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An Account of the Terribleness of Robinson Crusoe by His Man Friday

by Mike Itaya

 

1
He never. Never.

2
Except “The One Time” did wash the goddamn coconut cups. And then he’s like, “Friday, this domesto-scene is 1650’s stale.”

3
And: “Don’t crack my coconuts.” “Don’t crack my coconuts.”

4
His response. To everything. Like, “Robinson Crusoe, don’t set fire to my blanket.” “Robinson Crusoe, don’t eat all the coconut bread.” “Robinson Crusoe, put your trousers on.”

5
He says: “Bros before clothes.”

6
Plus: “I’m randy” instead of “I’m dandy.” When neither was appropriate. But both were true.

7
Robinson Crusoe gets real Anglo-saccharine during a certain hour of night. Runs like a river about his woman, Shaylene.

8
At the big send off in England, Shaylene told R.C., “I’ll wait for you forever, baby. You know, hypothetically speaking.”

9
And I’m just saying, you know, hypothetically speaking, that doesn’t sound too good.

10

I think Robinson Crusoe has a hypothetical girlfriend.

11
He got so choked up he carved a coconut “likeness” of Shaylene.

12
And I’ll be 100% honest, even accounting for scanty talents, that “likeness” looked like a real goddamn piece of shit.

13
When he showed it to me, it was a big-time, spooky fright. R.C. was like, “Behold! ‘The Shaylene.’”

14
And me: “Wow.”

15
But it gets worse. It always gets worse.

16
His pity-parties. R.C. upending palm liquor. But when one of his sexy locks falls over his brow, I feel the pale moon tango across my heart.

17
I think I want to live on this island forever.

18
Just saying: there are worse looking people.

19
And R.C. starts humming George Benson’s “Love X Love.”

20
What if I need “Love X Love” with this motherfucker?

21
But hypothetically, what would you believe?

22
Would you believe a man could lose the world to find it again?

23
Would you believe him if he promised to return?

24
Would you believe if he promised to never leave?

 

Mike Itaya lives in southern Alabama, where he works in a library. His work appears or is forthcoming in New Orleans Review, Superstition Review, and Four Way Review, among others. He studies fiction at Pacific University and is a member of the arts collective, Mobile Canon.

 

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What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “An Account of the Terribleness of Robinson Crusoe by His Man Friday”?

This flash came out of a class with Kathryn Kulpa. Other writers, like Jen Michalski (during the Barrelhouse conference) helped out with edits. So did listening to George Benson. If you have not heard “Love X Love” by George Benson, I recommend you check it out.

News

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

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