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Yours rhetorically, Cold Blue Monster

What I really meant to prove to you was that I could mimic perfect order

By Alix McMurrayPublished 3 months ago 6 min read
Credit: BWFolsom via istockphoto standard license

Every night at midnight, the purple clouds came out to dance with the blushing sky. Well, they did, anyway, until Cold Blue Monster used rhetoric to argue himself out of love. He should have left those purple clouds to speak for him. He knew Meena was crazy about them, but C.B.M. has a hard time leaving well enough alone. Now everybody’s still trying to get over the whole thing. But you’ve got to hand it to C.B.M.—he is just as persuasive as he is tragic.

C.B.M. argues for the immediate concretization of all logos in blood.

“The woman I love shall create her own Rorschach blots by her menstrual stains, which she fully intends!"

“I will sculpt a wife from the blood and mud I’ve collected in my Book of Days!"

“See how easy it is? No further analysis is necessary!” (C.B.M. cuts himself with a broken wine glass, and paints a smiley face onto the dish soap bubbles.)

“Buddha was the Smiley Face of the 90s. Go ahead and love your logos!”

C.B.M. finds that he is gaining weight, and attributes it all to a single, fateful plate of pasta.

“I have gained this entire 40 pounds from that enormous plate of pasta you set out for me in October, Meena—don’t you remember it? You’ve only yourself to blame!"

“I am immune to your conventions, whereas I am the archeologist of your breadcrumbs!"

“I have been carrying this piece of gelatin in my pocket all these years since my days as a dishwasher in Greenwich Village. This piece of gelatin holds all the secrets of the universe and there is nothing you can say, Meena, that can possibly dissuade me from that fact!”

C.B.M. picks too many apples and forgets them in the garage.

“Meena! We’ll teach the saplings to answer to their own names and to water themselves!”

A bear trap shoots out of C.B.M.’s mouth and clamps Meena on the arm for emphasis.

“Let’s get drunk and make pies all night! The leftovers will compost themselves.”

Meena slips off to bed after Monster passes out. In the morning, she enters the composting kitchen to find it swarming with ants. She cries, “Monster! Ants!”

C.B.M. continues drinking his black coffee, swallowing the ants along with it.

“Just old dinosaurs falling into the tar of time, Meena,” he says, hiccupping vaporously, insouciant of his smeared clown makeup.

C.B.M. watches enviously while those closest to him reinvent themselves.

“I developed an extra personality during an asthma attack, while walking through a gallery in Florence. I’ll never set foot in a gallery again! If I so much as walk into a gallery, I’ll suffocate and die, so don’t invite me!”

“Remember the shroud of Turin is made of cotton, and so is a home movie screen. I’ll just wither up and fade into a mere stain on the screen if you don’t think of me every day, just remember that! Burn me into your memory, Meena, if you can!”

C.B.M. tries to write a love poem that he later tears up.

“I made you three boxes of sticks. You thought I meant them as kindling for the fire, but what I really meant to prove to you was that I could mimic perfect order.”

“It always worried me when the lower left quadrant of your left breast became sore for no reason.”

“You are a pearl diver.”

“We click to different clocks.”

C.B.M. experiences firsthand the roles of thesis and antithesis, but gets stuck on the synthesis part.

“I am writing in support of the hermit who lives in the house next door. That house was abandoned after the owner cut down six perfectly healthy trees, then shot himself. Afterwards, the hermit moved in, and mold began growing on the walls. This hermit studies the mold, keeping a meticulous log of its growth, change, and decay. If I invite him to dinner, perhaps he’ll teach me how to grow mold without having to shoot myself first.”

C.B.M. makes himself sick when he realizes he has fallen out of love.

As a prank, C.B.M. puts a chocolate kiss in a wonton wrapper and boils it in the soup. Sadly, this gives him no pleasure because it merely reminds him of a rodent turd he once found in a cafeteria salad while studying at university.

As he crosses the street, C.B.M. gets a waft of an odor as though a garbage truck had just recently driven by. That wafting odor is what he smelled when he woke up this morning to find himself still alive. He realizes that this is the precise moment when he fell out of love with Meena.

C.B.M. gets stuck on some doggerel and gives up.

Dandelion wine, dandelion dust

A potpourri of neglected seed, left to

Blow and ravage in the blind corners of love....

C.B.M. stubs his toe on his own archetype.

"My spirit brother is the Centaur, a cowboy who needs no horse."

“I’ll lie down naked in the driveway, Meena. You can pour differently colored paint on me, then photograph the results. I’ll be your art!”

“I am the Ultimate Schismatic Man brandishing the Sword of Human Loneliness (that is my phallus).”

“I will wander disconsolately in search of my mother and force you to witness it.”

C.B.M. finds the root of his torment in a haiku.

"I was never a butterfly!" (C.B.M. slams his fist down on the dining table.)

“When the icicle on that bare tree branch thaws and drops--ping! My time is up! I’ll have to bury myself in the cold ground. When you try to water my head as it’s jutting up among your flowers, you’ll finally have had enough and pluck me right out of the dirt—my home—as if I were a mere weed in your orderly garden.”

“You see, Meena, I never had a mouth with which to sing—you fed me those songs!”

“I am nothing but a bleeding blue moth who alights on pumpkins, injects poison into them, and turns them into foul liquid. Then the liquid soaks into the ground, feeding the larva who will themselves hatch into more bleeding blue moths.”

Monster chews up his last mouthful of coffee, ants, and coffee mug, swallows it down, and never speaks again.


About the Creator

Alix McMurray

Come join me hanging out with the Dodo Bird on the beach, waiting for the odd chupacabra, or chasing shadows into corners. And you can read about my life as a therapist on

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (2)

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  • JD Pernoste and Anneliese Dahl3 months ago

    Surreal and very amusing. I loved it. Pernoste

  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    This was absolutely entertaining! It was like watching a bizarre animated short on comedy central. I laughed out loud at him eating the coffee mug. C.B.M What a character! Great take on the challenge! Hearted and subscribed.

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