Archive | 4:40 pm

Happy Birthday, Kyle

28 Jan

“Happy birthday, Kyle!” My mother screams from my doorway. She throws a water balloon at me. It misses and hits my nightstand, exploding on my iPhone, destroying it. I wake up at the scream and have time to wipe my eyes before witnessing her destroy the one thing in this world I love the most.

“Damn it, mother,” I say, softly. “God damn you.” I look up at the door, but she’s already gone. I hear a car start and sit up to look out the window. A blue 2010 Honda sedan is driving over my mail box. A small, white hand is outstretched from the window. A small white middle finger is outstretched from the small, white hand. “Bye, moms,” I say.

“Was that your mom?” Derek asks, appearing in my doorway.

“Yea. Birthday stuff.”

“It’s your birthday?” Derek asks, seeming a bit surprised.

“Yeah man. Twenty four. I’ve been on this earth almost a quarter century.”

Derek takes a step back and crosses his arms. “Well, you don’t need to brag, Kyle. People are dying everywhere all the time. Many of them children. Congrats on your fucking quarter century, fascist.”

I followed Derek’s logic perfectly until he called me a fascist.

I pull off the covers of my bed and swing my legs over. I stand and stretch, then hear a sharp crack at my feet. I have crushed my iPhone, which lay wet on the ground. A brilliant light begins to flicker from its high definition touch screen and a sound much like the scream of a dying woman begins to sound.

“NO!” I scream, dropping to my knees. I hold the shattered, pathetic thing in my hands. I begin to tremble. The brightness recedes for a moment as well as the sound. The muffled sound of Derek singing “Happy Birthday” into one of those “Record Your Own Message” Hallmark cards is all that can be heard. I guess he’s changed his mind on my birthday. Suddenly, a choir of angelic voices explodes from all around me. Startled, I jerk back, landing in a seated position, dropping the iPhone. Steve Jobs appears above me. He’s made entirely of light and–somehow–souls.

“Steve!” I say, wind throwing my hair back tightly across my skull. I look like Bono in the video for “Elevation.” I take the opportunity to do that “WOOOHOO” thing a few times.

“SPEAK NOT HIS NAME!” Steve Jobs says. I’m assuming he’s talking about Bono, although technically I never said his name.

“Steve!” I say again, “Please, save my iPhone! Please!” I crawl over to where the phone rests on the floor. I lift it to the heavens. Steve holds out his hand and the phone floats to his hand. The screen’s cracks begin to mend themselves and from the phone I hear the exultant sound of an infant’s laughter. “You’ve done it! Steve! You’ve done it!”

I reach out for the phone, but Steve jerks it away.

“Did you get the AppleCare Warranty program when you bought this phone?” he asks.

“Well, no,” I reply. “I always thought stuff like that was kind of a crock!”

“A CROCK?!” Steve Jobs bellows. Derek opens my door and walks in, looks at Steve Jobs, makes a “Yeesh” face, and walks back out, shutting my door.

“He has a BlackBerry,” I say, rolling my eyes. Steve Jobs scoffs, shaking his head at the closed door.

“So can I have my phone back?”

“NO!” Steve said, holding the phone like a tiny infant in his arms.

“Please?” I say, holding myself like a tiny infant in my own arms. I look like a yin yang sign made out of lunch meat.


“But it’s my birthday,” I say, tears filling my eyes.

Steve thinks about this. “I had birthdays once. I was once like you.”

“Look into that, Steve. Please. If there’s anything left of that old Steve, please. Let me have my baby back.”

And with a twinkle and a winkle and a stinkle (Shart), Steve let the iPhone fall to me. It drifted like a feather and landed in my hand.

“Thank you, Steve. This is the best birthday present ever.”

“You’re welcome, Kyle,” Steve says. “And remember,” he says, walking into the sky, “if you ever break that thing again, I’ll break you.” We share a brief laugh, before my laughter is choked off as Steve dematerializes and rematerializes as an image of me having all my limbs sawed off.

He continues to laugh as the image slowly fades away.

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