“The duty of lovers is to tarnish the golden rule.” — Leonard Cohen, “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong”

Sloth spoke aloud in his sleep. Tremors contorting darkness. Shit he shouldn’t say. Jokes no one should ever verbalize…or allow to creep about their subconscious. Kicking habit, too. Like a li’l child. Bedwetting toddler. His wife, Love, had no recourse. But who enjoys having the same fight over and…always, “Never again.” Nobody.

“Them doctors don’t know why.”

“I need it to stop. It’s triggering my night terrors.”

“Triggering?” Sloth inquired, agony dripping all over their bed, groping for the requisite pistol beneath pillow…a disquieting lump now forgotten. “Triggering, you say? I’ll show you triggering.”

Off he hopped into midnight, slammed the trailerhome’s door. Love laid back down, readying her alibi thru a quietude of tears only stained by their coupe’s pealing out.

Vroom to his gen physician’s gated neighborhood. Passing over apartment buildings with lamb’s blood smeared above entrances…a superhighway under construction: a feast of lights creeping thru suburbia, soon to crash into…

Shoot the scientists: mindfully, a holly jolly hymn.

Sloth knew the code, having memorized it when he had just the once been granted entrance to a masquerade ball located even deeper in the gated neighborhood.

Cookie, let’s cut up these houses. No personality, no history. Malaise as conformity.

He halted a block away. Hop-hopped-hopping fences, skirting pools…swooning over his doctor’s big enough for camping backyard.

The tellytube had been left on; its brightness poked the night. A bathroom break, presumably—but…cacophonous violence: Sovereign Texan propaganda. Sloth slipped inside, locking the door behind him. He waited.

A figure in the doorway. “That you, Phil?”

“Fuck your pills,” Sloth yawped over an onscreen explosion.

A shot. Another. Both muffled by the finest in surround sound technology.

Switch to commercial… still hear the laughter of the dead.