B I G   E L
L I T T L E   E L

BY LEO B.


- - - -

Big El gets all the respect. Everyone wants a piece of Big El. Many worry that this makes Big El resentful, as if Big El has some extra-worldly power over the rest of us. That Big El can move in turns capricious and caring, bestowing some small part of Big El on us. We stare in wonder at Big El, hoping to ascertain the next move. Or, even better, that Big El will somehow shine upon us, unasked.

Little El is trying, trying. Little El is not the life-changing event that is Big El. Everyone speaks derisively of Little El: too commerical, a sad facsimile, immature and callous. We all make sure to qualify when it is Little El, for fear that we are caught out sharing something we weren't ready for. Even Little El tries to distance itself from itself, with mistakenly presumed clever moves like small caps, verbalizations which might be suspect or indeterminate.

There is a cottage industry out there, studying, theorizing, hypothesizing about the gap between Big El and Little El. Many think this cottage, gentle with thatched of course roof, unassuming, definitely, is the source of the unbridgable wedge between Big El and Little El. That only the creation of distinction legitimates its existence.

In the end, silly arguments that Big El need Little El only work for Little El, and its cynical adherents. Those who have graduated to the rarified joy of Big El, you might think they express the grace and good will that makes Big El so desirous. But, they do not. Often, mostly, they jealously guard Big El, fearing maybe more than its diminution, their own in relation. For they secretly fear that Big El is fleeting and can be lost suddenly. Demotion to Little El is fate worse than not having Big El at all, so the poets say. Little El would not, could not do that. With nothing, there is nothing to lose.





OTHER McSWEENEY'S STORIES
- - - -

Some Superheroes by Dave Pepey
Ben, We Hardly Knew Ye: A Fromage by Dan Vaden
The Last Ten Minutes of Lunch: Sponsored by CDNOW by Patience Lee
Not Separated at Birth by Sarah Mason and John Pull
A Letter from the Editor by Harry J. Tipple



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