It will work this time.
It has to.
I’ve spent the better part of 19 hours crafting this mural on bedrock,
and three full days before that,
laying pavement, redirecting the winding desert road,
so it ends abruptly at the foot of my masterpiece:
a rock wall, painted to look like a tunnel,
an optical illusion, a way out.
But there is no way out of here.
(shouting) My name is Wile E. Coyote!
And I am so fucking hungry,
inexplicably stuck in this lifeless desert!
My only companion, a mindless blue bird
who I’m forever doomed to chase, to whom all laws of the universe
bend then break.
This is my existence,
compulsively ordering one ridiculous contraption after another,
even though I am onto the people at Acme:
I know you are fucking with me!
I am always a flight suit or a working magnet
or a lit wick short of supper,
and I deserve it!
I have left my imprint all over this desert!
I’ve been pancaked, incinerated, run over, diced, and buried.
I have accepted my failure with only simple signs,
pulled from invisible back pockets,
begging for your empathy,
as if it will cushion what comes next!
And whoever fancies themself my maker
was cruel enough to imbue upon me the knowledge
of how things are supposed to be.
Rockets fire upon ignition.
Rocks roll when the pull is great enough against them.
The trajectory of catapults is not arbitrary.
Predators catch prey!
Can you imagine how it feels,
your best-laid plans crumbling around you,
peering into the mouth of fate,
only to have it blow up in your face.
It’s enough to make you wonder
if it’s better to be a perfect physical specimen
than it is to be bright,
if all the time you spent lost in thought has been a waste,
when all along it’s been easier to just run!
I am a super genius,
and I can’t capture a flightless bird who grins as I drool for his flesh.
I keep at it as if the next bow will fire the arrow
instead of me,
as if the poisoned bird seed will somehow end up in his mouth
instead of mine!
It is the curse of an addict to chase the thing that destroys you.
And until you’ve done it,
until you’ve launched yourself off a thousand foot cliff
for that thing that you love,
you will never understand the gravity of my plight.
This is it, the culmination of my mania,
this fake fucking tunnel is the best I can do!
And when the dust settles, I will stand firmly on red sand,
his broken blue neck clenched between my teeth.
This time, it will work!
It has to.
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