- When the screens of old, discarded CRT televisions are smashed by other garbage, obvious as the other garbage is lying inside the screen. It just seems like giving a dead man a Glasgow smile.
- A bachelor in the process of purchasing icing that you know will be used for direct consumption, not out of some imagined baking ambition, and possibly with storage of the unused quantity in the refrigerator.
- The cumulative cost of all the drinks you’ve discarded halfway through because the ice melted and they got too watery.
- The sheer amount of first-world services that could’ve been bought for the cost of those fucking tanks the Pentagon didn’t want.
- Hearing that your estranged ex, or really any chick you’ve ever had a passing interesting in fucking, has gotten married, and the sudden sensation that thirty is no distant notion and you’re setting yourself up to be forever alone.
- Institutionalized white-lying, ala Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Come on, think about it: you know it’s a pretty fucked-up thing to do.
- That feeling when separate media simultaneously playing all come to be playing productions from the decade you grew up in. It renders your heart into a form with near-zero function, and the beats strain harder and harder with repressed memories. Then “Creep” ends and you resume acting like a creep.
- Realizing that for the price of those mosquito nets you bought for malaria-ridden Africans, you could spend all of your disposable income and probably become known as the Net Man of Africa, your praise sung and sacred tribal songs composed about you for generations, and then realizing that you would never, ever do this, because noble though that may be, you just need to keep on trucking and the imaginary reality in your fantasies will come true, especially the house of cards that hinges on that fantasy wherein you win the lottery.
- Old-ass people wearing nice fucking clothing and jewelry who saunter into convenience stores, nose wrinkled, to buy lottery tickets. There’s no corresponding existential ennui here: the desire to kick defenseless ass is unrestrained in this moment. In few moments in life is the right action so blatantly unambiguous and the risk/reward ratio so favorable.
- That speed-walk home filled with dread, knowing the bodega was covered in security cameras and that they even had one of those technicolor measuring tapes on the door frame so they’ve got your height down too. That really narrows down those police descriptions, you know.
- The realization that you are leaving your friends, family, everything you’ve ever known in your unremarkable life, as you pile full a suitcase and a handkerchief, the latter of which will soon become your literal hobo-bag-on-the-end-of-a-stick. You go over the Hobo code in your mind and set off for the railroad tracks. Before you do, you throw your IDs on your bed, knowing it is the last time you will ever hear or see those names.
- As you head to the station, you come upon the crest of a hill and the train has already departed! Between you and the station, however, is a curve of track the outgoing train will be slowing around. Do you want to:
– Carefully skitter down the hill and try to make the train in time? (Read next paragraph.)
– Run full-speed for it and dive into one of the first, slowest-moving boxcars? (Skip next paragraph.)
– Leave the area and go to the bodega to buy a lottery ticket? (Skip next two paragraphs.)
- Choice One: You did it! You are greeted by a pleasant, if pungent, elderly man named Roy. He shares his canned beans, tales of the rails, and advice with you. While you sleep, he cuts your skin off with a linoleum-cutting knife for not having any IDs. You come to make for a very nice book-binding.
- Choice Two: You stumble and fall into a roll down the hill. You slam into the side of the passing train but luckily do not roll under its wheels. At the last second, you look up, and in a luxury dining car your ex is being proposed to by some jackass. You roll yourself under the wheels of the train. That’ll show her!
- Choice Three: Like the jackass you’ve always known yourself to be, you return to the scene of the crime in search of a lottery ticket. The crime scene has been cleaned and the store re-opened, but police are still stationed nearby. You successfully purchase a lottery ticket and are swiftly arrested, arraigned, tried, and sentenced to death.
You know what you are going into will be eternal, the long, dark nothingness. You are filled with dread, then with nothingness as well, as you realize you will find your calm and be at peace at last. You tell the priest to fuck off like a cool dude and ask what the numbers for the Power Ball were. They were yours. The executioner throws the switch. At last.
I added a depressing photo from the Great Depression.
That photo is most apt.
being forever alone isn’t so bad as long as you have hobbies… I like how the writer gave the reader choices though.. makes it an engaging read..