I sat down to write a post this past weekend, and the sad sack short story below is what came out, about a guy at a bar on Halloween. It is not very humorous. However, it seems to be part of the Beer On My Shirt process, so perhaps it belongs; the character is drinking beer after all, although it doesn’t feel as if he is drinking craft beer. After this, I will be funny again. So funny, in fact, that you will pee your pants and pass out. For three months. And then you’ll wake up frozen to a metal chair.
“How, what, where did the metal chair come from? And why am I frozen to it? It’s not even that cold out yet, and how did I get outside even?”
Listen, you’re still inside, Snagglepuss. While you were passed out, I removed your furniture and replaced it with an interior design concept I’ve been developing using the dollhouses in my attic called “Thanksgiving day kiddie table,” all card tables, metal folding chairs, and paper plates all over the place. And your frozen to that shit because you’ve been asleep for 3 months, and it’s January now, and your heat never got turned on, and even if it did it would have been turned off anyway cause you lost your job and haven’t paid any bills. All because my humor made you pee yourself and pass out for three months.
Now your nervous. Don’t be. I’m not that funny. Here’s the proof: a short story based on the lyrics to a Talking Heads song. Also, it should be noted that I haven’t shaved in almost a week, I’ve dyed my hair black, I’m wearing a bathrobe and a red beret, and my last three Google searches have been “psycho killer lyrics”, “doc martens“, and “raison d’etre” which is a beer I had by Dogfish Head that I did not care for at the time, a bit too sweet and boozy for me. It turns out that “raison d’etre” is also a French phrase that means “reason for existence.” Ironic, because it’s French, not because it works well with the bathrobe/beret motif. And now, a short story:
Psycho Killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est
The blister is healing nicely. Just a pink spot on the thumb, an extra knuckle at a quick glance. And that sums up his night nicely. Dying, trying, to start a conversation to give the night some rhythm beyond the band playing at the other end.
Having a good time with beers and costumes and a front man so David Byrne and Robert Smith simultaneous and on purpose, but still nothing to say surrounded by acquaintances and friends. He picks at dry skin around the pink spot on his thumb, mirroring the attempts at small talk. Quick picks and quips and everyone seems to need to grab another beer. Nothing is coming up with any meat to it. His charm carnivorous, his wit blood thirsty, shrivels and shrinks.
The first few lines of All Along the Watchtower come to mind.
He has had rough week or two at work and so this venture out is needed and forced and he feels outside himself watching a man that is quickly realizing he just wants to sleep. His wife is a few seats down with friends, enjoying the night out, and he loves her so he pushes on as to not bring her down and takes another lap.
Some guy dressed like a generic version of skinny Vince Vaughn a la Swingers dances like a fool and he wonders if he dances like all the time or if it is part of the costume. That might not even be a costume, he thinks. He stops watching because something about it makes him angry and directs his attention to the bottle for the rest of the night.
He wakes the next morning, confused by the clock but refreshed. He has slept in like Saturdays should. Finally, a late morning - an act of reciprocation from a woman that gets him - and he feels like he has all he needs. Last night be damned. The smell of coffee and memories of thoughts of David Byrne flood his senses and he smiles…
Ce que j’ai fait ce soir-la
Ce qu’elle a dit ce soir-la
Realisant mon espoir
Je me lance vers la gloire… OK.