4:26AM : Troubled dreams. No sleep. Toss, turn. Aches, pains. What is happening 2 me?
5:03AM : I feel like I'm sleeping in a carapace. I'd kill for a Tempurpedic mattress.
6:01AM : I awake from troubled dreams into troubled life. Oy, again?
7:12AM : Is it me or is my entire family slathered in insect-repellant? And when did Black Flag get into the scented candle business?
7:34AM : I hear my parents talking about me as if I'm not here. What's a "roach motel?"
7:46AM : WOTFS!*
8:07AM : "U can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar," Pop says, intent unclear. Whatever, I'm starving and a nice, fat Diptera Psyhcodidae sounds pretty good 2 me; I've always dug 2-winged head-cases and now I'm simply ravenous for them. But 4 breakfast?
8:26AM : I'm so lonely I could scream. But I can't. I used 2 be able 2 say, "I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit and on that slitted sheet I sit" 3 times fast w/o mistakes but now I can't even express a phoneme much less a syllable.
9:03 : Fight w/Mom. The network of pheromone trails I laid down on walls, floor, ceiling and her side of the bed has upset her. Was it necessary 2 scour all with bleach? How does she expect anyone to find me?
9:05AM : I've left home. It was that or becoming slime on the bottom of Mom's shoe. Y does she hate me so much?
11:14AM : I crawl these means streets in search of social intercourse. I've given up on the other. How would you feel if your partner tried 2 kill you with a sharp axial appendage during afterplay?
11:15AM : Where do I find these nut jobs?
11:19AM : Under rocks.
11: 20AM : Note to self: avoid rocks, sleep under stars. Scarlet Johansson would be nice.
12:04PM : Oh joy! Oh rapture! I have found a colony of like-bodied folks just like me. But I sense something sinister afoot or, more accurately, a-sticky pad
12:59PM : I'm being followed. I can't see anybody but I know, I can feel them.
1:23PM : They're out there, I know it.
1:47PM : They're hanging on my every thought. Constantly. Sucking the goo from my brain and swallowing it, one tiny bolus after another after another. Why, oh why am I being tormented so?
2:13PM : Whoops, my mistake: I'm sending out signals through the rabbit ears on my head. Mea culpa! I loathe myself but only halfway. Sure, it's not enough but half a loathe is better than none.
2:28PM : I'm trying, I'm trying!
2:43PM : Success! I now completely abhor the very thought of me.
Why? President Obama has 100,000,000 hits on Google; me, none. I am such an underachiever I don't even rate the underachiever Top Ten.
3:41PM : Must stop thinking. Thinking leads 2 thoughts and we know what thoughts lead 2: signal broadcasts!
4:19PM : Still being followed. My followers have grown into an army but who the hell are these strangers and why are they bugging me?
4:21PM : Alright, already, I'm sorry: Why am I bugging them?
4:52PM : Multi-lensed eyes: I can read so fast, now! I run across the lines of text and just absorb them. I read War n' Peace in 4 minutes flat. Fell asleep between the lines and almost missed the short, French guy's retreat. (Comprehension has suffered).
4:57PM : ...Attention span, 2. Often, I begin 2 read and the next thing I know I'm wandering all over the page, aimlessly. My textual orientation is all mixed up.
5:11PM : Yikes! First edition of Der Verwandlung (1915) selling for $14,000; Der Prozess (1925) for $1800. I earned bupkis. Where were these damned book collectors when I needed them?
5:12PM : Identity crisis! I have become a bookworm.
6:03PM : I engage in marginal worming, not affecting text. But the word "paranoia" looks tasty; I smell dessert.
8:17PM : "Funny, you don't look chewish" - just what are you trying to say, what do you mean, who told you to say that?
9:32PM : Having completely digested five of ten volumes of the complete works of Poe (Tamerlane Edition, limited to 300 numbered sets printed on delicious Ruisdael hand-made paper), I have now distended to 1000 times my original, post-human size.
9: 55PM : Having completely digested the final 5 volumes of Poe, I am now back 2 my original, human size. I look remarkably fit and am feeling my old self again.
10PM : Suicidal ideation!
10:16PM : Someone is trying 2 kill me: Me. I'm out to get me. Or am I being irrationally afraid, perceiving threats where none exist? Is that a gun in my pocket or am I just sad 2 see me?
10:18 : My followers - Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. I need my audience to affirm my existence. I'm a 'skeeter on a scum pond.
10:59PM : Rumblings in the boiler room; time 2 lose the Poe.
11:03PM : Hey, get outta here, all 10,000 of ya, wherever you are. Can't you see I'm trying 2 take, uh...Just leave. Now.
11:04PM : Another 5,000 followers. What am I, Mr. Popularity?
11:06PM : Was it as good for you as it was for me? I love Poe.
11:22PM : "Get one yourself" is not an appropriate response to "get a life."
11:59PM : The world is closing in on me. I can't take it anymore. I wriggle up the steps, all six feet, one inch of me, stand up tall, wipe the loam off all of my svelte segments, and ring the doorbell.
12Midnight : "Hi, Mom, it's me, Franz. I'm home! Set a few extra places at the table. I've brought all 15,000 of my followers home for dinner. Aren't you glad to see me? Mom? MOM!?"
*Writhing On The Floor Squealing
Originally appeared in Fine Books & Collections on this date.