Friday, September 9, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

I'm the best. Others will claim more greatness, but they can't suck the farts out of my ass. I'm elite. I'm chosen. The Queen died, and I don't give a shit. I guess two years singing God Save the Queen didn't mean much to me. No, scratch that. It didn't mean anything. We sang Morning has Broken, too, and that one had some jam to it. None of that prepared me for anything. I'm a lone soldier. I am fighting at the battle of Me, and I will win because I drip excellence, it's oozing out of my pores. 

I used to think that there were other exceptional people out there in the world. Nope. It's just me. And maybe Steinbeck, but that fucker is dead. Long dead. RIP if I believed in that. Instead, I just like to imagine how Steinbeck would set the scene of his demise. I fantasize that he's describing the worms that feast on his remains. Like: A golden light broke over the graveyard. The seagulls screamed their demon shrieks while the town grieved. The old bar was closed, and the liquor store sold out of old tennis shoes. The worms and crawling creatures that inhabit the soil rejoiced, feasted on the body of the only writer anyone has ever heard of who called Salinas home. 

It's not easy being to superior. There are drawbacks. I can't read anything without thinking about how much better I could have written it. Especially that bit of Steinbeck emulation. I can't play recreational sports because no one can compete. I can't even hold a conversation. My intellect is so above and beyond anything you can imagine. I'm computing complex math riddles in my mind while I ride stationary bikes. What do you do? Watch TV?

I was just born special. I'm the ubermensch that Nietzsche was looking for. I break boulders with my hands and gravel the driveways of the destitute. I feed all the homeless from a trough in the back of my quaint mansion. My medical expertise is second only to my artistic ability. I am a prodigy. I am gifted. 

This has been the best thing you ever read. You will obsess over it. You will print this out and cut out the words and paste them around your apartment. You will surround yourself with me and be better for it. What are you waiting for. Get to snippin'.


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  2. Let's try that again without arrogant typos...

    Pfft. Your arrogance pales compared to mine. I sweat arrogance from every pore. It bleeds down my countenance in tears. I am worshipped in my own mind.

    1. What I love most about this piece is the contrast between the narrator's oblivious fascism and the leftist/communist views of his "only peer," John Steinbeck. It's hilarious. Well captured, my friend.

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    3. Self-confidence is my name, and I am glorious. This man is an island, a pinnacle and a world unto himself: he sees others and casts scorn on their worthlessness. It’s not enough to be superior to most people – he’s the only game in town, playing by rules of his own, not caring if anyone else cares to play.

      This is an amazing piece of writing; well rounded and articulate. I may not print this out and paste it around my apartment, but I value it just the same.

      Great work, Dan.

    4. I will admit that every now and then I would read something so filled with boasts and swagger and grin that much harder knowing who wrote this. You are probably the most humble, down-to-earth person I know. This is just fun. You knocked it out of the park, again, and you weren't even trying, were you?

  3. The bedroom was quiet now. He was alone for the first time in weeks. The doctors had all gone, no doubt calculating their fees, thinking of how they could benefit from his loss. His mother was lying inert beside him, but the rest of the world had already moved on.

    He would be so busy tomorrow after he left his new home.

    But today, he would rest. Pay his respects to the one who’d passed.

    Her room was the same as it had always been, its decorations heavy and dark. His mother had loved crimsons and purples, her bed chamber more like a body cavity than a room where a person would sleep. She had rarely opened its curtains, preferring the light from the chandelier above. She had entertained in here, along with the rest of her home, her ambiguity never hidden. She believed in living her life as she chose, refusing the advice of others.

    She had believed; he corrected himself. His references would have to change - he’d have to change the tense he used when speaking of her. He’d spent fifty years knowing she’d always be there, always insightful and calm, her advice infallible and learned, based on her own experiences. She’d made more mistakes than most other people he’d known, always seeking out the new and the unknown. She’d been an adventurer, a pioneer, her light blazing bright.

    He’d never thought that she could be extinguished.

    His mother was still now, her hand cold, her fingers curled against her palm. She’d suffered, her fingernails gouging deep wounds in her flesh, back arched as she floundered like a creature from an alien realm, brought cruelly into a hostile world. She’d battled beside him for more than an hour, her eyes closed to deny the pain trying to overcome her. If she hadn’t already been diminished by the disease that would finally take her, she’d have chosen a nobler way to go. A drug, perhaps. A painkiller taken to excess. Or an overdose that would lead her to euphoria.

    Or maybe nothing; she’d never succumbed to the small deaths of fear. She’d never been a coward; she’d always spit in the face of her fate.

    But now she was dead. She’d been mortal after all. Her body had failed her, dragging her spirit away to a nebulous afterlife. He’d never followed a religion before; he’d thought it a conceit, designed by people wanting to sell shares in a promise fabricated solely to enhance their earthly existences. They’d offered solace and hope in equal measures while taking the rewards of the here and now. His mother had found no comfort in their piety either - she’d denounced them all as charlatans.

    Leaving him alone with no one who could give him comfort. He was adrift in emptiness with people who couldn’t understand the full depth of his grief. Her light had gone out, and he was in darkness.

    1. I love that deceptively simple yet quietly devastating last line.

    2. Agree, that last line slaps. I really dig the small detail of shifting thinking about someone who has passed to the past tense instead of present. I don't think I've ever read that concept in a story before, and it is something everyone experiences. Nice job!

  4. I can feel his pain. I can't say that I've ever grieved that way, but the grief is there and relatable. The great thing about this is that he takes us with him on this emotional journey. I love this.

  5. Walk away

    Just because you can
    doesn’t mean you should.
    Think about the other woman,
    think about the other man,
    and just walk away.

    There’s a relationship there,
    and even if they tell you it’s doomed,
    they’re involved with someone else,
    so just walk away.

    Another human is in the picture,
    and sometimes a family,
    so do the decent thing,
    and just walk away.

    Don’t be used by someone
    to cheat on their partner or spouse.
    Give them a piece of your mind
    as you walk away.

    They need to put their house in order
    and not betray the person they’re with.
    As Dolly once sung: “Don’t take my man
    just because you can.”

    1. Dolly quote for the win. ;) I like this piece, simple and straightforward, and I agree with the principle.

    2. I love this. The repetition works in a way I was told that it shouldn't, which is why, as writers, we should always know the rules but go with what feels right to us. You broke the rules and this is beautiful and powerful because of that choice.

  6. This is an interesting piece. I had a very visceral reaction to it, which doesn't usually happen. I think you've hit on some uncomfortable truths here, and you know how much I like uncomfortable truths!


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