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Ballast

He had been surprised at the invitation. However, he understood little about the activity at hand, even though he had from time to time engaged in it years ago.

It had been explained, slowly, with a level of patience and careful verbiage that went well beyond impressive, that patience and quiet were required. This was what one was expected to do: Sit quietly and be patient. You could drink, however. Beer was the choice today.

He had noted that neither quiet nor patience were really strong suits for him, which had prompted, “Well, then. This is a good time to stretch those muscles.”

That had been ten minutes ago. Ten minutes of silence. Ten minutes that to him had seemed like yet another eternity. Alone with his thoughts, well, the beer probably wasn’t helping.

As soon as he began to utter a syllable, “So–”

He had been cut off immediately, as if the probably seventh or more probably eighth interruption of the quiet, he had lost track, had not been unexpected. “Can you go get us some more beers from the cooler?”

He glanced at the cooler. He could barely make it out, a red and white dot, over on the bank of the lake. The boat had drifted further from shore than he had noticed.

He then glanced at the sides of the boat the two of them sat in. He reflected for a split second on how he’d always been more earthy, maybe with some fire, and expected his match was more water or air or both than he.

He set down his fishing pole, sighed and said, “Yep. Back in–”

He was cut off again, “Take your time.”

He took off his jacket and climbed out of the boat and made his way to shore.

—-

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Shocking. Simply Shocking

“You sure that’s him?”

“Yes. Confirmed, Colonel.”

“Well…I’m not gonna do it.”

They were in a control room of sorts. More makeshift than permanent. They sat at a table with a large red button on it. Wires were attached and led to the next room, which was viewable through a Plexiglass window.

In that other room was a naked man. It had been the one who, on some fateful holiday, had drugged the colonel at a party.

“Now I see the kid, I just can’t.”

He turned to the corporal to talk to him. His elbow, however, bumped the red button. There was a string of obscenities coming from the Plexiglass room.

“Is there a decent place to get a meal around here?” the colonel inquired, not seeming to notice the noise.

“Yes, sir. I’ll get you a list.”

“Thank you, corporal. At ease.”

His elbow came to rest on the button. He leaned into it a bit.

“Nah. I’m not gonna do it. He’s not worth it. Is he?”

“No, sir.”

Thinking Of You Till It Hurts {Extended Edition, with Even More Additional Dialog}

“‘Are ya stupid, son?'”

Same downward look followed by no reply.

“Let me tell you about Cleo. That bitch–she’s a female dog, so I can call her that. Politically correct gestapo take note.”

“Who are you talking to?”

“No one. Myself. Everyone. Does it matter?

“Where was I? Right. That dog. No matter how much dog whisperer–I can still mention him right? Despite the scandal? Or no? Maybe we should burn all his books and DVDs in ‘protest.’ Dinesh would love that twofold: Getting rid of wisdom and the Left behaving like brownshirts.

“Anyway…that dog only listened when I was sitting right there, forcibly, telling her to behave. She’d snarl and lick my hand as if to say, ‘You’re doing it all wrong but you’re the boss, so okay.’ Then, after I’d gone to work, she’d shit on the floor.

“Now maybe you and yours killed her. Don’t know for certain. How could I? But I loved that dog anyway.”

“Which is the point, Chris. Mind control. PSYOP. I didn’t mean for this to happen. It’s someone’s joke, I know. But I didn’t mean for you to fall in love with me.”

“Now, where am I supposed to take that? Because I’ve got six ways from Sunday. Apostle Paul, allegedly, fed Christians to f***ing lions. I don’t think Sunday school paintings do that justice. Think about that, if you dare…if you can.

“Next: What the f*** did I just say? What did I just f***ing say? I said, ‘I loved that dog anyway.’ And, by the way…in high school…while driving drunk…I either killed or severely injured some family’s dog. And, I did not have the guts to go see them the next day.

“I could blame being closeted gay making me crazy and a little vicious. I could blame the alcohol. It sometimes made me mean. I could blame the stupid dog for running out in front of the car. The family for not keeping the damn thing inside the yard. I could blame my fair-weather friends for making me feel as though I had to pretend to be straight and tough. What does tough really mean anyway? Doesn’t mean shit until you have to survive something that should crush you. Only then do you know for sure.

“Acting tough because of what others think or because you don’t want to face what you did is not toughness; it’s cowardice.

“There’s just no excuse for not apologizing. And taking some responsibility. I was young. What does that mean?

“Weird. It was a song that reminded me of that. That’s what songs do. And smells sometimes. Pheromones, etc.”

Chris paused and rubbed the back of his neck for a moment. He smiled when next he spoke.

“Are you deaf and blind as well as an idiot savant? No offense to people with autism. It’s a useful metaphor and I am not referring to actual people with autism. What I mean is, we make decisions unconsciously…then we guess as to why we did them consciously. So, the big question: Did you plan that, or did someone else tell you exactly what to do?”

The downward look again.

“See? You don’t f***ing know why you did it. But you did it. You did it because you knew everyone else you knew was doing the opposite. Like that money dude whose name I keep forgetting that everyone wants to be by ignoring his advice completely. Note that my using him as an example in no way should be construed as me condoning gambling on Wall Str–”

“WHO are you talking to?”

Chris pointed to each wall and when he got to the last one said, “Four!”

“What does that mean?”

“It means this is not real. It means, once you break everything and anything down to its smallest parts, what you have is vibrations. This according to g-string theory. It means we are really just sound. Echoes of the Big Bang or when God spoke it all into being, interpret that how you like.

“It means the world actually is digital, not analog. But our eyesight and level of perception and understanding is so poor, we cannot see that. It’s all fake because we can’t see ‘reality.’

“And I don’t really understand any of that. So all it means to me is ‘I don’t care. I love you anyway.’ What difference does it make if I, God, neurochemomistry, the CIA, or Cupid made that happen? What difference does it make? So what if someone cheated and played the Kobayashi Maru on us? So what? It feels right to me. All I don’t hear from you because this is a short story and you aren’t actually here talking to me in the flesh is, ‘I have a billion excuses.’

“And what difference does it make what you’ve done? It’s never too late to change. So come tell me your billion excuses and I’ll take them on one by one. Because I can talk and talk and talk without ever thinking. That’s my superpower. Probably the only one.

“But I’d like to understand yours better. So stop reading this and shaking your head and wondering how best to kill me because it’d be merciful, quick and easy.

“Because, goddam you, sometimes I don’t think it’s merciful. And that’s your f***ing fault. You helped make your bed. So come lie in it.

“So just grow up and act responsibly. Take some responsibility.

“Or we could just watch Adult Swim and eat ice cream. Your choice.”

The link below has nothing to do with anything. At least that’s what I think consciously.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lhtH_Y_vr48

Infectis – Chapter ?

It was the long walk out of the shit town that bothered him most. The drive in had been a piece of cake.

He’d seen the condition of the place. Anyone who lived there–why didn’t people just move?–deserved whatever they got.

But walking out. That was too close. He didn’t want to see it up close. Through the dusty, grimy window of the semi-tractor was fine.

He made his way to the rendezvous outside town. He felt no guilt over what he was doing. It was a job like any other.

He did take a little pleasure in it, though. But only a little. It was unprofessional to to take anything approaching joy from it.

Besides, he was just the delivery guy. All he had done was park it there. It’d be the inhabitants of the shit town, most likely kids, who would break it open. Their own sin would be their undoing. He wasn’t making them, nor was his employer, open it to release what was inside.

Their own sin…They would receive in them their just reward…for being dirty little Mexicans that God hated.

He smiled and picked up the pace.

Hostage

“I’ll do it, people. Don’t think I won’t do it.

“All I’m saying is, I want, somewhere in the chain, preferably handing it to me, a goddam human being! I want to see a face. Not a robot face or a picture of a face, but a real, live human face.”

He pointed it quickly in another direction, which caused a few gasps from the crowd.

“And I want my cheeseburger to taste good. Doesn’t always have to be perfect! That’s what makes a perfect one special.

“But paid human beings will by God hand it to me…or else.”

A Native American man in his 70s had watched the entire tirade and display seemingly dispassionately. He decided to speak when the madman took a break from ranting.

“You are aware that you are holding a banana, aren’t you?”

“Yes. Yes I am. And don’t think I won’t…”

He pulled from the bottom and stuffed two-thirds of it into his mouth.

“Doh thig I woan!” he blurted with a mouthful.

He crammed the last of the banana in his mouth, stared the Native Man in the eyes. He then held up the empty peel in the air between them. And he dropped it on the tile floor of the fast food restaurant.

“Doan twip!”

The Native man looked at him for a moment. Then he sighed and picked it up and placed it in the trash can. Then he returned to his seat as the crowd applauded and cheered.

“Sir. Your order is ready,” a pretty young woman said from behind the counter.

“Oh…thag yoo. Thag yoo vewy mush.”

Public Service Message

“Hello. I’m Mac Coyote. And I’m running for Senate.”

Music plays. Leaves falling from trees slowly are depicted.

“I’ll bet you’ve had enough of phony politicians in Washington. I know I have.”

A beach is shown. The waves lap slowly in.

“I want you to know that I am running for one reason. And one reason only.”

Abrupt change in music and images. The sky. The Sun slowly descends and the stars appear.

“Because I’m looking for someone I’m having a lot of trouble finding. He bought kitty litter in a deli in Brooklyn, New York on 3 January 2010. He might have been wearing a mask. I don’t know.

“What did the mask look like? It looked like a face. I know. Weird, right? Could have been his face. I just don’t know.

“Anyway. If you’ve seen him or know who he is, please contact my offices as soon as possible, because I don’t know the first f***ing thing about being a Senator.”

Paid for by Vegetarians Who Want to Save the Whales

Yet Another Meeting That Wasn’t

“You did not just ask that.”

“Yes. I did.”

“So the real reason you f***ers are here is to try to figure out how to f*** Americans with your mind control bulls***.”

“I didn’t say that. That’s not why we’re here.”

“Yeah, but you’re f***ing liars. Asking the question, ‘How did I beat it?’ is saying exactly that. That’s all you want to know? Look. To any American, that question only makes sense coming from a Russian spy. Are you a Russian spy? No. You are an American spy. So why do you sound like, why do you act like, why are you helping America’s enemies by f***ing with American citizens? I know the answer, I think. You only care about CIA and the extremely-doesn’t-really-need-more-wealth crowd. But do you know that that’s the reason? It’s more like you’re mind controlled. Like the ghost of Adolph Shitler got inside you and you’re possessed. I’m no priest, but you’re making me believe in some kind of demonic possession, even if it’s really gold fever.

“You guys are utterly unable to explain yourselves coherently. You’re drunk on power, like those you serve. You can’t think clearly, so it doesn’t matter if you know it all, cherrypick, or really do good intelligence analysis…because you don’t really understand it. You see shadows where there are none. Maybe that’s your job. Ok. But you need someone to tell you then where there are none. To hold your hand and tell you it’s all going to be okay.”

He got up and walked over.

“Can I…hold your hand and tell you it’s going to be okay? Or would you prefer a hug. That’s a nice suit. Hate to wrinkle it. So…hands?”