Shopping for A Shirt

I’m doing my usual walk around the mall, when I’m feeling an emptiness inside that could only be temporarily sated by consumerism.  I usually make a detour up the stairs and back down on the other side of the mall.  Not today, I thought, I will be a bit adventurous today and maybe buy that expensive toy I wanted.  Just so, I could not avoid the annoying booth lady, who was wearing a tight baby doll shirt and a skirt that seems to defy the laws of physics.  A man in brown was fending himself from her advances and also her wares.  I thought it was my lucky day to have her preoccupied, so I advanced towards them quickly, hopefully to bypass them.  When she saw me, she seemed to latch onto me like a homing missile. 

 

“You look quite handsome today.”

 

“No, thanks, I won’t be needing that today,“ I replied automatically.

 

All of the sudden, I felt like a horrible human being such a jerk. It seemed as if she would haunt me around the mall, at least in my mind, so I stopped and gave in to her.

 

 She had my full attention now and a victorious smile spread on her face like the morning sun.  I looked upon her face for the first time and noticed the creased rays from her eyes, the unreal blue of her eye shadow, and the sun aged skin.  I now saw her as someone who might have children and was having a fairly difficult day trying to feed them.   All of this weighed heavily on my conscious.

 

Her demeanor changed suddenly from peddler to confidante.  She led me back towards her base of operations: a small little kiosk that sold cheap jewelry, headbands, and t-shirts. 

 

“Would you like to try on an e-shirt?”  She asked me, her eyes darting furtively to check for approaching customers.

 

“Do you mean t-shirts?”

 

She leaned forward, “No, I mean these new e-shirts. The ‘e’ stands for electronic.”

 

I sighed.  She said electronic with a nasal intonation that seemed to suggest she didn’t even understand what the word meant. “Well, uh, maybe.  Whatever these e-shirts are, they’re probably just t-shirts anyway.”

 

“No, no, not t-shirts!”  She repeated, and busied herself with rummaging through a low cabinet.

 

Finally, she found her target and popped back up beside me.  She offered me in outstretched hands a black t-shirt.   I must have had a look of disbelief mixed with anger, so she said, “Do not be angry with me! You must try it on to understand.”

 

I grudgingly took the shirt from her and pulled it over my head. “I don’t see what’s the big deal about this boring black t-shirt.”

 

“Look!” She pointed to woman pushing a stroller near us.  As they walked by, I saw she was wearing a shirt that was the most vivid display of the human internal organs I had ever seen.  I could see her heart beat.  Her stomach was fairly empty.  As she walked by, on her back, I saw this display:

 

34

Seattle, Wa

Allergic to cats

 

I nearly shook with disbelief. I looked down on my shirt and saw that it remained blank.  The booth lady smiled at me kindly, as if I were a child.  “You haven’t paid for your shirt yet.”

 

“Wait, so you mean everyone can see every intimate detail about me, my health, my personal information.”

 

“No, no, not everyone, just those who wear e-shirts!”

 

“Why would I want to do this?”

 

Now it was her turn to sigh, “Well, I don’t do this for most of my customers, but I will let you try some more features of this e-shirt.  You are just seeing the default settings.”

 

She tapped a few keys at her console.  When she was done, we looked together into a quiet group of college girls loitering outside the cosmetic store.  Above their heads, I could see what seemed to be thought bubbles.  From what I read while I was permitted this demonstration:

 

Girl1: I want to check out the Macy’s.

Girl2: No, there’s nothing good there.

Girl1: Whatever.

Girl3: Let’s get something to eat.

 

I turned back to the booth, as the conversation was uninteresting even to eavesdrop. “You mean to say that I can not even participate in this conversation without this e-shirt?”

 

“Now, you are beginning to understand.”   She smiled a smile that was even brighter than before, “So, would you like to buy one?”

 

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Teethmark Forum


From Evernote:

Teethmark Forum

“Today, we’re here about transformation. We’re here to transform ourselves beyond our hunger,”  Our instructor Evgeny was possibly the least dead among the five of us: Darren, Marvin, Jeff, and I made up the remaining of this cohort.  We formed a semi-circle around our leader.

Evgeny continued, “I’m here to help you live again.  You might say, ‘Evgeny, how is that possible? Everyone knows that once you’ve become undead, you can not be alive again.’  Well I am telling you now that the difference between life and death is a matter of being.  Today, I will help you transform from being that shambling hulk of death to something alive again.”

Marvin nodded and grunted.

Darren growled unconvinced, “I am hungry.”

“Darren, why are you here,” Evgeny had piercing eyes that did not loll about his head or drift apart as he spoke.  He did not even drool as he spoke.  If you were absolutely raving hungry, you might have confused him for food.

“I am always hungry,” Darren gnashed his teeth, “I have a distant memory that I was not always this hungry.  Perhaps I could do something besides wander around aimlessly for a fresh meal.  Perhaps that is all I am.  I am confused by so many thoughts in my head.” 

There was a rumbling and shuffling of agreement about the room.  Evgeny turned to me and urged me to speak.

“I find it hard to speak. I feel nothing but blinding rage and hunger.  What if I could express myself?  Maybe I would not feel as hungry.”

Marvin took his turn, “I have a different problem guys.  I don’t feel excited to eat human flesh anymore, so I end up wandering around in circles.  There have been weeks where I could hardly break myself out of this vicious cycle.  I’d like to find some way to feel excited by the smell of fresh blood and the art of the kill.”

“Excellent responses! I am hearing a lot of undead resignation in this room,” Evgeny turned to Jeff. “Would you like to share something with us, Jeff?”

Jeff stood unmoving, with his head bowed and arms stiffly at his side. Jeff remained silent for a long time, except for an occasional low-pitched moan. “I do not know.”

Evgeny looked puzzled and probed, “What is a typical day of Jeff?”

A hissing noise, like a release of air came from Jeff, “I look for food. I eat the delicious life and it is so delicious. I feel satisfied.  Until I realize that I am going to be satisfied for eternity.  Something tells me this does not seem right.  Why?  Perhaps the taste of the meat is not quite right…”

“Well, I’m here to help you.” Evgeny smiled at us in something that resembled attractiveness.  “We are going to take this hunger and transform it into something else.  You see, your hunger is what the living experience until they die. There is absolutely no reason to consider ourselves any less living than they are.  We are, perhaps, much more vital because of how much more eternal a hunger we experience!

“These distant memories, these doubts of identity, occur when we start to believe that perhaps we were once “living” and now we are in some limbo state of “not living.” I say, reject this past.  The past does not define you. Regardless of what you thought living used to be, being alive is just a mental thing.

“Go forth, friends of flesh and blood.  Go forth and live!

Oh, and remember, we meet again next week.”

Zen and the Art of Unliving


From Evernote:

Zen and the Art of Unliving

It is Friday night at the Sloop, a mix between a bar and a cafe, a local hangout for the tragically hip. ??Perhaps for the sake of irony, the Sloop had no decor really associated with nautical paraphernalia, except the singing fish hanging above the entrance. ??A shadow crossed the door and it creaked as it swung open. ??Short haired, scraggly beard and glasses approached me with a hand extended. ??

"I’m Leonard. ??Sorry, " he paused, "I don’t know why I’m always late these days. ??You must be Molly."

I return to my seat, suddenly noticing a nervousness fluttering in my stomach and rising to a lump in my throat. ??Perhaps it was just some bug I caught.

He continues to gaze at me for a few moments before taking his seat. ??"Can I get you something to drink?" ??

He laughed a throaty laugh. ??I cleared my throat and agreed. He slid his chair back, taking his dirty fingernails off the table, and sauntered toward the man behind the counter. ??I could hear his throaty laugh cut through in the din as he exchanged pleasantries with the bartender. ??When Leonard returned, he pushed an opened bottle toward me. ??He took a swig from his mug. ??"You’re a quiet one. ??Or maybe you’re shy. ??At least you’re a pretty one to look at."

I felt my cheeks heat. ??"Well, ahem, Leonard what do you do for a living?"

He smirked, "Oh, ah, your a lady with priorities. Well, honey, I’m doing a bit of temp construction work on the side. ??I don’t know how long that will last though. ??I won’t be much of a meal ticket unfortunately."

Some alcohol glistened on his coarse beard and the hairs seemed to crawl on his face. ??

"What about hobbies? ??You must have time for some of that?"??

"Well I’m a mean chef. I can cook a fine borsht any day. ??Have you had dinner yet?" ??He looked hungry. ??He wiped some dribble from his mouth with the back of his hand.

"No, not really. ??I guess I shouldn’t be drinking on an empty stomach." ??I set down my empty bottle. ??I could not remember drinking it.

"Let’s ditch this joint and go back to my place. ??I will make you a dinner for winners." ??He grinned his coffee stained teeth. ??He scratched his beard and squirming bits peppered the table.

He extended his hand to help me stand. ??I stare a moment at his dirty fingernails and noticed that he was missing his pinky finger. ??How did I miss that when we shook? ??Something was oozing from the end of his pinky stump.

He switched hands apologetically, "I lost it in an accident. ??How are you feeling? ??You don’t look well."

We stagger arm in arm to the lot outside. ??There was a single street lamp reaching to illuminate his old truck. ??He pulled the door open for me and slammed it after me. ??In the dim light beyond the glass pane, I thought I saw something shaped like a hand on the ground. ??After what seemed like ages, the drivers door opened and Leonard clambered in cursing to himself.

"Seems I’ve lost my arm." ??

I look at Leonard in the shallow light. ??He looked like death. ?? I pat him on the shoulder, "It’s alright Leonard, we all have those days."

"Who’s Leonard?" He glared at me, half of his lower lip drooped revealing his teeth.

I fumbled to find the door latch. ??Finally releasing the door, I scrambled out tripping over his arm.

"Wait don’t go, Molly," He cried frantically, "Have dinner with me. ??I’m still here yet. I promised you a dinner."

I pick myself off the ground and back away from his ancient truck.

"What? I’m too ripe for you?" His voice was rough but hurt, "Who are you to judge? ??I can see the maggots under your skin. ??They just haven’t burst yet!"

??I took my maggots and ran.

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