Every well-furnished house, like mine, ought to have a resident slug. I am not talking about a teenager, but a real gastropod. One could think of it as a pet, if that makes the idea appealing, although one can’t hope for much affection from that quarter.  At least, I don’t get any from mine.  In fact, I never lay eyes on her.  (I don’t know why I think of it as a she; slugs are hermaphroditic.)  Most mornings I find a mucus trail across the orange carpet under my desk.  This mucus is a remarkable thing; besides using it to grease their tracks, as it were, rumor has it that some slugs are able to suspend themselves with it and  have sex. I think they like to have sex wherever and, if you’re a hermaphrodite, it doubles your chances.  My gastropod, however, seems a bit asocial. She likes her nighttime hikes.  I can’t believe she’s foraging for food; after all, there’s a whole garden equidistant the other direction.  I wonder if, driven by her addiction, she’s headed for the wastebasket where I toss old correspondence.  She’s a glue sucker.  Like all addictions, it has its baroque demands.  For instance: this morning while sending out bills I came across an envelope singled out for sampling, some ruche-ing on the front while on the reverse the flap’s glue strip had been made into lace.  Why that sequestered envelope?  Was shame involved?  I’m hoping envelopes aren’t a gateway drug, leading to signed first editions. She has at times already, perhaps in a more exalted mood, visited my library.  So far she seems partial to the chapbooks written by my estimable friends.  There must be something tender about what binds them together.

I am feeling a bit sentimental about the mucilaginous imp.  It may be what Whitman celebrates as adhesive love.



2 responses to “A WELL-FURNISHED HOUSE

  1. No thank you. I have enough of them feasting in my yard. No need to invite them inside.

  2. At least your nights aren’t spent completely alone. Does pet express carry slug bedding? Another fine 90 second story. Ahem…

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