ONE STORY ABOUT HOME TOLD TEN TIMES OVER by @davedittell

 

Hancock-homestead-settler 

Author’s Note: Each of these ten stories has been directly inspired by the suggestions of Twitter users donating to The Autism Society as a part of the Too Many Tweeters charity event.

Information on The Autism Society and the Too Many Tweeters charity event can be found here:

http://www.autism-society.org/

And here:

http://nightoftoomanytweeters.tumblr.com

 

1. Traveling Petting Zoo

suggested by @TheTimmyToes

At every stop, as the train car door first opens but before his eyes adjust to the invasion of the light, Jumbo the Elephant imagines. He imagines home, that vast plane stretching out invitingly before him, his family and children traipsing just ahead, waiting for him to finally catch up after all this time. He imagines freedom, the freedom to wander, to roam, to eat of leaves high above instead of grains thrown at the ground below and to feel fresh cool water flow upon his back from the labor of his own trunk rather than the blasting of tepid liquid from a dirty hose held by a man still half drunk from the night before. He imagines a life he remembers less and less clearly every year, every month, every stop, every ride given to another human child who will never understand what goes on behind the small frightened eyes that right now, right at this very moment, are adjusting to the invasion of the light of another small town that isn’t, and never could be, home.

 

2. A Cat and Dog Are Best Friends

suggested by @tourettzgoth

I see he’s walking out there again, walking right on by with his tail wagging and big dumb tongue out just like he always does. Look over you stupid idiot I’m right here, I’m right here waiting for you exactly where I always am in this ridiculous little window. I know you can smell me and hear me and taste me and I know you remember that time – remember that time? – when you ran from the simpleton who takes you on your piss walks and came right on up to this window and stuck your big gross nose against it and I placed my paw delicately and elegantly there, on the same damn spot, and it was almost like we were touching and were friends and were happy and then he – he, he, he, he, HE – pulled you stupidly, ignorantly away. Please, please just look, look over you idiot, look back just once more.

 

3. Pooping On A Train

suggested by @i_eat_fruit

There’s no shit like that forced, desperate last shit before arriving back in your home town, a shit so strained and artificial it sets the tone for your entire holiday, school break, funeral weekend, or whatever the fuck brought you back to this rancid pile of discarded fish heads disguised as a place worth dying in. The spasmodic back-and-forth movement jerks your insides into a landslide of foul travel food detritus leaving behind a lingering residue no cheap one ply could ever hope to fully dislodge. And when your next shit comes, that first shit back home, that odd simulacrum of shits fondly but vaguely remembered, well it just doesn’t seem as bad compared to this one and finally you can accept that all things change with time. Your town, yourself, the regularity of your bowel movements are all slaves to the same cruel progression of time that not only corrupts and destroys but also promises, ever so dangerously and ever so tantalizingly, an escape just ahead.

 

4. Ham Sandwiches

suggested by @pleatedjeans

Bread, toasted; mustard one side; ham and then the cheese. That one’s for little Jenny. Bread, plain; mustard both sides; ham and then the cheese. That one’s for Timmy. Bread, plain; hold the mustard; cheese and then ham and then more cheese and some more cheese and some more. That one’s for Sarah, your … anyway, she’s the resident cheese lover so quadruple the cheese for dear Sarah. Remember when she made you guys try out that new fondue place? Forty dollars for some bread dipped into cheese, you couldn’t believe it! So you place the sandwiches on the counter but don’t call out, you just stare, you don’t even remember how long you stare for just like how sometimes you don’t even remember how long it’s been since you last saw dear Sarah and little Jenny and that rambunctious Timmy. You just stare and stare and stare until eventually the day is done and you don’t know how. The chocolate fondue dessert was pretty good though, huh?

 

5. Skylanders Meets Avengers

suggested by @Plaardotheach

Greetings young portal master, I have been waiting for you. I am Eon, your guide in this world whoa whoa whoa is that the Hulk? Iron Man?!?! I uh, well, this is Skylands. I guess it’s probably not much to heroes like you. You like it? Really? Thank you, yes, it is an ancient world of wonder and – I’m sorry, but could I just, like, ask you for an autograph. I’m totally fanboying, aren’t I? Get it together, Eon, you’re the greatest of the portal masters. No autographs? Oh that’s cool, no problem. Oh yeah just take a look around. Feel free to roam around and– okay, looks like you’ve made yourself at home. I’ll just be here if you need me. Do you need me? Oh I thought you looked at me. You know what, just nevermind, it’s cool, I don’t even need to feel needed anyway.

 

6. Minecraft/Pacman/Beyblade Mashup

suggested by @Plaardotheach

Tyson and the Bladebreakers were very lost. They had long ago given up on finding the Beyblade tournament they had set out for and instead just wanted to leave this land of blocks: wood blocks and water blocks, stone blocks and blocks of grass, blocks as far as the eye can see. They wanted to return to their own world, one made of discrete objects and not of blocks, but what was this blocky object before them now – large and brown, twisting and turning upon itself. Was it… a pretzel? Was that a cherry? A bell? And that must have been… no, no, that couldn’t have been the sun. No, that giant yellow blocky circle was something else indeed and it was coming right for them, chomping up everything in its path, and in the face of such an enormous monster a life of friends and competitions and blading with their rivals suddenly felt so, so very distant.

 

7. The Most Awkward “Sex Talk” Between a Father and Son

suggested by @OtherDanOBrien

Son, take a seat. There’s something we need to talk about. No, no, stay in your seat, please. You see, when a man loves a woman, or a man loves a man, or a woman loves a woman for that matter, and a few other combinations I’ve read about but don’t fully understand, certain things happen. Please, don’t get up, this is serious. The man, you see, this man, he fills himself with, with, with doubt and fear and self-loathing and yes sure, maybe a few other kinder, gentler things that keep him going day to day but that’s not the point here. The point is, he puts up walls, walls he didn’t even know he had that exist only to protect the very things he most wishes to lose. What? Why, his loneliness and alienation of course. Please, stop, stay, you can’t escape this by walking out on it, son, I promise you, I promise you that path you walk on that starts with those very steps out that door won’t be any different than the one I’ve been on. But perhaps, son, if you can still hear me and things do go differently and you find a way around or under or over those walls, perhaps you can return and talk to an old man like me about what it’s really like out there

 

8. Delaware

suggested by @wmfox

The highest point in Delaware is only 450 feet above sea level and sits less than a yard from the Pennsylvania state line. It’s just possible to imagine, as one heads out toward it past the boxy blandness of Concord High School, the powerful, slightly tipsy men of the past, their ridiculous wigs in their suspiciously clean hands, drawing the state lines as a gag and laughing at the aptness of this point, now known as the Ebright Azimuth, of how it leads one to look afar while simultaneously concealing with its slightly conspicuous highness just where the boundaries of “out there” lie, of providing the smallest possible hurdle to the exit of a populace with absolutely no plans to ever do so. You can find by this otherwise unremarkable and unobtrusive point an old radio tower, a real eyesore built and abandoned by Western Union long ago, an excellent spot to climb up, have a few beers, and get a bit broader view of your current surroundings.

 

9. What Actions Will Soon-To-Be President Dave Dittell Take as the First Libertarian to Win the Office of POTUS in 2016

suggested by @AnemoneOh

When one owns property, one has certain responsibilities: upkeep, taxes, neighborly behavior. Some of my critics feel I am against such “societal obligations,” but this is not so. Why, just look at how I handle my own home. When guests arrive, I take pride in being a good host. I make them feel welcome and comfortable – I put aside my stacks of newspapers no matter how valuable they might end up being in the future, dump the kitty litter out the window alongside any stray kitty turds or kitties that have gone forever sleepy bye bye, and put out the good napkins from Arby’s and not the cheap ones I hate from McDonald’s. As your next President this is exactly this sense of ownership, pride, and, as I call it, 21st century libertarianism that I plan to instill in this great nation [pause for four year long standing ovation].

 

10. A Stream of Blithering Nonsense

suggested by @Home_Halfway

Stop

Imagine

HomeFamilyChildren

Wait

Remember

FrightenedDumbWaitingSmellHearTasteKnow

Remember

Remember

YouRanAgainstFriendsHappyAwayForcedDesperateDyingHomeRemember

Accept

ChangeCorruptDestroyEscapeRememberTryBelieveRememberRemember

Waiting

WonderSorryNeedLostGivenUpLeaveReturn

Monster

Friends

Distant

TalkUnderstandDoubtFearWallsWallsProtectWishLoseStop

Escape

Walls

Imagine

PowerfulLaughingBoundariesResponsibilitiesObligationsHomePrideComfortForeverBye

Bye

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