I hear noises, but I comfort myself by acknowledging that it must be the cat galloping down the stairs. I live on the second floor of a two-story house, which I rent. I rent the room, not the house.
I keep thinking, unfortunately. I could easily end after that last sentence, though I suppose I will not. To continue: I keep thinking, unfortunately, that there's a dead body buried underneath the floor. I don't know why. That would be impossible, though. I'm on the second floor, which means that there's no ground under me; there's just the dining room, I think.
If I got to worrying about the issue too much, I could always go down to the dining room when no one is around, and poke some holes in the ceiling. I could do it if I felt unsure about my paranoia's validity. I was unsure, to be honest, so I went ahead and punctured the ceiling in more than a few places. I'd like to say – for entertainment's sake – that a couple of small bones wedged themselves in the small holes after being jostled, and then fell to the floor following more intense prodding. I would like to say that. It would be untrue if I did.
It's what I do when I'm trying to fulfill some carnal need that is both burdensome and supremely enjoyable at the same time. I don't hunt or gather. I go to the store. I purchase food. However, the option to steal is always present as well, but I know there are consequences for such debauchery.
One way or another, the food gets prepared (thawed, cooked, etc.) and then I sit down to eat it. Process is as follows: 1. Lift, 2. Insert, 3. Masticate, 4. Swallow, 5. Repeat. Do not rinse before repeating; imbibing is only meant to cleanse the palette and provide lubrication as needed.
Dining, in any circumstance, does not require much concentration. That much is known. But, stomachs (or brains maybe) have a way of knowing when we're not paying as much attention as we should. Appetites do not return as frequently when meals are bestowed undivided attention, which seems to say that there isn't any room for tasks undertaken while supping. Eat or do. Do not mix.
Essentially, I just shifted things from place to place without any real sense of satisfaction. I've been paid to keep grounds before. I'd walk a certain length of countryside, and make minimal, cosmetic enhancements to its landscape in order that I might receive accolades in currency, words, or both. I was not all too enthusiastic about how the situation panned out.
This is what I do when the degeneration of my eyes doesn't move quickly enough, even for a creature as nihilistic and masochistic as myself. We Americans read from left to right while the Japanese read from right to left. The latter is, as one from a different culture would peg, completely foreign to me as it should be and will be for a time to come.
When I satiate myself with a good book that may or may not be heavy on description, I tend to skip every other word to minimize the time I spend with said book. I glean enjoyment from that tactic, but I'm still fortunate to retain a general understanding of the characters' inner-workings, the pertinence of the action(s), and the bullshit that is tacked onto each.
Three days ago: I'm sitting on the couch, watching television, and the weatherman says something like this:
"There's a bunch of shit headed our way. So, be fuckin' careful tonight if you're out on the roads."
Now: Looking back, that's not what he said at all. It was somewhat similar, but I know that the words "shit" and "fucking" were definitely used. Within the past five years, words that were considered vulgar and subsequently unacceptable have been assimilated into the mainstream so as to prevent yet more petty controversies, arguments, and debates. I kind of like the idea. That is,
When I sleep, I try to wrap myself up as tightly as possible, so it feels as if I'm resting inside a cocoon. I imagine the escape: slow, weary, but entirely worth the hibernation. The change would bring about the usual improvements such as a more angular face, more distinctive cheekbones, and a larger penis. They'd be minor improvements really, though I'd take them anyway.
I'm in some kind of business, but I can't tell what it is that they do. Without a doubt, they sell something. There's all kinds of people around – frozen – except for this one Oriental woman (I can never distinguish between Japanese, Chinese, Korean, among others) who keeps looking around as if she's on the verge of panic. She's wearing platform shoes, fitted with straps, which elevate her roughly four inches. She's still only 5'4".
The platforms – sans straps – dissolve into the floor
The straps produce fang-filled mouths on each end and bite heartily into the floor
Naturally, the tiles give way, and the woman's feet are tied down
She's immovable apparently, but I still (involuntarily) saunter
to her aid
There are explosions: the woman blasts through the glass doors, is inexplicably lifted a foot off the ground, her legs (hollow – I had no idea) disengage and wither, and then two snakes slither downward out of her body and onto the ground.
"These legs are snakes," she says.
The snakes' heads transform into wheels; the woman, who remains calm and unharmed, turns 180 degrees in a non-fluid, robotic motion and begins to scramble away.
My hand sprouts into a gun.
I raise my hand/gun, but it melts in the heat of the sun. I curse the fucking sun: "I will never look at you directly for longer than a second or two." The sun vanishes.
I wake up.
I feel rather pointless and insignificant.
about the author
Jason Jordan is many things. He is staff reviewer for this magazine. He is the host of the BEAN STREET READING SERIES. He is an editor of The IUS Review. He has been a featured writer at the Tuesday Night Reading Series in Evansville, Indiana. His writing appears in THE EDWARD SOCIETY and THE2NDHAND. He is a writer.