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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Good Energy

The other day, I was walking down a street near my house. My friends and I were planning to go out for Good Food Wednesday. A timeless tradition of picking a new, probably recommended or otherwise obviously strange restaurant and eating there. I was already restless and uneasy being back in Portland, so mostly just looking forward to good food.

As I was walking, I noticed a homeless man on a bicycle stop and begin to fan himself a little with a crumpled newspaper, just a short ways in front of me. When I came close, he addresses me flatteringly, “I’m sorry, I just-… I just wanted to tell you that I like your energy. You’ve got a good energy going.”

I looked at him for a second. “Thank you,” and I kept walking.

What I think is that one of two things happened here: he noticed something subtle about my character that brought up hopeful memories of his past, or his drug-addled mind saw something that I couldn’t. I wish that I had stopped to implore further on the notion of my energy. What made him think of my energy as good? What is this energy he speaks of? As though it were a vibrant color scheme, or a certain chord. I guess I’ll just have to take it as it is: I’ve been told that I’m flowing with good vibes.

P.S.
We never got any good food because our beneficiary of the night threw a pizza in a car to save the lives of everyone within.

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.

The Night I Slit My Wrists, We Ate Lasagna

I hate to start on a grim note, but context means the world with these things, so bear with me.

About one year ago, I attempted to kill myself.

Due to shock and blood loss, the initial event has become somewhat obscured in my mind, but some fragments of memory still remain. There were the bleached sheets, the jug of hot piss under my arm, the nurse who threw towelettes onto my chest. But that doesn’t matter so much.

It’s after the hospital discharged me that things begin to clear up.

I remember sitting on the bathroom rug beside the toilet, cross-legged with gauze wrapped tightly about my limp forearms. On the tiled floor before me, a mobile phone had been laid ceremoniously atop a pile of bloody clothing, low-resolution images of naked bodies flickering over the tiny screen. The lights were off and my penis hung flaccid in my hairy fist. Smudges of maroon speckled my fingers, my stomach, and my thighs. When I reached over to obtain some toilet paper, the bandaging snapped loose and unraveled into the urine-laden waters below (in an hour of darkness, flushing becomes suddenly irrelevant). I could hear my friends laughing about something in the other room. I started laughing because my lacerations smelled like human waste.

After ultimately abandoning the notion of masturbation, I returned to the living room, immediately met with the sullen gazes of my father and college compatriots. The younger men had seated themselves upon the surrounding couches and chairs, their speech severed by the return of my greasy presence. In the center of the room, my father stood as though perched upon a stage before them. Words caught in his throat as he attempted to curb his discerned tone, but they soon came sliding from his seemingly unmoving mouth. “We’ve got lasagna,” he said.

For the remainder of the night, the collective group watched samurai films and ate said slabs of questionable Italian meat. It was as though nothing serious had transpired in the prior hours, as though things had returned to normal and would remain so forever. Little did I know the bizarre cascade of shit that would soon envelope the apathetic lump of being that had become my life.

Yeah, I know.

Fuck it, I had to start somewhere.

(Next: Bags Of Flesh, Bottles Of Urine)

The following morning in the snow - February 4th, 2014

The following morning in the snow – February 4th, 2014