The Final Thoughts of Flat Stanley: A Monologue


Scene: It is a cloudy afternoon, a few moments before a rainstorm passes over Brooklyn. A tattered Flat Stanley lays dying in a gutter outside of a bodega in Bed-Stuy.

It has come to this. God I wish I had an eyedropper full of Coors. All my years, I lived the good life. I was always up; I got off on the travel — the glamour of Paris at night, Mumbai at sunrise, the smell of children’s glue in the afternoon…and I end this way. With my right leg almost completely severed and chihuahua bite marks imprinted deep across my entire torso. And some brat wrote “YOLO” across my back and gave me angry Sharpie eyebrows. The shame. I leave this earth in ruins.

I watch as a Laffy Taffy wrapper floats by and lands above me on the curb. I can see the hints of candy still smudged inside. What I wouldn’t give for some old lady rolling her grocery cart to come knock that wrapper into my mouth. Oh wait, it’s grape. I thought it was strawberry. Nevermind.

I remember my creator, Danny. Danny had a eternal runny nose and he gave me 13 fingers. But Danny was all right. He made my shirt red, carefully coloring it in with a chewed Brick Red crayon. Lord almighty I loved when the ladies would admire my red shirt. I remember a stewardess in Buenos Aires…god, what was her name? Alisa? She had the most beautiful skin and would prop me up next to her bed at night. I almost couldn’t contain myself when she stroked my face and called me “Stan.”

“Where should we go next, Stan?” she’d ask, and I’d just smile as she wiped the cocaine from her upper lip and gently folded me into her attaché. I was the quiet type. “Flat Stanley, you’re such a good listener,” they’d all say. “I can tell you anything!”

And the children- how I could make the children laugh! When they looked at me, they didn’t see my poor upbringing. I wasn’t just another piece of bland multi-use white copy paper. I had become Flat Fucking Stanley. I had seen the world, had connected them to kids thousands of miles away, and had been their friend even when they puked Kool-Aid on me.

The rain is starting, which is a blessing and a curse. While the droplets have softened the dog bites on my body, they have also bled black Sharpie into my eyes. Goddamn you, Sharpie! I realize with scorn that I must look like a tiny, deformed Picasso. The traffic around me is building; it is nearly rush hour. The taffy wrapper has fallen from the curb and adhered itself unsexily to my crotch. When I see a shadow emerge from the sewer just inches away, I realize that it is time to meet my maker. (Not Danny, he lives in mobile home outside of Fresno. The big creator, THE one — the almighty paper shredder in the sky.)

And so I remain quiet. Because I am Flat Stanley, and I will fucking die with dignity. I feel the tug at my leg, and slowly blackout as an obese Norway rat begins to eat the taffy wrapper, still attached to my crotch. Goodbye.

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