I’m Chaotic Neutral (And So Can You!)

I was high walking home from the store with a meager bag of groceries and a thought occurred to me:

I could totally just huck this into traffic and ruin someone’s day. I could do it, I could just- just give it a swing… swing it and send it right through someone’s windshield.

But then why would I do that? I wouldn’t, and not because it would be a shitty thing to do, but because that’s my goddamn food. Mine, not their’s. And it would be their’s because it would amount to being a source of entertainment for them. The entertainment is because I would essentially be severely disrupting whatever counts as the monotony of their lives.

They would have this story about how some fucker sent his food into their passenger seat and who they subsequently stopped the car for, got out, chased down, and beat the fuck out of.

Ultimately that is what they get. And what do I get?

Not my food.

And if you think it’s the beating I receive for doing something really shitty, it’s not – it’s the absence of my damn food. That’s because the consequential ass beating is utterly meaningless because my shitty food throwing was also equally meaningless.

I wanna eat, that’s why I spent money in the first place.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the most horrible way to rationalize not doing shitty things.

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A Requiem For Rock-Bottom Cigarette (A Loose Interpretation Of Potentially Factual Events)

The nights were becoming longer, as they often do when the winter draws in. Sunlight dwindles not long past noon and the people of the streets leave to seek refuge in warmer recesses, black clouds rolling out from the violet horizon, pregnant with rainwater or snow. The midnight hours arrive and depart all the same, unnoticed within the timeless dark.

Artificially-flavored vomit was churning in my belly, a trembling jack-in-the-box of sick, awaiting any opportunity to launch from my gullet with childlike glee. My hands were as cold and red as a native’s rigamortis, tucked into the tight pockets of a striped leather jacket, zipped up to my chin and heavy on my shoulders. A good friend walked beside me, turning a little matchbox in his palm, the sides creased and the strike-strips worn down. We had just crossed the midtown railroad tracks, lurching through the frigid December air with our voices booming across the empty streets.

It was like racing in slow-motion, fleeing the household of a generous friend and host, masking our worthlessness in drunken jokes and song. We had arrived to his home like many others, stepping into the living room with warm greetings and genuine smiles; nonetheless, we quickly succumbed to seemingly inescapable urges, consuming a majority of his alcohol before making an early departure. He let me borrow his coat as we said our goodbyes. We stole his matches.

Now we flopped about the roads in a barrage of shameful laughter, the town’s Laundromat nearing and the itch for a cigarette twisting at the fronts of our tongues. The entryway steps were perpetually littered in discarded stubs, as we understood well, the local bingers burning through packs whilst their clothes were cleansed inside. Approaching the entrance, we kept our heads down and scoured the earth, trying not to be spotted through the large windows (one young woman stared directly at us, but we kept going anyway). Picking around the shrubbery and soil, we pocketed all that we could and resumed our journey.

And yet, only two blocks later, all of our butts were smoked and the matchbox was more than half-empty, its contents either split mid-strike or extinguished by the wind. Tears on my shitty face, I knelt to the wet pavement and closed my eyes, filthy fingertips dragging across the ground. Within no time, my sniveling prayers were answered, hands birthing a two-inch rod of tobacco from the grime.

Small pebbles had punctured its sides, the tip hollowed and broken, paper wrinkled and deteriorating on all sides. From a glance, one would assume it contained more dirt than tobacco; from a glance, one would be correct. It appeared as though mites had been living inside of it, the perforated frame easily mistakable as some kind of gnarled root.

“Oh, that’s rock-bottom as fuck,” my companion informed me.

Igniting a match, I placed the filthy stump between my lips and held the flame beneath its crooked end, inhaling leftover menthol through a filter of rancid refuse. Tarry mud caught in my throat and I retched like a wounded animal. Smiling, I gave a thumbs-up.

“Dude, let me hit rock-bottom.”

For the rest of the walk home, we debated the value of mugging strangers for their second-hand nubs (or perhaps selling infants for a similar reward). This plan was referred to as “Bedrock-Bottom,” a sort of extension to our already overwhelming crisis. As we discussed it, we took drags of Rock-Bottom Cigarette.

It was okay, though; we could only go up from here.

Here, have another picture of me as a child. Maybe it will wash that shitty taste I just left in your mouth.

Here, have another picture of me as a child. Maybe it will wash that shitty taste I just left in your mouth.

The Broiling Fires of Hell

I used to work as a cashier in a Burger King. It was an easy job. All I really had to do was take people’s orders and look busy for the rest of the time. Occasionally I would work Drive-Thru, which was pretty fun because I got to talk to people over a radio headset and stick my head out the window and suck in a quick breath of fresh air, because orders had to go out at a break-neck pace. There was also the constant danger of slipping on the greasy floors and maiming myself, or worse, falling into the deep fryers.

One day, an old friend of mine showed up from who-even-knows where he’d been living. He was only around for a short time, so the only chance we had to catch up was on my 30 minute break. He drops by, picks me up, and we drive around and talk about the old days; the shenanigans we pulled. At some point, we stop in the woods to smoke some weed. Well, to smoke a lot of weed. More than I should have to be in the right mind going back into work.

So I arrive back at work to resume my shift as a cashier, except my manager approaches me with a new job. “I want you to work the broiler,” she tell me. I replied enthusiastically, “sure thing!” I had no idea what she was talking about. She proceeded to walk me back to the broiler, and I find myself deep in the dark, dank bowels of Burger King, staring at the steel heart of the restaurant. A large, sturdy machine which has accumulated only a slight rust over many years. There is a slot on the top of the back-side. From it, you can see inside the heart, and the fiery hell-storm inside paints the walls red. My boss looks as though she’s burning alive at an uncomfortable rate as she tells me how to put patties on the tray, slide the tray into the broiler, and let it cook for a time. Afterwards, a small plastic tray should be placed in a side compartment where cooked patties fire out. She then walks away, leaving me alone to fend for myself in Hell.

Well, I tried cooking about 3 or 4 trays of patties, but I kept forgetting to set a tray in the side-slot. So they keep coming out, I keep feeling the flames licking my eyes, and I’m trying to pick them up with a spatula and tongs, but they keep falling apart and I can’t get them out. I think I heard yelling in the background. I don’t understand what’s happening or why, or how anyone could leave me to die in such a place.

I never worked the broiler again.