“I’ve always told people that for each person there is a sentence—a series of words—which has the power to destroy him…….another sentence exists, another series of words, which will heal the person. If you’re lucky you will get the second; but you can be certain of getting the first: that is the way it works.” —Philip K. Dick, from his novel VALIS
I already know the series of words that can, and have destroyed me. There are a few, in fact. My destruction has materialized in the following forms, as well as subtle variations: “Hey, you can’t pee there,” or “Stop picking at it,” and “That was in the garbage, you know.”
So, then, what series of words would heal me? I sat down and did some soul-searching. I thought about what mine should be. Nothing came. I cogitated a while longer. Who am I? What have I become these last few years? This quotation by Mr. Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, aka The Black Frank White, aka The Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Biggie Bay-Bay, the man with the sycamore style, that’s more sicka than yours, tells the complete story of where my life is right now:
“I’m flamin’ gats, aimin’ at, these fuckin’ maniacs who put my name in raps.”
For a few days, that was my catharsis. In a tight, easy-flowing package, my redemption was defined. I almost kept it. Then I thought some more. I realized that perhaps my healing verse should come not from without, but from within.
My series of rejuvenating words needed something that would really kick you in the crotch, then steal your wallet. I thought about things I say at parties that always give rise to joviality, things like “This puppy needs some chow. Woof!” I’ve ridden that one to deafening heights of laughter. But I’m more than that.
I once had a saying that went “First you dump it, then you pump it.” More good words to live by. They rhyme. But I recently realized they don’t mean anything.
Here’s something I like to say when things aren’t going to plan: “I’m not gonna let it pucker my panties.” That was so hard to let go. But then I realized I would have to be wearing panties like all the time for it to be applicable. So I moved on.
I almost gave up. This was a few Saturdays ago. And on Saturday, of course, comes bath night. As I let hot water fill my tub, I thought to myself, “It’s bath time, baby!”
I was so excited I didn’t even take a bath. That was my healing phrase, because at bath time, anything goes. I can pee, pick, eat, talk, and do anything else you can possibly imagine in there.
And that, my friends, is how I found my healing sentence.
This all began at Chuck Wendig’s blog. This post in particular. You go to the website http://www.theyfightcrime.org/, it gives you a pair of characters, followed by the phrase “They fight crime!” Then you write a 1,000 word story about it. This was the duo that was dealt to me:
He’s a sword-wielding gay astronaut looking for a cure to the poison coursing through his veins. She’s a mistrustful belly dancing college professor living on borrowed time. They fight crime!
The gay astronaut held his sword to the college professor’s neck as her belly gyrated.
“Give me the antidote,” he said.
“I don’t trust you,” she said.
“Can you let me go now?” the tied-up criminal called from the floor.
“NO!” the spaceman and scholar said in unison.
How did it come to this?
FLASHBACK: The man walked across the stage and took his diploma from the dean. As of now, he was a graduate of astronaut school. Walking down the steps, back towards his peers, he thought to himself, “There are a lot of hot men here.” Later that night, as he was chopping up onions and parsnips with the sword his grandfather had given him, two realizations surfaced. The first—he was officially an astronaut. The second—he was officially gay. He was a gay astronaut. With a sword. He didn’t know he would one day fight crime.
FLASHBACK, WHICH OCCURS AT THE SAME TIME AS THE FIRST ONE: She walked across the stage and took money from whoever was giving it out. As of seven hours ago, she was a graduate of college professor school. As she walked down the thin strip, and back up, she moved her belly in rhythmic motions, side to side, up and down, and all around. She thought to herself, “I’m good at making my belly dance.” Two realizations surfaced. The first—she was officially a college professor. The second—she could officially belly dance. She was a belly dancing college professor. Without trust in anyone. She didn’t know she would one day fight crime.
ANOTHER FLASHBACK, FURTHER FORWARD IN TIME THAN THE PREVIOUS TWO: He was at a bar. She was at a bar. They both went up for a drink at the same time. It was busy, they weren’t being served. He made a witty remark to her: “Who’s leg do you gotta hump to get a drink around here?”
She looked disgusted. He added, “It’s okay, I can say stuff like that, I’m gay.”
“That’s cool. I can belly dance,” she said.
“I’m also an astronaut.”
“I’m also a college professor.”
They would have made out right then and there, but you have to remember, the astronaut was gay. Making out with a woman was gross to him.
They did stay up talking that night, though. Almost till dawn. They talked about some of the things covered in the first two flashbacks, and also things that didn’t have to do with being gay, belly dancing, sword fighting, mistrusting people, going into space, or achieving tenure at a small, but respectable state university.
When it was almost dawn, a bottle crashed through the window. The gay astronaut looked down at the street, and saw an intoxicated man throwing bottles at buildings and publically urinating.
Public intoxication. Vandalism. Public urination. A king-hell triumvirate of crimes.
He said, “College professor, I know you don’t trust me, but would you like to fight some crime right now?”
“I really shouldn’t, being that I’ve only known you for a few hours and you’re a gay astronaut wielding an extremely sharp and dangerous weapon, but why the hell not?”
They hatched a scheme.
On the street, the drunk man noticed a woman walk out of the alley. Her naked belly was shaking and moving, rippling like Jell-O. Real Jell-O, not the generic kind. He stopped throwing bottles to watch. The pause was long enough for the gay astronaut to run up behind him and slice his head off.
With nothing but a churning abdomen and an extremely sharp metal edge, a criminal was handed his comeuppance.
“Well, I’ve got to get back to the university,” the college professor said.
“Maybe I’ll see you around,” said the gay astronaut.
FLASHBACK, A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE FIRST PART OF THE STORY: She was in the lab at the university, mixing chemicals together. He walked in. “How did you find me?” she asked.
“You told me you worked here,” he said.
Turns out the mistrustful belly dancing college professor couldn’t even trust herself to keep her beak shut.
“Look, I don’t have time for this,” she said. “It’s the middle of finals week.” She bent down to grab a vial out of the cabinet.
The gay astronaut grabbed one of the chemical mixtures. “What is this, Mountain Dew?” he asked as he took a sip.
“No, it’s poison, don’t drink–”
“Uh-oh,” he said, in a very gay way.
FLASHBACK, A DAY BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY: They were sitting in the college professor’s lab.
“You know, you’re lucky that was a special delayed-reaction poison, and not a kill-you-instantly poison,” she said.
“What do you want from me? I’m a gay astronaut, not a college professor!”
“Well, hurry up and drink that antidote. I’m living on borrowed time here.”
As the gay astronaut put the cup to his lips, a crazed student burst in through the door, grabbed the cup, and ran out.
“Egads! More crime to fight!” the spaceman shrieked.
“How are we going to find him?” asked the belly dancing college professor.
Before he could reply, the gay astronaut noticed something: short, thin lines of liquid leading out the door. Almost as if the liquid had dripped out of a container that was being carried at a rapid rate. They followed the trail and found the student in the basement of the library.
ONE MORE FLASHBACK, TO THE PART OF THE STORY BEFORE ALL THE FLASHBACKS: Reread the first six lines of this story, and then proceed, for here on out, the flashbacks are over. Everything is happening NOW.
NOW: The gay astronaut cut off the college professor’s head. He drank the antidote. The antidote was really just more poison. Kill-you-instantly poison. The gay astronaut dropped dead. The student, tied up on the floor, starved to death in the basement of the library. The end.
It’s my little sister’s birthday today. Around the time she was born, or sometime in the months or years after, I found myself wondering, “Who is this other kid, and where did it come from?” I asked Google of the late ’80’s, my Mom, why there was another, smaller member of the family. In response to whatever form of the “Where do babies come from” question I dropped on her, I got this: “You pray for it, then you get pregnant, and then you have a baby.”
Even at the age of three, or four, or five—however young I was at the time, I remember thinking to myself, “Something about that doesn’t sound right.”
I took this info to my older sisters, and was told “You don’t have to pray for a baby, the man just sticks his penis in the woman’s vagina.”
This was confirmed much later in school when we watched animated sex-ed videos with wacky talking sperm and kids wondering why they have hair growing in places where it seems like hair isn’t necessary.
I have a couple of questions for you this afternoon. The first:
What is the favorite snack of teachers everywhere?
Academia nuts. Again, that was academia nuts.
Wow. What a fantastic joke. It’s smart, it’s sexy, it’s relevant. It’s so good in fact, it may be possible that I heard it somewhere, allowed it to marinate in my subconscious, and then regurgitated it here. If I did steal it, go ahead, sue me. I have NOTHING that you would want.
What’s the easiest, cheapest, least painful way to get rid of a giant ass wart?
There’s no punch line to that. I need the answer. My friend wants to know how to get rid of the giant wart on his ass.
Blong (Blog song). It’s 3/11. Here’s 311.
Women are alright in my book. I used to live inside of one.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and we’re going to keep the party raging, all weekend if necessary.
These are just a few songs I’ve been listening to a lot lately. All the singers are gals.
Wild Belle—It’s Too Late. It’s reggae-y.
Little Daylight—Overdose. It’s electronic-y.
Arcade Fire—Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
It’s my own fault, really. I wasn’t paying attention when my sandwich was being made right in front of me.
I got home, bit into the sub. It made a whooshing fart sound, then deflated. I opened it up. The general layout was an embarrassment. The few ingredients in the sandwich were concentrated in the middle. A few pickles, a light splattering of black olives, a couple of tomatoes. Even the cheese had somehow withdrawn and puckered. A total of two pieces of green pepper were visible.
I’ve never had a Subway Sandwich Artist drop this kind of bomb on me before.
I would have gladly eaten a sub prepared by a Dadaist or Surrealist Sandwich Artist, if it would have gotten me more than four banana peppers. The sandwich I crave needs someone, maybe and Expressionist or Impressionist, who isn’t afraid to bombard the sub with rich, girthy, experimental swaths of ingredients, and more than one pass with the mustard bottle. But a Minimalist? I love a diversity of styles, but Minimalism has no place in Subway.
This sandwich artist was clearly rejecting the bombastic array of rich textures and colors before her in some sort of sick rebellion against the norms of conventional Subway Sandwich Art. I wanted a sandwich that would make me feel like this:
But got this:
Next time I go to Subway, I will be asking the potential Sandwich Artist to display a catalogue of previous works, as well as a list of creative influences.
Years ago, my roommate and I were sitting at a bar. At one point, I convinced him that I had a chicken ticker running at all times on my computer. He then wanted to know what a chicken ticker was. So I told him.
A chicken ticker is exactly the same thing as a stock market ticker, only it constantly informs you of the current price of chicken in your area. It crowed when the market opened, and all day there was a quiet, constant buck, buck, bucking in the background as the prices crept by.
Even I knew I had drank too much at that point.