The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Things to Do in Your Basement

Holly Smith

Probe nefarious websites. While I can in no way promote this activity in my own basement (given the obvious legal repercussions), this is your basement. And let's be honest: if you're that uncomfortable with me using your computer, my friend, why didn't you sense something was awry when I lifted your password last week?

Indulge similarly in other felonious genres. No, those aren't footsteps. I realize you're nervous, but does it always have to be about you?

Orate, orate, orate. Intrigued by Demosthenes filling his mouth with pebbles and screaming across the sea, allow me a brief foray into the harder sciences. Ram these wintergreen Velamints in your mouth while I crank up "Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Gershwin Songbook." Now convince me that conspiracy theorists have no choice but to embrace a three-party form of government. And don't phone it in.

Heimlich. Go ahead and stay slumped over the ottoman while I place my fists just under your sternum and proceed to deliver a series of short, upward thrusts.

Damn Velamints.

Continue taking slow, deep breaths; I'll leaf through this spiral full of poetry from your spiritually wounded period. Oh? Well you should've thought of that before parading it right here under this loose floorboard. How does one's heart "smolder turgidly," anyway?

Sip your water and I'll see where those sirens are coming from. You're right, they are getting closer.

Feet approach. Feet look official.

Come on, how many years have we been buddies? Of course I won't abandon you to the suburban Gestapo!

Note to self: revisit honesty issues.

Avoid eye contact and slip out the side door, leaving you — still twitchy from asphyxia — to woo the authorities. But first, as penance, I pause to embrace a righteous, though fleeting, sense of remorse.

Redemption is mine.

Curse those incriminating high resolution pixels, the Glock, and the blow. In my retreat, and solely on your behalf, I cast silent aspersions on mandatory minimums.

I flee.

Emery boarding my fingerprints into unrecognizable smears, squirreled away safely at no fixed address, I reflect on my largely circumstantial gambol in your basement.

I rejoice (quietly, with much solemnity) that it was, indeed, your basement.