The Confession of Cindy Lou Who
Last night Thing 1 and Thing 2 agreed to withdraw from public view after attempting to smuggle hurtful and wrong images across the border of my consciousness. I knew they’d been there because when I awoke, I felt fear and confusion.
I got dressed. I wore my pants backwards, 1960s Allan Kaprow style, just to show that the pandemic hadn’t got me down. That I’m avant-garde, even now. I went out for newspapers and a cup of coffee from the corner deli and returned home. Though the pandemic was waning, it had not ended, and there was nowhere else to go. CDC recommendations, you know.
I found my usual place on the couch and sat in awkward communion with myself, the coffee cup warming my hand. I glanced at the newspaper. There it was, in black and white: Seuss Enterprises was planning to do away with Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Do away with them? You mean expunge them? But … wouldn’t that change human nature as we know it?
Oh no, shouted the chorus, forget that old crap!
I confess I had a lazy attachment to human nature. But alas, the world had grown up, or at least moralistic, and it was time to put away childish things.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 fade from view
A giddy feeling pulsed through my body. Some coffee slopped on my leg. A memory rose and then eluded me. It was very frustrating. Why must they cancel Thing 1 and Thing 2?
Oh no, roared the chorus, nothing’s been cancelled, no one is banned. The Things have rightfully faded from view. What horrors they’ve caused—a change long overdue!
I thought it must be a joke. A wave of resentment rose, but I pushed it down. Sure, they would come back—as soon as they could, if I knew my Things. So I went along with the joke and coughed up a laugh as I thought of the death of Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Boy, was I due for a laugh! The pandemic would peter-pan out very soon—what more could possibly go wrong?
But somehow my inner child was not amused—the creature I thought of as “Winston,” who’d been with me ever since I’d read 1984. And now Winston refused to laugh! I admonished him, told him how important it was—how much depended on everyone getting the joke, or seeming to. He just groaned sadly as though I were the hangman with his smug crew.
“Winston,” I nudged, ever so slyly, “what harm can it do? Laughter’s recommended, if done when it’s due.”
But Winston was stubborn—the bastard refused! So I shoved him head-first down the memory hole tube. For a moment I feared the downdraft might drag me along, but then my guts lurched, and I struggled. I managed to pull back and save myself.
Poor Winston. We’d been together for years. Not a couple, exactly, but close. Bonded, enmeshed, ball and chain—call it what you will.
No matter. Nothing lasts forever. And what is there to mourn, anyway? Winston was a bigot.
What, you hadn’t heard? Good lord, where have you been? He was as bad as they come.
Even so, I wonder what’s going to replace him. I feel an empty space, a cavern that’s opened in my soul. But it’s no use. He got what he deserved, right?
Excuse me a moment—I hear knocking. There’s someone at the door. Don’t go anywhere!