Swept Away

By: Jeremy Ridnor




    The dancing lambent flame made her bristly amber hair glisten. She was naked, except for that homely red necklace she always wore. Her slender body made me literally salivate at the mouth. She was a goddess in my eyes, and I loved her. Tonight was the night that I would declare my love for her.


    I popped in a cassette tape entitled Best of David Bowie  in order to set the mood. I pulled my unbreakable black comb out from shirt pocket and slicked back my hair. Tonight was a special night I had to look good. I wore a my favorite red bow tie and I even brushed my teeth with toothpaste and everything.


    I grabbed the box of wine and filled the two glasses with a healthy amount of wine. “Would you like some wine madam?” I said in a fake French accent. She was quiet, but then again she was always quiet. Perhaps that is what I loved about her the most. She did not talk up a storm like most women did. Instead she listened, and I mean she genuinely listen to me. She is one of kind my Debbie. “You look nice,” I said sounding a bit nervous.


    Small beads of sweat collected above my upper lip as it normally did when I got nervous. Why was this so awkward? I have talked to Debbie millions of times. It seemed as if her mind was elsewhere. I gulped down the cheap red wine, and then let out a ear-splittingly loud belch that reverberated throughout the closet. My vulgarity led me feeling abashed. Debbie just stood there looking perturbed. I tried to conceal the embarrassing belch by coughing, but it was obvious that she did not buy it, and now I really was coughing. The years of smoking had not been kind to my vulnerable lungs. I wheezed and hacked up the vicarious phlegm. I coughed so hard that my ribs began to hurt. Without thinking I grabbed Debbie wine and chugged it down. As it funneled down my throat I felt the phlegm dissolve.


    “Would you like a refill?” I asked trying to change the subject. I filled the glasses up again. I needed to make a better impression. I needed to seem more suave and sophisticated, so I began swishing around the wine, but the wine spilled haphazardly all over the table as well as on the floor. “Whoops butterfingers.” I chuckled nervously.


    “Sorry about this. I guess I will have to clean this up, I guess it goes with the job description.” I grabbed a mop and began cleaning the floor with it. “You know me and you have a lot in common. We both love to clean. It is not just a job to me it is a passion. I have loved working with you these past years. We have made a great team.” I set the mop down. “What I am trying to say is that I… love you. I love you Debbie. What do you say do you love me back?”


    Debbie was speechless, but I knew she felt the same way. I was overjoyed with happiness. We embraced, and it felt so right. Her naked body against mine. This is what love is suppose to feel like. I kissed her passionately. It felt so right. “Oh so many years I’ve wasted. We could have been together. I know this sounds cheesy, but you complete me Debbie.”


    I then noticed Debbie face was covered with red. It was then that I felt a twinge in my bottom lip. I turned around and looked in the rusty mirror that hung on the wall. There was a small sharp piece of wood that had been lacinated into my bottom lip. I always felt queasy around the sight of blood. One would think that I would not get queasy around blood considering I clean up vomit practically every other day, but there was something about seeing blood that perturbed me. I tugged gently on the piece of wood. It made me cringe at the pain. This was not going to be easy, but it needed to be done. I thought to myself, be a man, so I took a big breathe and I pulled out.


    “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh,” I screamed in a falsetto.


    My face became flush, I was embraced at how unmanly I was acting at the moment. The sound of foot steps could be heard in the distance. My heart raced, I could even hear my heart beat in reverberating in my ear. I tried to keep still in order to not make any noise, but the foot steps kept getting closer and closer. Then they stopped. I looked at the bottom of the door and I could see two feet standing there. The sound of keys rattling could be heard on the other side of the door. The lock turned sideways, and the door flew open.


    The man wore a blue suite and had a name stitched into his right chest. His name was Randy. He held in his hand a ring of keys. He looked at me and then looked passed me. There he saw two empty wine glasses and a broom covered in blood. He could also hear the melodic melody of David Bowie.


    “What’s going on here?” Said Randy inquisitively.


    “I got locked in here,” I said.


    “But this door locks from the inside.”


    “Uh I can explain.”


    “Wait a minute aren’t you that janitor they just fired?”


    “Nope that’s not me.”


    “I thought his name was Jerry.”


    “Yeah so my name isn‘t Jerry.”


    “You are wearing a janitor outfit with the name Jerry on it.”


    “No I’m not.”


    “You clearly are. Are you living here?”


    “Why would I be living in a janitor closet? That is an outrageous accusation.” I said as I kicked away my sleeping bag and teddy bear.


    “Is there blood on that broom?”


    “How about I give you ten dollars right now, and you just walk away as if you didn’t see anything. I will even throw in this.” I held up a half eaten snickers bar.




    Randy took the bribe and walked away whistling. A wave of relief washed over me. I was sort of angry about losing ten dollars and my dinner, but it had to be done.


    “So where were we,” I said in a sexy voice to Debbie. This was definitely not the worst date ever.




    There is blood everywhere. I think I’m going to be sick. Why did that asshole kiss me. It was like kissing a dead fish. I felt like I was a lollypop, and that he was trying to get to tootsie center. Maybe that new Janitor Randy will be better, and not try to hook up with me. I am a broom for Christ sakes. I am not even human, and my name is not Debbie, its Frankie, Frankie Maloe.


    I kind of feel bad for Jerry even though he is a creepy janitor who loves brooms. He’s still a nice guy, I guess. He should try online dating or something like that. The only problem is he can’t even afford cable let alone internet. I kind of wish I could have some of that cheap box wine right now. I am way to sober to be getting kissed by a some nasty old janitor who never bathes.


    “Sorry for that interruption,” said Jerry. “Would you like a massage?”


    Um no, I don’t want no fucking massage, from you. Back the fuck up. Get your nasty ass hands off me.


    “You like that?” said Jerry.


    I swear to God if I had limbs I would knock his lights out, or better yet I would shoot my fucking brains out. Goddammit I hate my shitty shitty life. He has the hairiest knuckles I have ever seen. Oh I’m going to need therapy after this. I wish he would at least wipe the blood off my face, it is kind of fucking gross. Hey what are you doing. Don’t you put your hands down there. He’s grabbing my junk, I think I am being raped, but I am I guessing a broom like me aint gonna get a rape kit. Seriously dude stop kissing me. Oh your breathe is putrid, I don’t even have a nose and I can smell your rancid breath. I wish I could vomit right now, but I can’t because I’m a fucking broom.


    I wish I was anything else, just not a broom, why a broom? My whole life consists of me cleaning up shit. Oh God I can’t breathe I think I am having a panic attack or a nervous break down. I can’t do this, I just want to die. Maybe I am dieing. Do brooms die? God I am freaking out. Stop kissing me you son of a bitch. Help, somebody help me I need help. Rape, rape. Oh wait you are suppose to yell fire. Fire, fire. Oh it’s no use this going to happen. Maybe you will pussy out and not go through with it.


    “You are so beautiful Debbie,” said Jerry. The song Let’s Dance comes on. “Come on Debbie this can be our song.”


    No I can’t I have two left feet. I use to love David Bowie, but not any more. That prick plays this shit like three times a day. Oh God he is singing along. I fucking hate David Bowie. Stop grinding up on me. I hate you so much Jerry. You are going to die a virgin. Man I wish I can could get laid myself. I just wish Shelly would give me some. She is so hot. This is embracing. He is making an ass out of me. I hope that splinter gives him an infection and he dies.


    “You’re quite the dance Debbie.”


    My name is Frankie Goddammit. Frankie Maloe. You know besides Shelly being so hot she really has a nice personality. She really can empathize with me. I just get the feeling that she is not into me. I don’t blame her. I am completely emasculated. I am Jerry the Janitor’s bitch. My life sucks.




    Once again my hair is drenched in cheap box wine, but I don’t mind. I have a purpose in life and that is to clean. Jerry and I are a team, the dynamic duo as some would call us. We go way back. There is a lot of history between the two of us, and I think that we have a lot of chemistry. It’s just he does not feel the same way that I feel about him. I love him. I love how he belches the alphabet. I love he crinkles his nose when he and I clean up some kid’s vomit. I love his dark brown eyes and how they twinkle under the florescent lights fixtures. He feels so comfortable around, me he is my best friend. Except that is all he will ever be a friend.


    Why is Frank forcing himself on him. He is such a queer. I bet Jerry doesn’t even know Frank is a guy. Jerry is quite the Rubik cube. I can’t quite figure him out. I wish he would dance with me. I love David Bowie almost as much as I love Jerry.


    I hope he spills something so I can clean it up with him. I wonder if that new janitor is going to take over. I don’t like dirty Mexicans. They should go back to there own country. I am so glad I belong to a white janitor. I would hate to be stuck with some towel headed terrorist or some Obama loving colored boy. Oh I couldn’t even imagine being stuck with a Muslim, or a Jew, or even worst an Atheist. All those non-believers deserve to be burn in Hell for not believe in our lord and savor Jesus.


    Heaven is going to be so amazing. I bet there will be endless hallway of messes for me and Jerry to clean up until the end of time. Just me, Jerry, and good old Jesus. It’s gonna be great.


    A flash a light shines in my eyes. There is a silhouette in the door. I must have dozed off. The man came in the janitors closet. I could hear the sounds of kids outside, it must be morning.


    “Jerry get up,” said Principal Mosk.


    “All right what do I need to clean up,” mumbled Jerry.


    “Jerry you need clean up your act. Now I know you been bribing the janitor with petty cash and snicker bars, and I will have none of this. I will not take a blind eye to this. You can’t stay here. I fired you like a week ago. So turn in your uniform and cleaning supplies.”


    “Wait don’t do this,” Jerry slurred his words.


    “Oh my God your drunk, I can smell it on your breath. Now don’t make this harder than it has to be. If I have to I will have the hall monitor escort you out.”


    “But I don’t have any other clothes, you want me to strip down to my boxers?”


    “Just do it Jerry.”


    Jerry slid off his clothes. How dare Principal Mosk demean him like that. That stupid Chinaman. You dog eating motherfucker. You beady eyed, bowl cut hair, son of a bitch. My anger came as fast is it went when I saw my love half naked. His hairy back and chest were so manly. Despite this being an embracing situation, this was probably the sexiest thing I have ever seen. Like it was some kind of role playing fantasy, but it was really happening.


    “Hand it over Jerry. No don’t start crying Jerry it will be okay.”


    “No it won’t I have nothing.”


    “Now now, don’t be so hard on yourself. You will bounce back. Maybe if you stopped spending your money on snicker bars and boxed wine you could safe up enough money to buy a nice condo or something.” Principal Mosk cloaked a trash bag over Jerry. “I need to you stop crying now, don’t make a scene, for the children’s sake.”


    “I’ll take it from here sir,” said the hall monitor.


    “Thank you Wendy.”


    That ginger was taking away my man. This cannot be happening to me.


    “Wait a minute. Jerry hand over that broom,” said Principal Mosk in a condescending voice.


    “No please don’t take Debbie.”


    “Now Debbie doesn’t belong to you it is school property. Hand it over Jerry.”




    “Come Jerry hand it over.”




    “You are being juvenile Jerry it is just a broom, nothing more, no seriously hand it over.”


    “No I won’t let you have it.”


    “I got this sir,” said the hall monitor.


    That soulless ginger headed freak maced my love in the face. Jerry screamed, and started rolling around on the ground like a dieing worm.


    “Give it up mister.”


    “My eyes are burning.”


    “Sir can you hold this.” Wendy handed the mace to the principal, and then she took at a taser gun and began tapering Jerry. “Take that.”


    “Oh the humanity.”


    “Give it up mister.”


    “Stop tasering me.”


    “Give up the broom mister.”


    “Here take it, just don’t taser me anymore.”


    “Here you go sir.”


    Wendy handed the broom to Principal Mosk.


    “Thank you Wendy. Now would please escort Mr. Goldberg outside the premises.”


    Wait a second Mr. Goldberg, is Jerry a Jew? Oh my God I think I am going to be sick. I was in love with a Jew? Take that cheap Jew away.