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Fear of Metaphor
by Vincent Barry

. . . I know, I know, déclassé but that’s what she said. A neighbor, I guess. I don’t know. I just moved in. Well not just, some months ago, actually. For the tax benefit. My accountant said my old place wasn’t “producing enough milk.” Can you imagine? Exactly! Like I’m a dairy farmer.  Who wouldn’t be flummoxed to learn their house wasn’t “producing enough milk”? Well, naturally I asked her—or, naturally, I asked her—what she meant. “Your house,”—get this—“Your house,” my accountant goes, and I quote, “is a milk dud.” Well, I was naturally alarmed— or,  naturally, I was alarmed . . . Did I mention I wasn’t having fun anymore? that my life had become—what? a bore? that I was like-like, well, George Sanders?  Exactly! the famous movie star whose suicide note read: “I’m bored.” That’s how I was when my accountant said, “You  own a milk dud.” Not that I was thinking suicide, minja, but when she said that, my accountant, I was George Sanders bored. But, and here’s the thing, my boredom lifted when she said I needed a “Holstein.” No, no, I’m not kidding you. Now, me, I have no lit. background or anything fancy-schmancy like that, but let’s  just say I know, indeed pride myself on knowing that— exactly! Moby Dick is more than a big fish! Exactly! So, I thought naturally—or, naturally, I thought,—“Holstein” is my bottomline. Holsteinwill reduce my taxes. So, I bought one, a “Holstein,” an expensive new house in an expensive new development, on Hope Lane, which, as we speak, I am returning to, from a walk, a very long walk, because I missed Hope Court, which cuts over to Hope Road from Hope Lane. Why I missed Hope-Hope whatever, I don’t know. Probably something I should mention at my next Wellness Visit, though. Anyway, next thing I know, I’m on—well, frankly, I’m not sure, but certainly well below Hope, my Hope, I mean. So up I truck, which I don’t really mind, minja, because I figure it will help my Afib, which my last VW picked up. WV I mean. And not a moment too soon at that. I mean if it weren’t for Eliquis--y’know, that fancy-schmancy blood thinner--who knows?  TG—exactly! Thank God for Bristol Myers Squibb. Anyway, yada yada, I come to a—get this— Badmuddy. Well, I naturally think—or naturally, I think: Where am I? Australia’s outback? Not that I’ve been there—to the outback of Australia, I mean, but I’m thinking, I don’t know why, Badmuddy has to cross Hope. So, y’know, being Down Under, so to say, I naturally head up, and up, till eventually I glimpse my milk cow when presto! she appears like the proverbial apparition from the beyond. “Hello,” I sigh, expecting in return, y’know, a civil, “Hi!” or a surprised, “Oh!" But nothing. Just a grunt, “Constipated!” I know, I know, as I say, déclassé “More fiber? . . . Water?” Then for neighborly good measure, I cast after her a breathless, “Magnesium, perhaps?” With bobbing head she tiptoes off like a wet hen down Badmuddy, leaving me frozen in fear, a fulsome, irrational fear, of metaphor. . . . Definitely something I need to bring up at my next VW. . . .