Jeremy Bauer

Adult Lord

Fun fact: the origin of the word “lord” is “loaf-keeper.” Picture that. One man with a loaf of bread gloating to all those sans-sandwiches, toast, croutons. The word “lord” isn’t used very often anymore, though it offers a superior way to describe personal rulings. Mostly, we hear “Dear Lord,” “Drug Lord,” and “Vice Lord.” Those are pretty accurate. But we are in need of a proliferation of lords. For instance, we are all Night Lords, Light Lords. Everyone has known ME Lords and Shit Lords, Skeez, Booty, and Dong Lords. There is an increasing number of Hoard Lords, Numb Lords, and Lone Lords. Sometimes it’s good to personify problems. Then you can meet that problem in your dark alley and Justice/Shiv/Bludgeon Lord that problem away. Or embrace your lordship to its richest. Be as the empty beer can that embraces the sea, the one-room apartment tenant that doesn’t need cable to feel love.

In my in-laws’ town, there used to be a computer repair shop called “COMPU-MAGE.” I never went, but it was my favorite figment to conjure. It’s gone now. I guess the mage was defeated, probably by some 84-bit dragon, or Windows Vista the lich king, or maybe they just changed the name when finally someone summoned the arch demon GROW-UP, one of the most evil and also not evil of demons.

Part of my therapy is I have things I need to tell you. When within three feet of me, a black tunnel erupts from my face. This tunnel looks to be only three feet in length, but the closer one gets to the end, the longer it extends, till we’re stuck in an awkward chronal loop, a party of never meeting, never deleting the spaces between my word and yours.

There was country line dancing in the living room. There were wood-paneled walls and a wood-paneled television. There was playing Duck Hunt while Mom cut my hair a bowl cut. Together with my lengthening face, my head would look like a young acorn.

The lawn has a high fade, the soil a tarantula problem. Chrome fangs drip little grills from the window. You never told me if you like the gerbil-fur coat I made you. It took 64 gerbils. My favorite part of it is how you can see how every gerbil contributed. And that the zipper goes straight down the middle of a strip of pelts, offering the possibility that all the gerbils were also wearing gerbil fur coats. Just like yours.

Jeremy Bauer is a Hoosier $PACELord living in Texas with his wife of the Dang Nebulae. He is the author of the chapbook The Jackalope Wars (Stoked Press, 2010), and his work has appeared in NOÖ Journal, PANK, Spooky Boyfriend, and UP, among others. He blogs at

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