I can’t snap snap snap my fingers, drum drum my hands on my leg, tap tap my toes toes click click my teeth with a yellow Ticonderoga
I can’t cluck cluck cluck my tongue off the roof of my mouth, or pretend whistle or bob bob my head to an internal song nor wiggle my ears to a good Klezmer tune or rap song
I can’t blink can’t blink SOS in Morse code as I did as a youngster pretending that I was calling for help help help but I can silently say “Help is on the way” as I’m waiting for the light to change so I can cross the street and the walk sign comes on just as I say “way” and sometimes I have to speed it up—Help is on the wayHelp is on the wayHelpisontheway Help or adjust it while pretending that this is the only way that help is really onnnn the waaay.
After all these years I found the way to code my world so it’s detectable by the only other person who’s been fighting his way past the soldiers guards adjunct professors Republicans white supremacists Socialists Scientologists and the Frum Jews with their fur hats being watched ever-so-closely by the never suspected Lutherans
When I scrunch my toes standing or sitting with one leg crossed over the other or at attention or parade rest or pigeon-toed duck walking skipping and skipping and skipping’s such a lost art no longer taught or utilized in middle or high school
The different meaning in each
meaning different in each
After all these years having perfected the walking and scrunching Or The running and scrunching sending scrunch signals to the others belonging to or in or waiting to join the need for help club but unable to Show How the call for assistance or The ability to point out the problem solution to just the One Person I’m trying to contact which will keep me safe
Without the private police or higher-ranking meter maids and toll collectors picking up on it
with each test passed I’ll be Home Free and 3 Home Frees equals a Hotel and I’ll be untouchable as long as I contain inward my self-satisfied look my fist pump my heel clicks knuckle cracking and humming—out loud or worse yet and more telling–silent-self-satisfying humming to myself while keeping beat with my toe scrunching and ear wiggling.
Paul Beckman’s latest flash collection, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press) was a finalist for the 2019/2020 Indie Book Awards. Some of his stories appeared in Spelk, Connotation Press, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, WINK, Jellyfish Review, and The Lost Balloon.
Watch and listen to Paul Beckman read CodeCode My World on our Flash A / V page.