Writer’s Block 2: The Squeakuel

7 Aug

“Where have you been?” Editor asks me as I saunter into our office.

“Out,” I respond coldly. I set my backpack down on the couch that runs perpendicular to the front door and unzip its top zipper. Six cats spill out. “Doing some,” I pause. “Soul searching.”

Editor looks at me, his face cloudy from trying to find out what I actually mean. I decide to just tell him. His cloudy face remind me too much of a dead man’s.

“I got shit-hammered and spent a week picking corn for a family who told me that I’d fallen back into the 1700’s and that, as long as I helped them pick corn and didn’t ask them about all the cars driving by, they would help me get back to current times.”

“I don’t believe you,” Editor says. I shrug indifferently, reach into my bag and throw him an ear of corn. He looks at me, wordlessly.

“I also saw Inception at one point,” I say.

“Huh. Well, what do you want to do today? John Mayer said he’d be interested in doing your comeback special.”

“Comeback special?”

“Yea, since you’ve been gone so long.”

“Tell him he’s an idiot and that he’s like sexual Vietcong.”

Editor shakes his head and looks out the window.

I reach out and shake his head again with my hands.

“I need inspiration,” I tell him. “I’m going out. I’m going out to be with my people.” I leave immediately for a retirement village in south Denton.

The retirement village is verdant and clean. The lines on the building are crisp. All the paint is immaculate and bright. It is well-kept. I smile, thinking of all the old folks slithering about its exterior, eating all the dirt and algae that accumulate on the walls and gutters–nibbling the grass down as they leave small, glistening trails of transparent excrement along the grass, feeding it and watering it all at once in a beautiful cycle of death and rebirth.

I kick the door down and exult. “My people! Your most beautiful son has returned to remind you of the youth that was once yours and never will be again!” One woman in the back for the room yelps. I point at her, wink, and make a clicking noise with my tongue. “That’s about right,” I say.

“Sir, you can’t come in here like that. You’re bound to startle the residents,” a nurse says.

“I think I already did,” I respond, gesturing toward a crumbled man with a frightened look on his face. “That guy looks scared shitless.”

It turns out he had shit himself.

I begin making rounds, talking to my geriatric comrades in hopes of garnering some sort of homespun-wisdom, some type of age-old inspiration. All I get is a series of stories about long-departed friends and relatives–lamentations of sons and daughters that are seen all too infrequently.

I almost lose hope. Then, I run into Abel Jeffers. Abel claims to be a veteran of several military conflicts: Vietnam, Korea, the Seven Years War. I realize that it would be impossible for him to have been in all of these wars, but who am I to judge? Abel is probably just as full of shit as anybody else–his shit can just be refuted by books. I dare you to look up the actual size of the guy I claimed to have beat up in the sixth grade.

“And when I wrapped my hands around that noodle-jockey’s neck, I knew it was over.”

“His life?” I ask. Abel thinks for a moment.

“Yes, I suppose. But perhaps it was the end of both of our lives, for no man leaves murder unchanged.”

I fell asleep after this last remark.

A nurse comes by and wakes me.

“Sir, visiting hours are over.”

“Over?” I look around, eyes red, searching for Abel. He’s long gone.

“I’ll escort you to the door, sir.”

The nurse takes me gently by the hand and leads me out. As I leave, I turn and look at the village–at the final residence of all these people who had once been young and vibrant like me. The rarity of youth strikes me and I go home, eager to create.

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