Nathan Shapperd was a clean slate.
Normality embraced him like
a friendly pair of silk underwear.
It was hard to go wrong with him,
he was so consistent.
Never deviant from his own norm,
a perfect little ball of bland perfection,
a living testament to what Americans could be
if they acted like Americans.
Friendly and generous.
and a surefire provider.
A sparkling slice of white bread,
never to be eaten.
Comfortable behind the wheel
of a mega-sized shopping cart,
a mega-sized SUV,
and a John Deere mower.
A smile the size of a grapefruit quarter.
in the basement,
a creature lived
who knew the secret to Nathan’s being.
It was his wife.
His wife, the subwoofer.
When she spoke,
she sounded like East side Detroit at midnight,
a deep thumping and humming
felt vibrating the bones of all the neighbors.
Nate glued her to the concrete floor
using some spackle
he picked up at the Home Depot.
He wouldn’t let her leave,
especially since she knew what he did at night,
when the late late late late show surrendered
to the infomercial
and the purple void seeped in through the crooked blinds.
She would bellow out to him:
It’s not the looks we go for,
it’s the personality.
You men are afraid of other good-lookin’ guys,
but who you should really be afraid of
are guys with character.
And a sense of humor.
She talked softly,
but she boomed.
The hardwood floor beneath him shook and creaked.