I Confess: I Killed Thing 1 and Thing 2

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Thing 1 and Thing 2 as they escape my consciousness

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 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 moral, 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, and 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 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 looked through me as though I was the hangman and 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 just a moment—I hear knocking. There’s someone at the door. Don’t go anywhere—I’ll be right back!

Cindy Lou Who

Cindy Lou Who as she confesses


Sarah Relyea

Sarah Relyea is the author of Playground Zero, a novel set in Berkeley in the 1960s. Playground Zero is published by She Writes Press.

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