Check out my other blogs: Life, etc. and Chrisfit

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stories for Her

The other night we were talking on the phone when she asked me to tell her a story. "What kind of a story?" I ask. "My phone is dying, I have to go" was her answer. So I sent her the following story (copied word for word) via text:

Once upon a time there was a nervous turtle. He never made any friends because anytime another animal would walk by he would hide in his shell and pretend he didn’t exist. Animals would come and say “hello” and he would hide in his shell and ignore them. Sometimes animals would come up, give him a quick sniff and he would simply hide in his shell and ignore them. One day a beautiful girl came up and saw the turtle hiding there in his shell. From inside, he could hear her say “Hello, Mr Turtle,” and he grew nervous and quiet. He heard her say “I won’t hurt you” but still he stayed silent and refused to come out of his shell. He heard her say “I just wanna be your friend” but he stayed hidden in his shell. And then he heard a sound that he didn’t recognize and then he heard the girl walk away. After he felt safe, knowing she was gone, he came out of his shell and looked around. He notice something different on the back of his shell; it was the perfect pink imprints of the girl’s lips. “Well,” the turtle thought, smiling to himself, “Maybe not everyone is so bad.” And he never hid in his shell again. The End.
Then she was at work and I was sitting at a coffee shop trying to write when she sent me a text saying how much she hated her job. So I sent her this story via text:

Once upon a time there was a girl who worked at Hoggy’s. She hated her job and her evil boss. One night, staring up at the sky, she saw a shooting star. She wished upon the star that didn’t have to work at Hoggy’s anymore. When she woke up the next day she had magically transformed into a kitten. She lived happily ever after. The End.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Only One Word For It

I truly am a fool. I am a hopelessly, irredeemably, foolish boy with less sense than an inbred sea sponge. For it is not enough that I should do something foolish, but that I should then proclaim my foolishness via text (TEXT!) of all the satanic mediums! Oh, that texting was never invented! Alas, alas!

My act of stupidity (or rather, cupidity?) so nearly went undiscovered. For She, that marvellous object of my affections, that object upon which I act out my foolishness, She was not even home! She need never have known! Imagine my great luck, my God-granted pardon, that no one opened that door to see me standing there, a hopeless romantic, a poor, lovesick puppydog gripping desperately in one hand a clutch of daisies, in the other a ukulele (UKULELE!). Had She opened that door, after any of those seventeen seperate times that I knocked, and then had She seen me standing so upon her threshold I should have surely died of shame. As it was, I nearly escaped with my dignity. Were it not for my loathsome need to have my foolishness known

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sweet Dreams

For the first time in a very long time I had a good dream. And it was all because of the girl sleeping next to me; the girl who wants nothing to do with me. The girl to whom I'm little more than a human pillow. The girl that when I asked her, "What do I mean to you?", kissed me and said "I haven't decided yet." This is the girl that brings me sweet dreams.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Roses for My Darling

I asked a friend if they wanted to go hang out tonight and they told me they couldn't because they'd already made plans with some other friends. To this, I, like a mature adult replied (via text obviously) "That's cool, I'll just have to go have some fun by myself." Which is, of course, the most blatant lie I have ever told. I am easily the least fun person one could possibly be friends with. You know how I know this? Because immediately after sending that text I got into bed and watched four hours of Conan reruns. And you know, that wouldn't even be so bad if I had enjoyed myself. It may not be social or exciting but I said I was going to have fun and, by golly, I had fun. Except that I didn't have fun. I laid there in bed watching Conan and feeling sorry for myself and wishing that I was out having fun. Because I am a not fun person. It's just who I am, and so how can I possibly blame my friends for going out with other friends? I certainly wouldn't want to hang out with me. I do like Conan, though.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I See It All

Sometimes I have this dream where I've woken up and 75 years of my life have just vanished. I awake to find I'm an old man, sad and desperate and lonely; who has wasted his life burning bridges and building walls. In this dream I'm at the edge of life and death with nothing to look forward to but the quiet embrace of my sleep eternal, truly the only reward I deserve from a failed life. And then again sometimes I just wake up and that's all true.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This Blog is Officially Pointless

Important Update: I have no idea what the fuck is going on in my life right now. I am so lost and confused and....and god damn it, I always need a third one. I need you.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Girl Like A Joan Miró Painting

I met a girl who was like a Joan Miró painting; all colors and shapes and symbols, arranged in such a way as I'd never seen before. Her speech was a surrealist conglomeration of words and phrases, often without any rational links between them. Every word she spoke and every movement she made were wholly unexpected and often unintelligible and I adored every second of it. It's like being with a beautiful random phrase generating app. But, you know, good.

And by spending time with this girl who was like a Joan Miró painting I've been able to borrow a new life. For a week I got to throw away the anxieties, the doubts, and the baseless morality of my world and experience a dadaist lifestyle of incomplete thoughts brought to life, of heavy laziness. And of course, drinking.

And she would spend so much of this sleeping on me and I would spend so much of it laying awake in the night, trying to find truth in the patterns of my ceiling. And now that it's over, I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm so unsure now of all those things that I held to be true. Because even though I never understood a god damn thing that she was talking about, I loved every second of it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More Lies

I didn't want to come home. More than that, I was afraid to come home. Afraid of how much had changed in my absence, and even more afraid of all that was the same. I was afraid of how little difference my being there made. I was afraid to see everyone that I knew I would see there. I didn't want to come home. And then she told me to lie. "You're a great actor," she said, "So just fake it." More than a year later, here I am, still acting; still faking it. And what astounds me is how comfortable I've become in the lie. Whenever I feel that twinge of panic in my guts, I know to put on my mask and perform for them all. Whether it's upon the boards and under the bright lights or in the solitary darkness of my room, I know to keep character and everything will be fine. The lie is my comfort, my crutch. Without it I never could've given her a hug, never made eye contact and smiled, nor made small talk as if we were in fact friends. Without the lie I would've backed away; I would've told her how much I loathed her, how much she ruined my life, how much I hated and envied her happiness. But I didn't have to do any of that because I, ladies and gentlemen, have the pleasure of living a lie.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Very True Love Story

"Hey. Fine, I'm fine. How are you? Yeah. So, how have things been going today? Well, I mean, yeah, what with all the shit that's been going on out there, what do you expect? No, I know, but still. So um...what? No, I'm fine. Hey. Hey. Listen, do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? No, it's fine. Don't make it weird. No, I'm just...okay, listen, what I'm trying to say is I'm in love with you. Ok? Yes, I know what I'm saying, Jesus, just...Look, you remember the night of the riots? Someone started throwing rocks and suddenly the police were firing rubber bullets into the crowd. I grabbed your wrist and practically had to carry you away. You were just standing there while people started screaming and running. I don't remember actually getting away, but I remember hiding with you in an abandoned cafe. By the way, what is with us and cafes? Was that my idea or yours? Oh, yeah, that figures. So there we were in that cafe, covered in blood and sweat, and water from that stupid fucking exploded fire hydrant and we hid underneath a table as people outside screamed and fought. A car on the street got turned over and exploded and it blew out the front window of the cafe. I couldn't hear anything for like twenty minutes after that but I remember staring into your face and even though I was completely fucking petrified you had the biggest grin. Like you were just having the time of your life. You had dried blood in your hair and down the left side of your face even though you hadn't gotten hurt during the riot; I'm sure you were the only one who showed up to the damn thing pre-injured. How did that heal up by the way? Good, I'm glad to hear it. Look, the whole point of this story is, I need you. I need that grin in my life. I need your adventure and excitement and your pure unafraid joy. I'm no epicurean; I read books and I live on the page and in my head. You know, I've never given any thought to what my life is and now that it might not last too much longer, I know that I've wasted too much of it thinking. Someone told me once that as long as there are people out there who remember you and who love you, then you'll never truly die. Well I don't know how many people out there love me, but I know that when I die it won't be all that much longer before the few people that I've touched enough to remember me are gone too. So I need to make some changes. And the first change I'm making is that I'm going to live my life. And I want to live it with you. So there it is. I love you. So...what do you think?"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One-Way Glass

I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost some of my mirth.

I've been having bothersome dreams almost nightly for probably the last two weeks. And when the dreams aren't bothersome; dreams of happiness, of joy, of love, those are the worst ones of all. They're the dreams that offer a world that cannot be. Last night I had one of those dreams. Last night, I dreamt I met Her: the love of my life, the girl of my dreams, if you will allow the term. A girl with beauty like starshine, a gaze as inspiring as the most majestic waterfalls and a smile as heart-rending and awesome as the creation of the world. That was the girl who appeared in my dreams. And though she had no reason to ever love me, I wooed her with wit and song and whatever charms existed in my dream self that I so surely lack in my waking self. And when she loved me there was nothing left of the world. There was only us. Me and Her. And when I awoke this morning, I near wept at the unfairness of it all. Would that I could return to that dream forevermore where joy and meaning exist in equal measure in my life, where there is hope and inspiration and beauty and light. Where there is Her and where I am not alone.

A few nights ago I dreamt that I was shot in the stomach by a police officer played by Yvette Nicole Brown, the black actress who plays Shirley on Community. When I awoke I had a pain in my chest and I was drenched in sweat so.....there's that too.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

And Furthermore,

I hardly feel as though I recognize myself anymore.

When my car is set to cruise control there is a little button that you can press to cancel the cruise speed and very, very gradually the car just starts slowing down. That's how I feel.

I can't really believe that I went back there tonight, after all this time. But I felt like I needed to go. Something inside me, deep down in my gut, was telling me to go there, and who was I to argue? So I drove forty minutes out of my way for what? Nothing. No dramatic finale, no sensible conclusion. Plain old, boring, nothing. I never even stepped foot of my car. Hell, I never put my car in park. It was so crowded there, I just kept on driving. I turned around and came home, feeling empty and rather underwhelmed. What a disappointment that was. Then again, the full moon is strikingly large tonight.

I've decided that when I write my biography it will be titled "Pick Up Your God Damn Feet When You're Walking" And Other Important Things My Father Taught Me. And it will be a tragedy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Does It All Mean?

5 years ago today (almost to the hour) was my first encounter being pulled over by a police officer. I had been spending St Patrick's Day with my girlfriend and her family in Grove City and was driving back to Delaware rather late. I was all alone on the stretch of 23N between Polaris and Orange, until I noticed the red and blue lights in my rear view mirror. I immediately pulled over, put the car in park, turned on my hazards, and sat completely still, terrified of what I could possibly have done and what I'd have to pay. After a minute, in that long, slow saunter that I've come to recognize in traffic stops, the officer finally approached my car. He shone his absurdly bright flashlight into my eyes, causing me to make a horrible face rather than look away and seem somehow guilty of...well, whatever. He asked for my license and insurance which I handed over. "Where are you headed?" he asked. "Home," I said, "I was at my girlfriend's house." "Did you know you were going 55?" he asked. I did, actually. "Isn't the speed limit 55?" I asked, hoping I wasn't crossing some line into insubordination and that he couldn't tase me for that. "It's 45 until Orange Rd," he said. "Oh." I said, I looked forward at the highway in front of me, "Which one is Orange Rd?" He pointed at the traffic light directly in front of us, "That one." "Oh." He handed back my documents, "Have you been drinking?" "No sir," I answered honestly. I wouldn't start drinking until the following year. "Okay, you drive safe," and with that he walked back to his car and drove away. I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is that I'm lonely. I miss my friends.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Travel Bug

As anyone who knows me is surely well aware, I have, what we call in the business, the "Travel Bug". However, I find this to be a rather inaccurate term for my condition. "Bug" in this case referring to cold like symptoms rather than a colloquial term for an insect (I assume). Indeed, I believe a better term would be the "Travel Herpes." Because, in my case at least, it is incurable, it flares up seemingly at random, and is highly contagious. I caught it during my first trip abroad by myself to Cambridge in 2005 and has broken out at least once annually since. And though it subsided a bit after my trip to Thailand, I can already feel it coming back as strong as ever. I can already make out the symptoms: a longing to travel anywhere anytime, constant reading of travel guides, researching flight prices to trips I by no means could afford to take, itching skin, and of course a burning sensation when I pee. Some quick thoughts on places I've been looking into going, some much more plausible options than others (although none are actually possible anytime soon):

Hooray for having friends abroad. I have a friend teaching english in Quito until this summer, that's really all the excuse I need to travel somewhere.
Spain 1-Camino Santiago:
Dream trip #1. Yes, I will do this trip. And Barry will join me. We just have to figure out when. And it would be really nice if we could ever figure out a summer schedule that allowed us both to do it. Then again, it is a trip that, as planned, will take more than a month to do.
Dream trip#2. Again, I don't know when but somehow someday I'm going to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. I've even researched and compared various touring companies for this and picked out my favorite. I've budgeted and scheduled this trip, all I need to make it happen is about 4 or 5 thousand dollars. That's all.
Spring break in Cancun! Haha, yeah right...Seriously though, I've found some very cool adventure tours of the Yucatan peninsula. I'd love to spend a couple weeks in Mexico visiting Mayan and Aztec ruins and the interesting baroque and modern architecture of Mexico City.
I have a friend who is expected to serve with the Peace Corps starting later this year. All she knows so far is that she'll be in Central Asia. If she's in Uzbekistan, I'll come visit her. Kajikistan or Turkmenistan? Meh.
So its not abroad but of course I still have plenty of family in California and there are still lots of places in that state I'd love to visit and hike, especially in the north, which I've never before seen.
My father has been wanting to travel to Tibet for the last few years and as he has said, he wants to go before he "gets too old." This would be the easiest trip to manage because, similar to my trip to Peru, he would be more or less in charge of the whole thing.
Spain 2-Basque Country:
If I find my way to Spain but without the time or money for the Camino Santiago, I'd at least love to visit my ancestral roots in rolling green hills of the Pais Vasco.
One of the easier trips I could manage this year would be a long drive or a short flight to Quebec (how old do you have to be to rent a car in Canada?). At the very least I want to see the Old Town(e) of Quebec City, maybe Montreal, and maybe...whatever else is in Quebec.
I had an incredibly vivid dream a few nights ago where I was back in Rome. I left my apartment, walked down the hill of Via Aurelia, turned left down the narrow street leading to the southern edge of St Peter's portico, out the mouth, across the Ponte Vittorio Emmanuelle II, down the street of the same name, turning right down an alley into the open Campo dei Fiori. I had a vision of every detail of the life in Rome I lived almost five years ago. I think I need to go back.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Harry Potter Friday for Some Reason

Ok, I do in fact know the reason for it, but let's just say its rather superfluous. At any rate, on Friday night all of Delaware was turned into a scaled-down version of Orlando's Harry Potter World theme park. Different businesses represented different parts of the magical world and provided different activities and themed fun stuff. So it was silly, yes, but my God, I have never seen downtown Delaware this abuzz with happy people and all this amongst a fairly torrential downpour. I've never seen my beloved Beehive so busy. So well done, Delaware, well done.
As for my part in all this, my lovely employer, Beehive Books, simultaneously represented magical shop Dervish & Banges, the Gryffindor Common Room, and whatever it would be if Hogwarts had a magical student-run cafe. We even featured drinks (invented by yours truly) plucked straight from the Three Broomsticks:
By the way, both drinks are fantastically delicous, if I may say so myself. One of our usual customers, the talented Tom Slayton even created for us a Fat Lady portrait:
And finally, my alma mater's Harry Potter club, known obviously as "The Muggle Alliance", performed what else? A puppet show. Indeed, a live performance of the Potter Puppet Pals.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fever Induced Nap Dreams

I'm on the second floor of a large, grand-looking house, over looking the open foyer downstairs. It's dark in here, the only light coming from the street lamps outside shining through a large window. I try a switch on the wall and a collection of multi-colored christmas lights burst into illumination outside. Well, that's not what I wanted. I flip the switch again. Rather than turning off, a second set of christmas lights inside turn on. I flip it again and the inside lights turn off but those outside still remain on. I flip a different switch, the inside christmas lights turn back on. I flip a third switch and the outside christmas lights turn off.
I walk outside. Across the street, a young woman in an ugly gray dress steps out from behind a car, takes notice of me, and pulls a knife out of her belt. She screams and throws the knife at me, it flies over head, missing my by an inch or two and I go back inside. There is a second scream. I return outside to see that the girl, having given chase had been hit by a car in the street. I run over to her but she is already dead. A police officer is standing over her body, checking her pulse but he confirms the worst. When he stands up he is holding two dolls. "Have you ever seen these before?" he asks. I shake my head no and walk back towards my house. I had bought her those dolls after her father died. BRAAAAHM!!
I turn back towards my house but stop when I notice, illuminated by red and green twinkling lights, a shetland pony walking around on the wall of my house. Seemingly unaffected by gravity, the small pony is walking around on the vertical wall and taking bites out of the brick like my house were a pasture.

In other news, the girl at the coffee shop made a joke about Tom Waits tonight. I think I'm in love.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why I Do What I Do, vol.1

I compulsively lock doors. Whenever I go through a door, if it has a lock, I lock it. I do this because I know that the one time that I don't lock my door, that's the time that they'll walk in and kill me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chris's VD Explosion!

Let me say something quietly and humbly for a moment. I had low expectations for Valentine's Day. In fact, I had even gone out of my way to engage these expectations. I bought myself a 48 oz party-size bag of peanut m&ms which I spent the day engorging on. I had every intention of getting myself completely hammered that night and solemnly crawling alone into my bed. And yet, something entirely unexpected happened. On my way back from the gym I had decided to stop for coffee at Caribou Coffee and then just hang out there and be lonely until they closed. But who did I find in that the coffee shop but a kindred spirit, a friend of whom I knew little, and a young man who was there at that same Caribou Coffee hiding out from the world and the same feelings as I. And so instead of sitting alone and feeling lonely the two of us sat together for a few hours as the Caribou workers cleaned up and tried to hint to us that they were closing. And we sat and talked about sitting alone and feeling lonely. And in doing that we found...something or other. I don't know. We talked for a couple hours and then, you know, went our seperate ways. And that's what I did on Valentine's Day. It was unexpected but with such low expectations, it might have even been a good night.

In conclusion, fuck you valentine's day. And fuck you, everyone who enjoyed their valentine's day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fun Game Is Fun

It's time for another installment of everyone's favorite game Stuff in Chris's Bag! Where we look and see the things that Chris carries around in that shoulder bag he always has with him. So first things first, which bag are we looking at today?
Flight of the Conchords: classy, hip, slightly esoteric, and no longer relevant; a perfect choice

Lucy, my ever-present ipod. As you can see, I'm currently listening to the Slate Political Gabfest. Good choice, Chris.
Bottle of Kroger brand aspirin. Sure, why not?

Water bottle. Do you spend over a dollar for disposable plastic water bottles? Well then fuck you.
A rather absurdly complicated swiss army that I got for Christmas and will probably never, ever use for any purpose. Look at that thing, it has a saw!

Aaron, my lacrosse ball. It hurts.

The latest issues of The Economist and Foreign Affairs Magazine because I'm awesome like that.

 And finally my current book of the...moment. The final book in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series.
Well folks, wasn't that thoroughly interesting?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Even Strayer Observations

Sometimes I feel like a homeless person. Wandering around town, not talking or making eye contact with anyone. I probably spend far too much time on benches. I'll buy food at the gas station and eat it while wandering around aimlessly. The only thing I'm really missing is the cigarettes.

Actually, sometimes I wish I smoked. I think it would make me look much cooler and less weird when I'm leaning up against walls, not doing anything. Also, I feel like I really would have started smoking except that during that time when people start smoking (middle school/high school) no one ever offered me one. I was never peer pressured into smoking! Its horrible, I know. I would've absolutely given into peer pressure if only someone would've asked.

Sometimes it bothers me that she stays out later than I do. It makes me feel incredibly lame. Then I realize I'm not lame, I just don't have any friends.

I have the bee key. The key with the bee. That opens the bee.

I was flipping through a book at work tonight called "1001 Places You Must See Before You Die", besides the annoying reference to my own mortality and its obnoxious sense of self-importance (I must see these places?), the book reminded me of two things: 1) I've been to some pretty cool places, not 1001 but like twelve and 2) I have to figure out where I'm going to go this year. I might try to go to Ecuador, there are some neat things there. If I can raise the money it might be nice to do my Spain pilgrimage this summer though and there's always Tibet with my father if I can arrange it. Or perhaps a wildcard?

Drunk driving is not cool, you guys. Not cool.

I love The Beatles as much as the next guy but the album With The Beatles actually has some pretty shitty songs on it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On Three...

"On three, everybody fire!"
"What? No. Shit. Fuck."
"Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit"
"Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck"
"Thr - hold on, hold on! Did you forget your gun?"
"Wait. Did anyone actual remember their gun today?"
"Alright boys, wars off. Go home."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blah, Blah, No One Cares

Things are moving up for this humble blogger. I'm in an incredible amount of pain or, rather, soreness today and yet I'm feeling good. I am full of vim and vigor. Things are turning around and I, for one, think its about damn time.

On a related note, this weekend was the OKM blackbelt test and three of my instructors took this seven hour exercise that includes every aspect of the entire krav maga curriculum. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea. God, I can't wait until I get to do this:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stray Observations

The weird looking kid stepped up to the microphone. He wore a nice looking suit, ill-fitting, but nice. His tie was too short and part of her shirt was coming untucked near his left hip. He cleared his throat and began confidently. “A poem,” he coughed again into the microphone. “There is a fat, ugly moon in the night sky. A lecherous, bulbous moon. His face is pockmarked and pallid in color. He leers out of the dark, the pitch black sky along with his little buddies. The, um, what do you call ‘em, stars. Uh…” The boy seemed to lose track of what he was doing. His eyes looked unsteady, he was staring into the middle-ground, and his mouth hung open awkwardly. After standing there for an excruciating twenty seconds of silence he squinted his eyes, shook his head like a dog, and finally seemed to remember where he was and what he was doing. “I don’t remember the rest of the poem,” he said. Someone in the audience coughed. “Um, yeah. I don’t remember the rest of the words. My friend Josh wrote this poem a couple weeks ago. Well, no, I mean he came up with the poem. It was all off the top of his head. We were watching tv one night, nothing was on. He said, ‘Chris, I have a poem for you’ and then he just started off for like six minutes. Just this brilliant, beautiful poem. He was, um, he’s just fucking brilliant. No, I’m sorry, I didn’t…I didn’t mean to say that. I’m just, um, so, Josh made up this poem and the whole thing just blew me away. I wanted to recite it all for you today but, um, I, I forgot the words. So, Josh died two days ago, right? And I just wanted to share his genius with you but, I guess I can’t. I’m sorry.” And without another word, tears streaming down his reddened cheeks, he walked off the stage.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Greek Punishment

I awake every morning to the same sound. At precisely the time the sun's first rays appear over the horizon, a stereo just outside my reach begins to play what I believe to be a Ukrainian pop duo's ill-fated attempt to cover the song "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy. And this is how my day, and my torture, begin.

I must emphasize that the stereo is just out of reach because both my wrists and my ankles are shackled to the sheer rock wall behind me. Though I may strain at my bonds until my skin is red and bloodied, I can never turn off the stereo. The Ukrainian singing will continue on a loop until the sun goes down again that night. In lieu of fighting, most mornings I awake with a yawn, shake my head and say good morning to John, the man similarly chained up a few feet to my left. "Go fuck yourself, Chris," he says, without fail, every morning. About an hour later, at what I believe to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 in the morning a raven will flap down beside me and begin pecking at the soft flesh of my lower torso. I scream and writhe in agony and desperation although its mostly just for show these days. The raven, whom I've fondly dubbed King George VI, and I have become so accustomed to this particular morning routine that when he arrives in the morning to eat out my liver I just begin to go through the motions. Secretly, I think he feels the same way. Once King George VI's job is complete, a gaping hole in my side revealing the bloody mess where my liver once was, he flaps away to do whatever it is that he does with his afternoons. I, on the other hand, remain chained to the rock, listening to thickly accented Eastern European men reciting such inspired lyrics as "Picture this, we were both butt naked, banging on the bathroom floor".

Eventually I'll turn to my fellow prisoner and attempt to make small talk. John, however, is not a talkative fellow and I find most of my attempts at conversation rebuffed with the all too familiar phrase, "Go fuck yourself, Chris." Around noon, when the sun is reaching its peak in the sky, I greet another buddy of mine who is rather more friendly than John. Indeed, when I first see Eric coming up the path towards me, pushing that absurdly large boulder in front of him he always greets my shouts with a hearty laugh and a wave. Eric will always take time out of his work (although just what he's doing pushing that boulder up the hill day after day I'll never know) to stop and chat with me for a few minutes. "Eric! What's new?" I'll ask. "Oh same old, same old," He'll reply, "The daily grind, you know how it is." Once the pleasantries are exchanged and he continues on up the way and out of my sight, I'll turn to John. "Well," I'll say, "He's nice."

Sometime during the afternoon, usually while I'm napping against the wall, I'll hear the sounds of John screaming next to me and I'll turn to see our other friend, a small green mallard I call Max Weinberg, driving his beak violently into John's side. Like King George VI in the morning, Max stops by every afternoon to rip John open and pull out his liver. What's always struck me as weird though is that Max doesn't eat the organ like George does. He'll rip it out, leaving John gasping and bleeding, and then just calmly walk over to me, stick John's liver into my still gaping side and then, quick as a whistle, sow me up. Once this daily ritual is over, Max will flap away without a word. One time I thought it only polite to thank John for donating his liver to me everyday.
"Hey John," I said.
"Shut the fuck up, Chris. Seriously," he replied.
"Well I don't know how to say this but, I mean, I wanted to say thanks. You know for all you've done for me. You know, for the whole liver thing. That's really cool of you. And you know, just for like being my friend."
"Yeah John?" I could tell he was trying not to get emotional.
"Go fuck yourself."

At sunset, the stereo falls silent, though the sounds of "She saw the marks on my shoulder/It wasn't me" continue to echo off the rocks for a moment longer. A minute or two later, Eric will come running past me, back down the way he came, screaming like a bat out of hell. He is followed only seconds later by his boulder rolling and careening after him. "Goodnight Eric!" I yell, but he is too far away now for me to hear him reply. "Goodnight John." I yawn and doze off into sleep. It's been a productive day.
"Go fuck yourself, Chris"