“One Day” by Jason Kerkezi

Inez woke in the morning quite stiff out of bed. He went into the bathroom and stared himself down angrily in the mirror.

"Lookit here, pillow swine, killjoy..."

BAM! BAM! Two shots to the head. Cassius Clay would sputter poetry.

"I've had... just... about..." Deep breath.


Ha. Ha ha. Like I could hate you.

"Ah, but one moment!" Tsk. Then he felt as bad as if his apple-scented grandmother had just lied to his face about loving him. His mind spoke: You could just never be sure about anything, could you?

Cut to daily preparation. Shower is the cold urine of weeping priests. Hair gel sticks in his palm, remindinggoo of shame. He dressed himself neatly. Corpse-in-waiting, pal.

Orange peel sunrise lazily glazes over eternal, truth-seeking eyes.

Down in the street, Inez was a clown. Bubble gum in change trays, excessive jaywalking, gorilla acts in barber shop windows. It passed the time in between asking questions.

Now, here was Inez, back plus a foot up against a telephone pole. Marlboro squint. Looking all pompauthority in his determined patience. Here comes one. Naw, a pushover. Inner look of disgust took Inez. Two more. One is a liar. The other will do.

"Ah-hem! Excuse me, miss!" Inez raises up like a rooster and the liar backs down. The blonde, round-facedbaby is all smiles under the sun.

"Miss, if you'd help me to complete this survey it'd be much appreciated. I assure you, it'll only be a minuteof your time, believe me." The paper rustled in the wind as he held it out to her.

She gave a pert, twitchy smile in receiving the paper and read it over.

"I'm sorry. sir, but I've never tried any of Seargeant Azzarelli's Meat products......"

"Doesn't matter. All you need to do is say that you have."

"But that would be wrong."

"Hush. You're such a prude."

Her mustached companion sneered quizzically. "HUH?"

"Excuse me?" Sunshine daisy shakes her locks.

Inez's foot stammered against the sidewalk.

"Look, are you going to help me out with this, or what?"

She traded glances with her man and then sighed.

"Oh all right! Look here, I am completely satisfied with the Professor Piggy's Polska Kiebla, the Baja Bratwurst, and Rashad's Rib Roast. I am checking the box that reads, 'I find each of the above mentioned products to be up utmost quality and preparation, and with each flavorful bite I am transported to the highest level of carnivore enjoyment.' Here, take this!" she hands him back the survey. "Freak!"

An hour later, Inez had completed three surveys. His lucky number was a three or any multiple thereof. On the sun-baked pavement he sat, preparing a form d'assistance for his superior.

He wrote, "Those immediate subjects interviewed were on the whole resounding in their knowledge of all things of and pertaining to the Betrando Azzarelli Conglomerate of Nominal Prodecures and Networks, aka code name BACON PAN, and as recorder I, Inez attest to the validity of their statements."

Morning heat rising off the road deluded his thoughts. Tieless business suit buttoned half-down, cheap shoes and too tired too keep writing as always and ever. Why must he always ask for it in such exact specifications? Repetition begets boredom, as in the case of Inez's career selection. With a huff, Inez drew himself up. By now the Miami morning had brought a moist drizzle of sweat to his brow, and he vigorously fanned himself with his papers. He decided it was time to call his overseas agent, Rocco Midoci. First he got some mineral water at a streetside vendor. Then it was to the phones.

"Hello, this is Bernice, AT&T operator. How may I assist you?"

"Yes be a good girl and and get me 4311637692, extension 9"

"Have a great day, mister."


Click. "YES?"

"Rocco, this is Inez. Everything well?"

"Oh, yes, since we last spoke. How are you enjoying the summer?"

"Like a massage parlor in Little China, or its Floridan equivalent."


"Forget it."

"Look Inez, something is going on. It's huge. Big Bird has spoken."

"No, what did he say?"

"To go ahead with the scheduled drop-off and forget all this talk about a union strike."

"No, really?"

"Would I lie?"

Hmmm. Silence.

Rocco's froggy gurgle: "How's that wife of yours?"

"If you saw her you wouldn't ask."

"That bad, huh?"

"That good. She's dead."


"Freak accident. Electronic nursing nipple. She was testing it."

"Oh my god......"

"I know, I know.."



"You don't even have kids!"


"Look Inez, we'll talk later. Do lunch." Click.

A couple hours had passed and Inez still had plenty to do. He walked down two blocks to the Minosa Springs Nursing Home to make the drop-off. Outside of the building was a wet, green lawn complete with lunatics milling around it. Inez thought it strange that there was nothing separating them from the outside world. He walked up to one, a drooling gelatinous mass scratching into the sidewalk with a nail. He leaned forward and kissed him on the head.

"Child be saved!"

"Gaaaaa!!OhhhhhhhhAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" The old walrus rolls up into a ball as the rest turn into pajama-clad frantic ants. A conspicuous arm comes to rest on Inez's shoulder.

"You're causing a commotion, Inez. Disturbing our guests."

"I'm soooo sorry. I forgot you're the man from UCLA. Or was it U.N.C.L.E?"

"Forget you, let's get some lunch."

If it was one thing Inez hated in one form or another, it was fish. He was once sued and lost everything he owned because he was caught trying to contaminate a freshwater reserve. Fraternity prank, you understand. That is why it was so hard for him to bring himself to go into Scurvy's Kitchen that Tuesday afternoon. Inside, Inez and his contact, Reggie X, were paraded around the sand-pail and pelican mecca and plopped under a huge, cut out beach ball. The server was a dainty molasses gal, droopy brown hair, droopy brown eyes. She was dressed as a strawberry-striped prison convict and smelled somewhat stale.

"Would you like to hear our specials today?"

"Mmmffgg!" Inez gagged himself with his shirt sleeve.

Reggie X, old beatnik wearing Old Spice and the black shades he wore to confession to hide his tears of laughter. "Sole fried catfish, miss if you please."

"Anything for the Mrs.?" she asked curtly.

"Gaaaaa...... water, miss. Hurry!" Inez began to bear the liver spots of a speckled trout. She went away.

Reggie X clasped his hands together and rubbed. "Ah Inez! What have you got for me?"

Inez had been caught off guard by a shadowy woman sitting alone on the other side of the restaurant. She was calmly returning Inez's stare from under the brim of a wide black hat. She shifted the position of her legs, deliberately caressing one thigh with the stem of her wine glass. Inez bit his fingernails in giddy anticipation. The water arrived and he threw it in his face. Reggie X turned around to look at her.

"Oh no, Inez! Don't you know who that is?"


"Why. that's the arch-nemesis of Azzarelli, Inc., Madame Rotisso! She's known for leaving the competition in the can! Do you remember Pinky's Hots?"

"You mean that guy with the funky hors d'ourves?"

"Last we heard, he was selling his shriveled members to Eskimos in Siberia!"

"Well, that's just too bad, Reggie X. Wanna know why?"

Reggie X moaned and put a hand to his forehead.

"Yep, you guessed it," Inez smiled. "I'm in love."