Friday, February 27, 2009
“Listen to the crazy shit this kid is spewing” which coming from a homeless guy, reeking of cigarettes and stale booze, is a pretty bold statement. So I humoured him and said ok, then turned to the kid. What he said next nearly destroyed the world.
“What if we were all just nice to each other?”
It may seem like a pretty common idea now but back then, you got to remember, we were killing each other ‘n warring ‘n raping the earth, not all peaceful like it is now. So I ask him to repeat himself and he says
“I said, what if we were all just nice to each other?”
So I phone the Chief of police and get him out here to listen to this kid’s crazy political theory, some kind of socialisitimarxisidemocracticthingamaboo that just don’t seem to make sense even though it does.
Chief comes down with a couple of SWAT teams to see what’s going on. By now, there’s a bit of a crowd around the kid, and he’s a dirty little bastard in some torn jeans and what used to be a white t-shirt with some fucked up sneakers and a runny nose and the crowd's doing that “raarraarrarararr” low mosquito noise. The chief yells “What the hell’s going on here?”
“This kid’s lost his mind Chief” says some cop who got their first.
“You called me out here for a kid? Throw him in the back of a van and get him to a home or something I aint got time for shit like this.”
“No Chief, listen to what the kid’s got to say”
“This better be fucking amazing son or you’re going to be working security at a fucking lemonade stand once I’m done with you.”
“It is Chief, listen to him.”
Chief turns to the kid and says “Ok kid, let’s have it. What you got to say?”
“I said” and he clears his throat “What if we were all just nice to each other?”
And at that moment a bead of sweat was born on the Chief’s forehead and I swear I saw it happen. I could see the cogs in his head working and the little puffs of steam coming out his ears.
Ten minutes later there’s a black helicopter touching down in the middle of the street and guys in black suits and black sunglasses hop out and grab the kid, all civilised like because obviously we’re all watching to see what’s going to happen, which is nothing because once he’s in the copter, they take off again. And that’s the last we ever saw of that kid.
I heard that they took him to see the president. And then they took him to this tiny little cement room down in the bottom of the building, and shot him in the back of the head.
It was a while before we managed to get the word out about what the kid said, but we did, the world changed and you’d best be grateful for what that kid did, saying what everyone was thinking before they were even thinking it.
Often, you’ll wake up and say “Fuck it. I don’t want this job, this car, this life.” and then get in your car, drive to your job and carry on living your life.
I woke up one day and said that exact thing and actually meant it. I unplugged the phone, put my computer in the bath (and turned the tap on) then got stuck into the rum. Quite possibly the best day of my life really. I watched a lot of porn. Then I went out and drank rum on the pavement, watching the steel coffins whistle by. Some hooted angrily. More than a few looked pretty jealous and that made me smile because it struck me that most of them probably go to work, own their cars and live their lives in order to make other people jealous of them.
In other words, the basis of happiness in their lives is other people’s unhappiness.
That thought in mind, I parked my car across the road, blocking the traffic, then pretended like it wasn’t mine and went back inside the house. It got towed about half-an-hour later.
The rum was soon finished, and, rip-roaring drunk and emotional I stumbled inside and went to sleep on the couch. Later that night, I got up, had a headache, drank lots of water, then went to bed.
The next morning I got up and, like any sensible adventurer, realised what a stupid, stupid thing I’d done. So I got out the classifieds section of the newspaper and started looking for work, bracing myself for the inevitable task of starting the whole process again, a job, a nice car, a better® life.
One ad struck me in some kind of particular way as particular things are want to do.
“Full Time Moonlighter Required Urgently”
Curious, and taking my second chance in twenty four hours, I phoned the number at the bottom of the ad and waited while the phone droned peacefully in my ear.
“Hello, I’m phoning about the ad.”
“The full time moonlighter required ad. It’s a joke isn’t it?”
There was a brief awkward silence on the other end of the line followed by the distinctive sound of someone gesticulating silently at someone near them about something they’d done wrong earlier.
“No, no joke. We really do need you to start as soon as possible.”
I figured one job was as good as another. And if it was a joke, it might be funny.
We talked salary, which I won’t talk about here because it’s rude, but generally speaking, the figure was somewhere around hope and joy, happiness and somebody brushing pleasantly against you during a meal in change.
We arranged to meet later on, after work, which made sense if it was a moonlighting position but I still didn’t get how they could make it full time. The address was on the other side of town so I put on my suit and left early.
When I got there, there was a old bus shelter with cracked windows and a brown haze of dust across everything. I was pretty sure it was the most elaborate, surreal mugging ever when I saw a grubby looking man in blue overalls with half an unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth. This would be the mugger, I assumed.
By the time I’d noticed him, he’d already started walking towards me and so I politely took out my wallet.
“I’m afraid that car’s been towed but you can have this.”
He looked at thoughtfully for a second, shrugged, put it in his pocket and said
“Thanks. You’re here about the job right?”
“Right. You’re not a mugger are you.”
“I see. Could I have my wallet back?”
He thought about it for a second or two then gave it back. He started walking away and his attitude if not anything he actually said suggested that I follow him.
“Are the offices nearby?”
“Offices?” he asked.
“Yes, the offices, I imagine the position I’m applying for, whatever it is, isn’t here in the bus shelter. Although considering the salary, I wouldn’t really mind that much.”
He grunted in that tired, couldn’t give a fuck kind of way that people in blue overalls with half cigarettes hanging out their mouths are very good at.
“I see.” I said.
We soon came to a glowing red comet, melting the cement on the floor around it and destroying the gel in my hair, causing my get-a-job-haircut to look slightly un-aroused.
“Why is there a glowing red comet, melting the cement on the floor around it, sitting here?”
“This is the company car” Said the man in the blue overalls.
“I see” I said, feeling my skin tan more and more by the second.
“Get on then”
Figuring this was as good a way to die as any, I stepped closer to the comet. The heat was quite unbearable and soon, my clothes burst into flame but I carried on because it seemed like the polite thing to do.
After the first layer of flesh left me, I discovered that beneath my skin, a layer of silver (which I at first mistook for fat) had formed, much like the Silver Surfer in the comic book of the same name. I got onto the comet and it shot up, like a rocket, through the roof of the bus shelter, with me on it, standing as still as one can stand on the top of a round, red glowing comet travelling at the speed of, well, whatever comets travel at.
It was after 5pm when I left and soon I arrived at my office, which was, of course, on the moon itself. There was a neatly folded package on the desk when I walked inside which explained pretty much the whole process. Apparently I was only responsible for lighting the moon over here. There are other people responsible for the other moons in the other parts of the world. It didn’t seem like too much responsibility, just having to take care of my part of the world, so I didn’t feel cheated and like I said, the salary is amazing.
Now I sit here each night, waxing when I need to, watching over you, counting how many breaths you take from when you close your eyes each night to when you open them in the morning, how many dreams you have and making sure that after each one, the light of the moon guides you safely back to the bed you left.
I don’t own a car or even really live a life anymore. But I do have a lot of job satisfaction.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
no matter how much they tried to get him in the coffin
they called for help and the entire world came
to help push down the lid
and put him in the ground
like ants on food
him at the bottom
knocking on wood