THE GLASS ENCLOSURE
M H Rowe
I go into the glass enclosure to speak to Dan. Look here, I say to Dan, I don't want you coaxing my wife down into the glass enclosure to undress for the whole neighborhood, mostly cause it's strange but also because I just whatever don't want that.
That's what I say to Dan. I also say that I have my reasons. Which is to say I can't say what all of my reasons are.
The whole time I'm saying this to Dan we are in the glass enclosure on my front lawn. And also my wife is taking off her clothes in full view of everyone, right inside the glass enclosure Dan has somehow coaxed her into. Melvin across the street is also undressing in his glass enclosure, which Dan also caused to be there. Dan coaxed Melvin too. Dan has coaxed a lot of people in our neighborhood recently. He got really good at coaxing. Everyone is really getting their full view on, though, is what I am thinking about, in regards to my wife specifically, because my wife is all I ever think about, being devoted and faithful and protective.
And then, Jesus Christ, Dan starts taking his clothes off.
Right there in my glass enclosure. Which is a hard thought for me to have considering how much I do not like the glass enclosure.
"How about this, Mr. Worthington?" Dan asks me as he delicately removes his worn and stained t-shirt to reveal a bony ribbed chest.
"Is this okay?" he asks as he removes his socks.
I say that is definitely not okay, Dan, why must you force me to an impasse?
"How about this, is this okay?" Dan asks me as his pants slide down to reveal his weird, white pair of underwear, which is simultaneously loose and tight. His legs are pale and somehow clear-looking, like flashlight beams blasting out of the leg holes of his underwear, which is what I say to him when I see his legs.
There's hair on your flashlight beams, I say to Dan, and then Dan is taking off the underwear, too.
I wasn't joking. It looks like hair on flashlight beams.
So there I am on a Thursday afternoon with the sun setting and a little breeze in the air and an appetizing smell of barbecue in the air and all my positive thoughts in the air, and Dan's penis is there, hanging out in the glass enclosure on my front lawn.
And now my wife is naked and Dan starts smiling and saying how great that is and Melvin is now fully naked and, shit, I say, now here come my kids.
My kids are running right into the glass enclosure, and all of a sudden I'm a man hanging out with his naked family and our naked friend Dan who put a glass enclosure on my front lawn that my family including my kids is now naked in and our friend and neighbor Melvin across the street is naked inside his glass enclosure, too.
I'm thinking, what?
And I say, what, what is this?
And the sun is setting.
And it's all a little too much.
I say, Dan, what is this.
And Dan says it is what it is, he's just trying to help, and I say help with what and Dan doesn't really answer. But it's not like he doesn't have an answer, because it seems like he does. He is withholding his answer while standing naked with my naked family in the glass enclosure he has placed on my lawn for the purposes of all of us being naked in it.
I realize I am living in Dan's world now. It is bigger than the glass enclosure. The genitals of all of us are living there, and I realize how much of my thinking has turned to thoughts of smoke and flames because of all the nakedness. It's much too much nakedness.
Dan, I say, Dan, I am filled with an anger.
Dan doesn't seem to listen.
Dan, I say again, Dan, I am filled with a righteous and pitiless anger. Dan.
I say Dan's name, hoping that the naked and alone sound of his name will stop him from chatting casually with my naked family. But my naked family is talking right back, like they are naked and not naked at the same time, since they aren't ignoring it but also not focusing on it exclusively. I say I don't understand that, but no one really hears me, and now here comes naked Melvin, walking from his glass enclosure to my glass enclosure, though I suppose both of the glass enclosures are Dan's, even though he called them gifts.
I can't think of all these naked appendages in glass enclosures as gifts.
I just can't, and I say so. And I keep saying so. It is all I'm saying, I think.
I still can't believe this, Dan, I say.
Dan says, watch it there and gently pushes me away from the crowd.
Dan, I say, I still have an anger towards you and sort of towards my family for being into this glass enclosure situation. And then all of a sudden I become afraid, very afraid. The sun is setting. My family is naked with Dan and Melvin in the glass enclosure. They are talking, but night is coming. What happens at night? is what I suddenly keep thinking. What happens at night?
Then everyone stops and looks at me: my naked family, naked Dan, and naked Melvin.
Dan, I say, what happens at night?
I feel that this story is straightforwardly about a man person and that a man person is a kind of animal. Some animals travel great distances in what is called a "migratory pattern." Other animals stay right where they are, anxious about what others think and do while out on their "migratory patterns."