me.

I ducked into a subway entrance and leaned up againt the wall where I waited for the first train to arrive.

 

 

THE SUBWAY

 

The train took forever to arrive , but I occupied myself by buying a chocolate bar from a vending machine.

I shoved it underneath the mask and took large bites as an old woman with one of those dumpy wire carts stood nearby looking at me with disappoval.

I ignored her and continued to shove my arm up into my head and eat the Kit-Kat bar.

Eventually the train came rumbling along the tracks and I jumped in without checking its destination and sat down on the closest seat to the door.

The doors closed and I looked around the train car which was empty except for a old derelict male at at the far end. He had a plastic-looking schoolbag (probably with body parts in it) and a balloon with a a symbol on it that looked a lot like the MTV logo.

I found that a little strange, but it wasn't half as strange as the guy who entered the car in the next ten seconds.

He was a black guy wearing a red thong and a bunch of red thread all over his chest. His hair was braided into one 3 foot spike that scraped along the ceiling of the subway car.

 

Around his neck he had hung several items including a large framed photograph of a Ku Klux Klan member sitting on a horse and a small plastic toy trumpet which he clutched as if it was the only thing in the world that gave him purpose.

Of course, he spotted me instantly and came over and sat down directly across from me.

He stared at me with his fucked up blue contact lenses and his dagger teeth. He smelled like Brandy's scabby scalp.

"What the FUCK you doin here!?", he blurted at me.

"Same thing you're doing", I said.

"Oh...I don't THINK SO", he howled.

He raised the plastic trumpet in front of his face and waved it left...then right...and then in circles.

I didn't like him but he didn't really frighten me. He was really skinny and since he was naked except for that red thong and the thread and the stuff round his neck, I knew he didn't have any weapons except for that stupid plastic trumpet.

He stood up from his seat and continued waving the trumpet around and doing this weird dance that convinced me that he was high from smelling glue.

That's when I decided to move to another part of the car but as I got up he grabbed me by my shoulder and spun me around.

"LOOK!", he muttered as he shoved the little green plastic trumpet up his ass.

I was repulsed. I whipped off my belt and started to beat him with it over and over again with the buckle part.

He fell on the floor with the trumpet still sticking out of his ass and I started to stomp him with the heel of my Clarke's.

I continued to beat him until the train pulled into a train station somewhere near Times Square.

I walked over to the doors and waited for them to open as the man with the red thong lay on the ground in a fetal postion with the trumpet still sticking out of his ass.

That is...until the guy with the MTV balloon came over and yanked it out of his ass and put it into a small plastic bag.

The doors opened and I walked left. The guy with the balloon headed right.

I don't know what happened to the guy with the red thong but several months later I saw him in the crowd on the Today show holding a sign that said :

"HI KATIE...FROM EVERYONE IN HALIFAX"

 

 

EMERGE

 

By the time I left the subway the sun had already gone down. I emerged from the underground in Times Square which was fine with me because I wanted to find a deal on AA-batteries for my walkman which had not worked since somewhere called Scranton.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out all the money I had left: $20.

It wasn't a lot but it was certainly enough to get me drunk. I walked into a little store and grabbed myself a bottle of vodka and a carton of orange juice. I took a few sips of the orange juice and then poured out half of it onto the sidewalk.

A couple of cripples in wheelchairs were passing and they stopped in front of the puddle as I stared to pour the vodka into the carton.

"Hey asshole", said the uglier one.

I ignored him and plunked a straw into the carton.

"Hey asshole!!! People have to walk there!"

"Not you though", I replied.

"You're a fuckin' asshole" said the man in the wheelchair as he and his girlfriend or social worker manoeuvred around the puddle.

I drank in the fluid and started to walk towards the noisest part of the square-the center division in the middle of the street where a bunch of guys in black panther outfits were standing around yapping on about the pyramids and UFO's and AIDS.

Off to one side a couple of guys were spinning on their heads to some fuzzy sounding hip-hop music blaring out of box with blown speakers.

Nearby a guy with a huge remote controlled cockroach handed out flyers with the words "SATAN IS KING" printed on them.

I sat down with my carton of booze and drank.

And drank.

And drank...until I fell asleep in a pool of puke.

 

 

FEELING NASTY IN TIMES SQUARE

 

BLOODCLOTH...when I woke up, everything was blurry and sick.

 

I stumbled around for a while, sometimes into the traffic where people stuck their heads out of windows and screamed at me about carrots and Bugs Bunny and the Playboy mansion.

I looked up and noticed a giant CUP-A-SOUP container balanced on top of the huge Panasonic televison screen.

There was steam coming out of it.

And then, just like that I started thinking about white terrorists. People like Timothy McVeigh.

He was a very bad man wasn't he? I mean, how was that for a BIG BOMB?

White guy pulls up a van loaded with fertilizer and parks it in front of a Federal building. Next thing you know...BOOM!

He demolishes the entire building and everything in it.

I wondered how a bomb like that might look right here in the middle of Times Square on a busy night.

A night like New Years Eve 1999.

It wasn't the first time I was thinking of the possibility of a terrorist attack in Times Square on the millenium New Years, but for the first time, I felt very sure that it is going to happen.

I'm not sure if it was because I was drunk and feeling slightly paranoid, but I was sure.

Suddenly someone whipped a can of beer out of a moving car and I got clapped in the head.

I crumpled onto the sidewalk like a load of dirty laundry and rolled over onto my back.

Out of the corner of my eye I caught another glimpse of the giant CUP-A-SOUP thing and I thought to myself:

I wonder what they use to make the steam?

 

 

UP FROM THE GUTTER

 

Life has a funny way of throwing curves at you. One minute you're writhing around in Times Square in a totally dehabilitated state, and in the next, you're waking up in a dumpster with a new outlook on life and a strange desire to go out and do something productive. That's what happened to me...Rabbit Jones.

I climbed out of the dumpster and brushed myself off. Felt around in my pockets with little hope of finding anything but some old chewing gum and a bottlecap from the vodka bottle that I had injested the night before. Or was it the night before that?

I reached back into the dumpster and tore a piece of carboard from a damp carboard box that had six dead puppies stuffed inside.

"Whats kind of bastard would kill a bunch of little puppies and throw them into a dumpster like that?", I thought to myself as I emptied them out onto the sidewalk.

Probably some sort of psycho. I walked across the street into a 7-eleven and asked the cashier if I could borrow a marker.

"Sure, here", she said as she thrust it towards me, "just don't hurt me alright?"

What the hell did she mean by that?

"You know how to spell Monseratt?", I asked her.

"Huh?

"MONSERATT?!", I repeated. "You know? That island that blew up and everyone went to England?"

"Wha?", she said. She seemed to be having a muscle spasm.

'MONSERATT! MONSERATT!' I yelled as she took a step back from the edge of the counter, "how the hell you spell MONSERATT?'

'M - O - N - S - T - E - R R - A - T - S'

She spelled.

"No, not MONSTER RATS', I replied , feeling quite agitated...MONSE- Look, forget it"

So I wrote:MONSERATT VOLCANO REFUGEE onto the carboard and then walked to Washingston Square Park. It was only three blocks away.

I propped myself up on the edge of that pool thing with an empty cup in one hand and the sign in the other and waited, and waited.

Tourists came by and looked at me.

They wanted to take my picture but none of them wanted to pay me.

"No money, no damn picture!", I barked.

"You're a loser anyway you stupid rabbit. You can't even spell Monserratt and you've got vomit on your back."

I reached around and felt the back of my shirt. It was crispy.

'Damn vomit', I thought out loud, 'nobody's gonna give me any money if I've got vomit on my back'.

Suddenly a black girl came up to me and dropped $20 into the cup.

I was amazed.

'Thank you very much", I said as I gazed up into her ping-pong ball sized eyes.

'It's nothing", she said 'I'm kind of glad to see you. I thought all the rabbits had died on the mountainside.'

 

 

KICKIN IT ON THE FERRY

I felt a lot better.

After people saw that I had a little money in my cup, they all started to give me change.

Mostly pennies, but before much longer I had managed to collect $34.23!

I got on the subway and then got on a ferry.

I was going to Ellis Island!

I have always wanted to go to Ellis Island.

I hear its very moving.

So, yeah.

I just got on this boat and went to Ellis Island.

All-in-all it was a pretty boring boat ride.

Except for this one old lady who kept smoking cigarettes through a hole in her neck.

Oh yeah, and I saw a fish and a bunch of hypodermic needles.

 

 

LEAVING ELLIS ISLAND

Ellis Island wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

There were no massage parlours, video arcades or even a wax museum.

I ended up walking around for an hour until I came across an unlocked door to one of the little theatres where shitty actors put on plays re-enacting the arrival of immigrants to New York at the turn of the century.

On the wall were pictures of immigrants and the props on the stage included a couple of beat up suitcases, some canvas bags, an old hat and pictures of Jewish people and Wops.

Just for kicks, I picked up a suitcase and slung one of the canvas bags over my shoulder.

I began pacing the stage from left to right and moaning like a really sickly east-European immigrant.

'Oh...I'm soooo happeeee to come to Amereeeka', I said, 'in Amereeka all the streets are flowing with buttermilk and grain!'

Suddenly the theatre door swung and a security guard stuck his head inside.

I stopped moving and he looked at me for a second standing there with the suitcase and the canvas bag.

"What the hell you think you're doing?", he asked in an aggravated tone.

'Acting', I said.

'But you don't work here' he said'

Again there was a silence.

"You must be a racist", I stuttered as I put down the suitcase and canvas bag and planned my next move.

"What?", he said.

I didn't answer.

"Get out of here", he said.

I left after that.

 

 

HEY!HEY! IT'S ME! DODI FAYED!

I took another ferry over Liberty Island and decided to go and stand around at the bottom of the statue and yell at people who could afford the entrance price to climb into the thing.

"Hey! Hey there you goddamned creeps!", I screamed at a couple of people on the second level.

"It's me! Dodi Fayeed! I'm not dead! I'm down here!"

One of them looked down at me and dropped a half empty can of Coke over the edge. It landed on the grass and I stared up at the person-awhitelady-and shook my fist.

'When you get down from there I'll be waiting for you bitch! I'm gonna kick your head in."

The woman spit over the edge and laughed. Then she disappeared. Probably to climb up to the crown.

I was getting bored. The statue was okay to look at but after the first few minutes

...it became pretty damn depressing.

So, I walked over to the dock and waited for the next ferry.

As I waited I saw a couple of long haired guys with Statue of Liberty crowns made out of green sponge.

I wanted one so bad.

Those guys were real losers too. Both of them were listening to the same Walkman (two earphone jacks) and one of them was playing 'air guitar' while the other pretended to drum.

I guess the tape ran out after a while because they suddenly stopped and took off their earphones and crowns and started digging through a bag of tapes that they were carrying.

Eventually they agreed on something and put the headphones back on their heads and stuffed the crowns into their back pockets.

As they stood there listening to their crappy tape, I eased up and grabbed one of the crowns from the pocket of the one who had orange freckles all over his face and ears.

And walked casually away. Feeling much better.

 

 

A RABBIT REFLECTS

 

My trip was coming to an end. The rabbit head was dirty and worn. The mesh eyes had started to come undone and the rubber interior smelled from my sweat and the dirt from the streets.

I made my way to the courthouse stairs and sat down to think a while about lessons I'd learned as a rabbit and to consider what lay ahead. For one thing, I really needed to get a job.

Yes, that was priority number one.

Don't get me wrong.

I like my life as Rabbit Jones even though I could have done without the vodka poisoning.

But now, as I felt around in my pocket for my last $1.75, I knew that the life of a rabbit was far from a profitable existence.

I needed to find a job.

Perhaps I would go down to the docks and see if they needed courageous sailors or maybe deck hands or cabaret performers or maybe even exotic dancers.

And, as the shadows of the evening started to creep over the city once again I knew I had to make a decision.

 

I stood up and began to walk. Back to the subway. Back from the direction I came.

And then I saw it. Sitting there in a little shop window somewhere close to the Brooklyn Bridge.

It called to me. It beckoned me.

It grabbed onto my spirit and shook it joyously.

I had to have it. I went into the store.

It cost exactly $1.75.

I could manage that.

So I bought it.

I removed the rabbit head and stuffed it into my jacket.

Picked up my purchase and existed the store.

A new man. A new identity.

Luther...The Beard

The End.

 

Photographs by the one and only Katrin Clouse