Events23 Oct 2010 11:04 pm

Charles walked down to breakfast this morning with a pad of paper and a pen in his paws and he sat down next to me at the table. I was shovelling a rancid omelette down my throat because about a week ago I got breakfast at a diner, ordered that omelette, and only ate a few bites before I was done. I asked them to wrap it and told them I’d probably finish it up next week. “You can’t save that for a week – it’ll rot,” the chef said very seriously. “No,” I said, “It will be fine. I will be fine. You just worry about getting all this shit cooked, ok?” I pointed at all of the ornamental cans of tomato sauce, bottles of olive oil, boxes of pasta, etc. on the walls. I reached over the counter and grabbed a takeout box, packed my omelette, and left without paying.

And here it was, a week later, and I was struggling to get the slimy egg dish down my gullet. It really did not smell right but I had to eat it and report back to the diner. If nothing else I could always walk in, puke in the soup, and leave – no one would ever be the wiser. So Charles sat down and looked solemn. “I’ve got a list,” he said.

“Lay it on me,” I said around bites of decaying breakfast.

“Well, I remember the avocados. And the pile of jackets. Ansd then I remember something there in the middle. Actually, I don’t really remember anything, but I keep seeing these weird visions.”

“…Go on…”

“I remember feeling sharp pains in my hands as I reached into my jacket and I think I threw my jacket.” I jumped for joy on the inside – the thumbtacks in his pockets had worked! “And I am seeing a lot of watermelons for some reason. And a chipmunk. I keep seeing a chipmunk running around chattering.” He scratches some items off his list. “But this one thing I keep seeing…”

“Yes? What is it?”

“I keep seeing this cave.”

“A cave?”

“But it’s weird, there’s light coming out of it and it smells like the ocean.”

It was the cove. “Charles – it’s the cove. Some boat guy told me about this cove that just appeared a couple of weeks ago.”

“For som reason I can’t get it out of my head.”

“Charles we have to go to the cove!” Then I puked all over him and his pad because the guy at the diner was right – a week is too long to keep an omelette.

Events22 Oct 2010 08:14 pm

I know you know where this is going. So I’m not even going to tell it.

Oh wait, you want to hear it? Fine you fuck. So I went to a diner to distance myself from what’s been going on and the chefs were too busy making sandwiches that they never even had someone serve me. They would put together a great sandwich, throw it in the oven until it got crispy and the oils would come out of the meats, and then they would throw the fucking thing in some foil and toss it in the fridge. I was obviously outraged. “MAKING COLD HOT SANDWICHES?! THIS IS THE WORST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD!” I dove over the counter and opened the fridge, taking as many hot sandwiches as I could fit in my arms. I ran down the street, a chef chasing me with a rolling pin. I threw a turkey club at him.

When I got back home I had all my sandwiches ready to go and so I hopped up the front steps and kicked in the door, slamming and bolting it as I got inside. I breathed a sigh of relief, and I dropped the sandwiches with a loud patter. FRED SAW ME COME IN AND HE WAS IMMEDIATELY IMMERSING HIMSELF IN MY CATCH. I had to scream at him to get him away from all of them, and so I gave him a tuna melt while I took a reuben for myself. The chef banged at our door for hours until I went out and gave him a steak and cheese, which was all he really wanted.

What a grand day.

Events21 Oct 2010 07:23 am

Fred and I stood in wait on either side of Charles’ door while we heard him rummaging around, getting ready for his day. He was humming a happy tune – something from a 50s crooner no doubt. Charles was all about crooners and he couldn’t handle when I told them they were just a bunch of fucking frogs. He would flip a shit and start defending them while I would just sit back in whatever chair I was in and enjoy my alternative to an eight-dollar matinee.

Our backs were to the wall and it looked like we were about to bust in and raid his place except the fact that we didn’t have real guns (we were both holding our hands like guns) and we weren’t actually going to break down the door; we were waiting for emergence, at which point we would pounce. Well let me tell you, waiting to pounce is exhausting. After a few minutes we went and sat down at the kitchen table and waited there instead. Charles came down and I shouted “AHA!” as I pointed at him. He cooked his breakfast and he sat down to eat it.

“So Charles…”

“Yeah?”

“What’s going on?”

“Nothing, what’s going on with you?” he said around a big bite of cereal.

“No I mean, is something wrong?”

“How do you mean?”

“Don’t you realize you’ve been acting a bit off for the past couple weeks?”

Charles stopped chewing his toast and swallowed hard. “Have I?” he asked genuinely.

Fred chimed in, “Yeah.”

“Thanks Fred,” I said somewhat sarcastically. “Thanks for that.”

“What, I was just trying to add something to the proceedings!”

“Thank you Fred,” I said again, VERY sarcastically. Fred got up and stormed outside. I turned back to Charles. “It’s almost as if you don’t even realize Charles, but these weird things keep happening. Like the handles. Or the salt.”

His eyes glazed over. “What? I had handles and I didn’t want salt.”

“SEE YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT NOW YOU FUCKER!” and I slapped him in the face so hard the moisturizing cream I used on my hands vaporized and created a powder cloud emanating from his cheek. I think it did some good though, because Charles blinked repeatedly while he put his hand on his sore face. He looked awake again. After a few moments he offered, “I don’t know what happened.”

I heard a crashing noise and looked out the front window, only to see Fred whipping glasses at the trunks of trees and stuffing neighborhood pets into an aluminum trash can, slamming down the lid and crimping the edges so it couldn’t come off. Fred was yelling but not using any real words. I was pretty impressed at his lack of language – he had been working hard on it. I ignored him and tunred my focus around to Charles. “Charles, I need you to try to figure out what happened. Write down your dreams and your thoughts – everything. Even the gay ones. I might sell those ones to the local paper, but the rest could actually be some use to both of us. We have to figure out what the hell is going on here.”

Charles nodded reluctantly and said, “Thanks.” He went upstairs and I didn’t see him for awhile after that. I looked back out the window and Fred was reaching into the trash can, scraping the bottom with a wire brush. There was a big pile of delicious-looking burgers next to him and I don’t know what the fuck happened in between my glances.

Events20 Oct 2010 05:58 am

I actually went to work today. I keep blowing it off and “working from home” but today I actually went. No one fucking cared. When I got home Charles was back and all of the handles were gone. I asked him about them and he said, “Oh those? Yeah those were just some handles.” By the time I had my next question loaded he was already in his room with the door closed, leaving me to fire it at the wall. It ricocheted off of it and landed in my ear: “But why?” I asked myself.

“Why, because I said so!”

“Who died and made YOU the boss?!”

“That doesn’t matter!”

“Yes it does!”

I argued with myself for a half hour befor I got too tired to carry on. A lot of mean things were said by both parties and I wish they could be taken back. Alas, they can not, so I have to live the rest of my life knowing that I degraded the rest of his.

Later Fred wanted to go to the bedding store to pick up some new sheets so I said I’d go. Apparently Fred liked to scratch his bed in his sleep because he says “it gets itchy,” so whatever.

We get to the bedding store and while Fred is checking out new sheets I’m scoping out some new pillows. I try them out and I am very pleased with the results. These new pillows were wonderful! I called the salesman over and asked him about them. “Oh those? New model – all dove feathers.”

Now this perplexed me. “Why dove feathers?” I asked.

“Because people have forgotten how to duck!” With that he swung at my face with his fist and I dove to the ground to avoid it. I said, “Feel the bird!” and I delivered a jumping uppercut to his chin. Naturally his chin signed for it because that chin is a sucker for packages.

After a few more fucking shitty bird jokes we took our selections to the register and bought them. On the way out Fred asked me about Charles’ handles and I said I had no idea what they were about. we decided that we definitely had to take care of this matter once and for all. But of course we got home with our spirits high and our courage even higher, and Charles wasn’t even there. We knew we had to get to the bottom of this, so we decided: tomorrow’s the day.

Events19 Oct 2010 08:02 am

In the morning I got up and went downstairs and Charles was not there. I smelled his breakfast so he must have gotten up early and left for work or something. I made breakfast and thought about how awesome it would be to see Charles fall into a tarpit. I munched my cereal with my chin resting on my hand as I imagined it to the best of my ability, occasionally letting out a dreamy sigh and even more regularly choking on milk and chewed-up cereal because I accidentally inhaled the shit during the prelude to a dreamy sigh.

I decided I would put some tar in Charles’ carpet and see if he’d notice. So I got my tarbucket and went up to his room. I opened the door and tons of handles poured out into the hallway. Handles of all shapes, sizes, and functions. I said, “I can’t ‘handle’ this right now!” And as I finished that thought Fred crashed through his door and gave me a forced (but hearty) belly laugh. I said to him, “Fred, what the fuck?” and I pointed at all the handles.

“That’s a great prank!” he replied.

“You did this?”

“No, I just figured you did.”

“Well, I didn’t.” We looked at the handles filling Charles’ room and resolved to get to the bottom of this Charles business. Fred agreed that he had been acting a little weird, but I could tell better than anybody that something was just not right.

Then we made a mess in the kitchen trying to bake a couple pies in the microwave.

Events19 Oct 2010 08:02 am

After all of that time since the postman, I decided that now it would be safe to do what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I was no longer in fear because I knew that he had no idea where I would be every day and I don’t think he knew my address. To be honest, the activity I participated in was exactly how I wanted it to be.

While Charles languished in his room one morning, I, in the kitchen, looked around stealthily before reaching into Charles’ bread box and taking out a fine loaf of white bread. I removed two choice pieces from the loaf and held one in each of my hands.

When I walked into the center of town I said to each person I passed, “High five,” and I extended my bread-palmed hand into the air. People got really into it and were enjoying themselves , patting me on the back and encouraging my behavior. After a few minutes of this I acquired a strut from my bread fame so I was strutting down the street donating many bread high fives. After another minute a man with a ghetto blaster started follwing me and gave me the perfect strutting and bread-high-fiving music.

After about ten minutes I had a big entourage that was pretty much forcing everyone to get a bread high five. It sort of defeated the purpose, but I didn’t say anything. Finally they started getting really violent, shoving people into my breaded palm and saying really awful things to passersby that were too far for them to reach (at one point they told an old woman to “Go get fucked you fucking bag of recycled shit.” I’m not even sure what that means). Eventually I stopped giving out as many bread high fives, so the crowd died down. It reached a point that I was comfortable with so I gave out only as many bread high fives as would keep the crowd at that size. I regained a proud strut.

I got home hours later. Charles came out of his room finally and I walked by and casually said, “High five.” Charles put up his hand and I gave him a bread high five. He looked at his hand while I continued down the hallway. I could feel him trying to look around my body to see what was in my hand but I wasn’t having it.

Fred came out of his room and, “Hey, I want to do that!” Fred said. So he ran into the kitchen and grabbed two choice pieces from the loaf and we exchanged bread high fives for the rest of the night. Then we made sandwiches with the bread while Charles looked on, suspicious that we had in fact been using his bread but too sheepish and unsure to actually do anything about it. At a couple points he opened his mouth to speak and started to point at the bread but then he closed his mouth and put his hand down.

Events16 Oct 2010 02:30 pm

Charles, Fred, and I went to a flea market to get a new blender (well not a new blender) and I got lost. I think when I went to one of the food stands I just assumed that the other cocks were with me. But they weren’t. I looked around with a bunch of mini cider donuts in my hand but couldn’t see them. I dropped to me knees and started crying. An older woman came up to me and offered to help me find my friends. “Really?” I asked. She nodded. I got up and she took my other hand and we started off.

However, only a minute or so in, she got distracted by a booth that had “Knife Life” written on a long piece of cardboard above it, and so I had to hang out there for a little bit.

Without going into too much detail (this whole Charles thing is distracting me), she demanded a paring knife and the booth guy told her to fuck off since he knew that she was a flea market regular and she definitely did not know how to pare. She got really angry (what else is new these days) and tried to flip the booth but it didn’t work – instead I heard both of her knees pop as she raised her body up to flip it. She fell to the ground and kept saying “Dammit!” and I walked away and found Charles and Fred shouting for me around the booth block. Fred had a new blender in his arm (well not a new blender) and I decided at this point enough was enough. I went over to Knife Life and just to prove the old woman was a weak piece of shit I flipped the booth with one arm, flipped off the woman with the other, and screamed, “YEAAAAAH!” in triumph.

The Knife Life booth guy got caught under an avalance of knives but was surprisingly not injured. Later on when he told his wife about it she ended up stabbing him because she had told him to stay the fuck out of the flea market because she thought that he was the one that kept bringing fleas back to the house (she really didn’t understand what a flea market was). In actuality, it was she who was bringing them back because she hung out with dogs all day and rarely showered. Whatever.

Events15 Oct 2010 05:56 am

I was walking out of work when suddenly my heart started racing and my pulse was stronger than any time in recent memory. I knew that it had nothing to do with ripping about half of the carpet up in work in pursuit of an errant pretzel. I was convinced that the pretzel had gone through the rug when it fell off my desk since I couldn’t find it anywhere. People simply moved their feet when I came by ripping up the rug, and I doubt my boss cared because he was enthralled in his fantasy soap opera league. Apparently his favorite actresses were due to win points.

Anyway, I touched my fingers to my neck to feel the wild thump-thump thump-thump of my heart shooting blood through my body. Suddenly anxious, I took a sharp breath in and released it noisily. I reached into my pockets for a mint to take my mind off of whatever was bothering me. I groped a pear instead.

I remembered that earlier in the day I had taken the pear from a bowl in the lunch room even though there was a sign on the front of the bowl that said, “CURSED”. Why the fuck did I even take it?

As my pulse thudded I walked by a group of people pretentiously reading the ingredient labels on their beverages in some display of performance art. Even though they looked happy, I could tell there was an underlying feeling of dread as I passed.

When I got home, Charles was reading his paper and I tried to come up with a great insult (which I normally have no trouble doing) but I failed miserably. The best I could come up with was, “Golf whistle surely makes me cringe!” Charles looked up from his paper at me, gave me a once-over, then slowly swiveled his shitty head back to the article he was reading. I was quiet. I stormed outside and sidearmed the pear at the house across the road. It broke through the window and I instantly felt better. I bounded back in the house, full of relief, and I said to Charles, “Nice paper!” Then I ran over in front of him and punched a whole through it and grabbed his face. I moved his jaw and said, “Why thank you, I bought it myself!”

“Wow Charles, that is SO interesting!”

“I know, I am an interesting guy!”

Charles threw me off and looked mad. I then wallowed in my own filth for a couple of hours and fell asleep face down in shit. Fred was sad that I didn’t ask him to join.

Events14 Oct 2010 09:37 pm

We decided to celebrate Charles’ arrival back, so we took him out to dinner to his favorite place: Norman’s. It’s this famous Italian place in the area that Charles loves for some reason, even though I always hear the waiters talking in Italian about spitting in Charles’ food. YES I KNOW WOW YOU CAN SPEAK ITALIAN WELL I’M A MULTI-FACETED KIND OF GUY AND I’M NOT SOME GODDAMN ONE TRICK PONY OKAY

We arrived, were seated, ordered some wine, and we looked at the menus. After I had decided and Fred had also decided, Charles was still deciding. Again, something was off; Charles was usually so predictable when it came to his meals. If it were Chinese, he’d get General Tso’s chicken. If it were Italian, he’d get linguine with sausage and meatballs. If it were Spanish, he’d get something pretty straightforward and common because I don’t know the names of any Spanish dishes. He decided a minute later than he normally did. I studied him out of the corner of my eye until the waiter came and we ordered.

Me: “I’ll have the veal saltimbocca.”

Fred: “I’ll have the brocolli rabe and penne.”

Charles: “I’ll have the linguine with sausage and meatballs – hold the salt.”

Fred and I slowly turned our heads in his direction as the waiter told us our food would be out soon and walked away. Fred twitched a little bit. I considered my words for a moment, blinked, and then asked, “Charles, why exactly did you order it without salt?”

“I didn’t want any salt.”

“I don’t think they actually ADD salt to the dish Charles.”

“Right. I wanted a salt-free sauce.”

“But why?”

“I didn’t want any salt.”

Fred pounded the table. “BUT WHY!” Charles and I, both taken aback Fred’s abrupt outburst, looked at him momentarily. Then Charles said, “I don’t know why I don’t want salt, I just don’t want salt. Can we please drop it?” So we did.

Charles excused himself to the bathroom and sure as shit the food came out. Fred and I whole-heartedly agreed that we would be remiss if we didn’t put salt in his food; we would be bad friends. I dumped about half of the salt into Charles’ pasta and stirred it all up. It looked great. Fred and I dug into our meals, and Charles walked back humming some fuckin’ opera shit.

He put his napkin on his lap, and held up his wine glass. “To friends, new and old.” We clinked glasses and took a sip of whatever garbage it was that Charles picked out. Then Charles took his fork in his hand and started twirling his first forkful of linguine. Fred and I watched carefully, suppressing any and all laughter but completely unable to suppress the looks of amused anticipation on our faces.

Charles brought the linguine to his mouth, inserted it, and began chewing. He chewed twice normally, then stopped for a moment. He began to chew very slowly, and after several more chews, he swallowed and sat there. He put his fork down. Then he began snarling quietly like a man with nothing to lose. His snarling got louder, and he jumped up, flipped the table, and dashed out of the restaurant. Fred and I high-fived and congratulated each other on a job well done, despite the bizarre outcome. The Italian grandmother who owned the place came out crying because she thought it had something to do with her cooking but I consoled her and assured her that she did nothing wrong. She was so upset that she agreed to come back to my place where she gave me the most geriatric lay of my life.

Events13 Oct 2010 06:00 am

The sweat poured down my face and back as Fred and I struggled to carry Charles home. As soon as we walked out of the supermarket he froze and he refused to walk any further than the distance he already had. I groaned and shoved Charles over and Fred and I walked him home, Fred at his feet, and I at his head, making sure to hit it on at least 5 of the steps up to his bedroom.

The next day I awoke to Charles flipping pancakes in the kitchen. I put a lot of melted chocolate on his chair and after sitting he thanked me for warming it up. Later when he arose to clean his dishes I saw the shit-looking chocolate on his posterior and I laughed while Fred looked in awe at the mess I had made.

However, something was not quite right about Charles. I couldn’t put my finger on it and I still can’t, but he was just off somehow. He explained to us that that night in the cleaners he was pissed at us for making him miss his movie, and so he walked outside to get some air, stepping through the hole I had made in the door. The next thing he knew he was staring at the large ripe avocados at the grocery store, sans jacket. We told him a little bit about The Steed and he didn’t seem surprised. “That dick has always been trouble and you refuse to accept that,” he told me. But other than that he really didn’t have much to offer. He went to work and that was that.

Since he was finally back and our search didn’t need to carry on any longer, Fred and I participated in a little ritual I call Garbage Hour. That is when I visit as many trash cans as I can in the hour and take the best garbage. Then I either eat it (if it’s food or even near-food (this includes gum wrappers, used coffee filters, cigarette butts, etc.)) or I throw it in my shopping basket and make a sculpture. I take this sculpture to the house next door, chant something in tongues, and heave the sculpture at my neighbor’s shitty dog. He still doesn’t get it and every time his reaction is different.

So Fred and I collected all of the garbage we could starting with our own trash, and we got more food than usual (someone had had a mock-Thanksgiving dinner the night prior). We made a great sculpture, though not my favorite in the long line of Garbage Hour creations. We brought it next door to the dog, I did my chant, and together we heaved the sculpture at the dog that was tied up in the fenced-in backyard. It landed on it and the dog yiped and got out from under it. It gave the sculpture a skeptical sniff and walked around it sniffing. “See, this is different!” I told Fred.

In fact the dog was so enthralled by this creation that when I went out later the dog was still sniffing at it! “HEY!” I shouted abruptly at it. “Don’t you have a meeting to attend or something?!” But the dog kept sniffing. I threw a couple of big rocks at him and went wherever the fuck I was trying to go in the first place.

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