Where Did You Go, Suzy?

By Sam Cicero

It’s dark and dusty in here. I’ve made an inventory of things that share this space that are not cat hair or human skin: $5.79 in various coins (Canadian and American), 11 pieces of string, three rubber bands, a flyer for six-dollar pork chops, two teeth of indeterminate origin, the remnants of a light bulb, one-third of a baloney sandwich, one golf pencil, and one Suzy.

I took refuge in this vacuum cleaner to get away from my mother. Turning off my cell phone didn’t work, she would come over unannounced. Her favorite things to yell about have been compiled on the back of the pork chop flyer:  I don’t feed the cat enough, I don’t pay off my loans, I never call her, my wall hangings are inappropriate, and  something about the way I park my car at an angle.

When I heard the doorbell ring and looked through the peephole, I saw an angry little woman and I dove into the vacuum cleaner. Luckily, my roommate didn’t rat me out. I coughed quietly and listened to him tell my mom “I don’t know where Suzy went off to.”

After I heard the door close I tried to find the zipper to freedom. The bag engineers hadn’t foreseen this situation, so I gave up and waited until my roommate clomped back into the room. I shouted “I’m in the vacuum cleaner. Let me out.” But he must have thought it was the acid talking. Then I heard the whirring and was inside a tornado.

After a few minutes the machine sputtered and I heard a loud sigh. I’m unsure if the vacuum is still in the apartment. If I ever escape this prison I will do the following things: stop telling everyone to listen only to Slayer, flush my roommate’s drugs, never forgive my mother for putting me here.


I  tried to use some of the pieces of the lightbulb to cut the bag out, but I’m in a Dyson, the most difficult of all vacuums to flee. My hands are covered in dust and blood. My job has probably called at least four times, wondering why the dishes are piling up. They probably hired someone else by now.  Who needs human contact when you have eleven different kinds of string?

I use a piece of light bulb to cut my throat but the dust quickly seals the wound. I curse my mother and James Dyson, but then I see the unicorn break through the dark. He’s muttering something about Cthulu.

“Have you come to rescue me?”
“Well, not really. I sort of come here to be alone with my thoughts.”
“You think about Cthulu?”
“Yeah. What do you think about? Your pathetic little relationships?”
I look away and nod.
“That’s what I thought. Well,” he says, looking around “looks like you could use a little deus ex machina about now.”
“Yeah I got myself in a real pickle.”
“Looks more like a vacuum cleaner. Do you want your standard rescue or deluxe?”
“What’s the difference?”
“With the deluxe there’s more paperwork, but you learn a lesson.”
“I’ll take the deluxe.”
“Ok, rad,” he says.

The unicorn kicks up his legs and blasts a bright rainbow from his ass that penetrates the dusty plastic cell. I roll out onto the floor as my roommate walks in.

“Vacuum cleaner is broken” he informs me.
I cough and say, “I know.”
“By the way, where did you go, Suzy? Your mom came by.”
“Don’t let her in here again,” I say. “Oh, and you can listen to that new Miles Davis record you got. I think I’m over Slayer a little bit.”
He walks into his room and puts it on while I sit on the floor and listen.

Sam Cicero was born in the wild NJ suburbs to a white mother and black father in the eighties before it was cool. He now sits in his apartment and argues with the cat.
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