Here’s a strange little short story I wrote the other week. I was in a weird mood, unable to write a paper I was intending to work on and, like it often does, a story equally weird was the antidote.
He was willing. Something interrupted his thoughts. Perhaps more thought. But he was willing.
To go crazy.
If everyone sacrificed themselves for the world, sacrifice would no longer be necessary.
He must sacrifice.
“You sound like a kid”, she told him.
“You smell like baby powder,” he told her.
The corncob on his plate looked like a hairy sea cucumber to him. He was no longer hungry, but he scarfed the cob down, core and all like it was an ice cream cone soon to melt.
There was music in his head. Not sure how to articulate it, he hums something that only resembled something he’d heard before. What was in his head, stayed in his head. He was frustrated by this.
“Let’s get a knife,” he said.
With steady hand, he made a backward incision in his mirror. Yeah, it’s painful, but as they say, “No gain, no pain.”
It looked like a melon wrapped in breaded bologna. It was oozing hot sauce. I need to stop talking about food, he thinks.
As he walks the streets, his head hanging open, the people are scared. Or confused. Probably more confused than scared. Therefore, equally scared.
The wide smile on his face leaves a deeper impression. It tries to pass through their eyes. It tries to work its way up to the cranium, to mirror the knife he used on himself. But it’s always covered up. Distracted. Engulfed with more pleasant images. Mostly of smooth, bare skin or tightly arranged colors and paraphrases.
“You look like a monster,” she tells him.
“You look like a goddess,” he says. She looks flattered, but he doesn’t understand why.
“A cartoon,” he says. She rolls her eyes.
You don’t create what’s around you. You create yourself and that creates what’s around you. A symphony of perception. A paradox.
He begins to walk with his hands in his pockets, prepared to fall, but not prepared to catch himself.
Those sitting around him don’t like sitting around him, especially when his mouth leaks with words that stick.
“Stop that,” they say. “I would like to remain dry, you asshole.”
He never says anything in response. He never does anything differently. But he only does things differently. He likes to think about himself as a character in a novel, growing with either good or evil with every turning page. He’s not entirely sure which. Or even which he would prefer.
The life of the lonely.