With One Foot In The Butterfly Farm
Short Fictions

Paperback: 94 pp.
Published: 2009

Price: $14.95

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Meet the ordinary people who inhabit Louis Daniel Brodsky's neighborhood.

There's the young man who becomes a tree, and the one who, thanks to magical seeds, becomes who he is.

There's the open-heart-surgery patient whose chest cavity becomes the trash receptacle for the operating team.

There's the office worker whose clothes replace him, and another, known by his colleagues as "Earth's most positive person," who wreaks carnage on the workplace.

There's the poet for whom constipation equals writer's block.

There's the Starbucks regular whose sense of civic duty prompts him to share his coffee with an eyesore of a statue.

And from time to time, amidst this everyday parade, Brodsky treats us to a tour of an apartment building that offers its residents an unequaled view of the "other side."

And just what do all these characters have in common? They have one foot in the funny farm, and they're candidates for the butterfly net. In other words, like Brodsky himself, they're folks "with one foot in the butterfly farm."



Apt. 18B—D: Going Down


Though you'd descended, times beyond record, from your eighteenth-story apartment to the lobby or basement parking garage, you couldn't recall ever having heard her voice, those beguiling female articulations emanating from somewhere in the elevator, which abruptly arrived at your floor, opened its doors, and beckoned you to enter.

"Going down."

Curiously, her two words struck you as ominous.

Were you losing your gourd? Had she always been riding the elevator, with you? Who was she? Of what origin? What did she look like?

The doors shut, like the lids of a giant clamshell.

"Going down," she repeated. You held your breath, hoping the car wasn't the Titanic.

Then, you were in a limbo of controlled free fall, that hiatus when your hands grip the rails, your ears listen for aberrant sounds, and you pray that, having placed yourself in fate's hands, you'll once again be spared a lethal plunge — a squashing of your guts, in a trash compactor.

"Lobby. Going up."

Safe! Safe again! You stepped out, onto the maze of green runner, into the forsythia-yellow halls, and headed for the mailboxes.

But before you could open 18 B–D's, with your Schlage key, the excruciatingly obese building manager, Edie, spilled over into your space, caught you up short, eager to engage you, in conversation. You winced.

"Sorry to bother you, Mr. Intravenous, but would you mind if I ask you something?"

Before you could say yes, she barged ahead.

"I'm taking a poll of the residents as to what everyone thinks about the voice."

            "The what?" you mumbled, genuinely perplexed.

"The new lady we installed in all three elevators."

"Oh, her . . . she . . . them . . . whoever. She's sexy."

            "Excuse me? That's my voice, a recording."

You bit your tongue, wondering what to say next, how to conceal your blush (you'd turned second-degree red). Edie Sphinx flushed.

"Mr. Intravenous! Really!"

For the next three weeks, you trudged up and down the eighteen flights of stairs.

But every day, on returning home from work, exiting the fire-escape well, you found a fresh rose, in a bud vase, by your door.






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