The Haven
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The Haven

Don T’s Inferno (Cantos I & II)

Image adapted from photos by Francesco Ungaro and Joe Shlabotnik.


Mid-tweet (and not just any tweet, but the best one ever), I’m suddenly in a dark woods (not just any dark woods, but the darkest dark woods, so dark it’s really, really hard to see). Not a place for a man of my status.

See, I fall asleep tweeting (which I do sometimes; take power naps, like Edison did; great inventor, Edison, but not as good as me, of course) and wake up in a forest on a glowing hill.

No signal, but finish my tweet and push SEND anyway (my public has certain expectations). Think: If I was a Boy Scout . . . (Never actually one. No uniform for me. Too working class) and climb the hill for a better view.

Most men would be terrified, but me, I’m brave. (Nothing, literally nothing, scares me.)

I reach the top, and out of nowhere (I’m very attentive, eyes like a hawk, so if anybody sees something coming, it’s me), I spot a wolf. Quick-handed guy I am (can do magic tricks, incredibly fast hands — despite their enormous size), I reach down behind her (no junk or wolf balls so a lady-wolf here). Lucky for me (just an expression; luck really plays no part in my life — though if anybody’s lucky, it’s me; have terrific luck), she’s in heat (really have a nose for the ladies). Like I said before, and it bears repeating (really, what do I say that doesn’t?), the ladies love me. That she-wolf, she bars my way — and while I’m a faithful man, true to my lovely wife, what else can I do? Only human. So I turn her ’round, give her the goods. Win-win really. Don’t know why bestiality gets such a bad name.

After I’ve satisfied the she-wolf (and she’s utterly spent, has never — in fact — been pleasured more by any man or probably even a woman if wolves are into that), I stroll down the hill. At bottom I meet this guy in a dress.

“I’m Virgil,” he tells me. (He’s white, maybe mixed — not black, like most Virgils these days, but me, I get along with everybody; hell, even Mexicans like me, which is why we won’t have to pay for that wall.)

“Where the hell am I?” I ask.

“Yes,” he says. Maybe his English isn’t so good. (Me, I speak the best English. The American kind.)

Hey, be straight with me,” I say, because I’m a straight shooter myself. (Everyone knows: nobody’s straighter than me, I’m the straightest — and not talking my popularity with the ladies.)

“This is Hell,” he tells me.

I think about this (mind’s a super-computer, connecting the dots). “Wait,” I say, “literally?”

“Yes, literally — but you’re still alive! Never seen that, not in all my centuries.”

“Well,” I say proudly,I’m a very unique guy. Too important to die. Say, any golf courses here? Or cable?” (Must see my must-see TV, you know, because — you know — it’s must-see! Even men important as me have to live by some rules.)

“No,” Virgil tells me, “no golf, no cable.”

Holy crap, I really am in Hell! Been told to go to hell a million times — but to be here! Literally. What do you call that? A blind trust? Anti-Semitism? NATO?

And sent here mid-tweet? That’s censorship, plain and simple. Then it hits me. Wait! I’ve been told: “You’ll go to Hell for that tweet!” And now I’m here! Literally! Why, that’s . . . parliamentary procedure? A self-fulfilling prophecy? A social contract?

“And who the hell are you?” I demand.

Turns out Virgil’s an ancient Roman ghost, from really long ago. (Before Christianity, even, when they didn’t know better. If I’d been around back then, I’d have stopped that crucifiction, and we wouldn’t have such a problem with the Jews — so we could come down on the religions truly bad for the world.)

Seeing my greatness (obvious, yes, but worth mentioning), Virgil compliments me, and humble guy I am (the most humble; nobody of my status is humbler), I fire some back, just to be polite (ask anybody — my manners are impeachable).

So we team up, me and Virgil — such potential, a terrific team. Why, if we’d teamed up sooner, so many world problems would be solved already, and Life would be great! And everyone — well, everyone that matters (I mean, can old spinsters ever really live a good life?) — we’d be hugely happy, like people-on-TV happy.

Because if anybody deserves a spot in Heaven, hey, you’re looking at him.


[Censored for National Security; just a coincidence I don’t want you seeing it. But Canto? Cantos and Roman numerals. And what’s wrong with good, old-fashioned American numerals? Yes, numerals, not these fancy Roman numbers that are actually letters — talk about twisted. Twisted and unnatural. Was it Toy Story I-I-I or Toy Story 3? Faster to say, too. I-I-I, what idiot came up with that?]

To be continued . . .



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Suzanne La

Suzanne La


(she/her) Think you’re registered to vote? Check! They seem to be purging the voter rolls in a most uneven manner!