Fiction

Arbitrary Exchange

Annoying things happen all the time, or things I’d rather not deal with, like getting shit on by a bird or having to do anything in general. The last time I was shit on by a bird, it nearly made me turn around, go home, and go back to bed. I was on my way to work. The birdshit didn’t smell (it generally doesn’t), and it wasn’t visible after a few dabs with a spitty napkin. There was a Wendy’s nearby, so at least I was able to get a napkin to spit on. But the thought of going through the rest of the day in that shirt deflated me. No one could see or smell the birdshit, but I would know, and it would bother me until I forgot about it, and I knew that I would forget. I would be going about my day as usual, and then…
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Dog Alcoholic

   Life used to be pretty good for me. I was living with this guy Marty. I lived with him, worked with him, partied with him. We were pals. I worked with him at Laguardia, I was a detector dog and he was my handler. I sniffed out (or detected) bombs, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, all sorts of contraband. If it smells funny, bark and point, that was the general rule. Better to detain some poor bastard with smelly socks than to have an airplane explode, or (god forbid) have some guy smoke pot.    We worked 12 hour shifts, they were generally long and unbearable unless I sniffed cocaine or heroin. Cocaine gave me the energy I needed to get through the shift, heroin made me so high I didn’t really care or know where I was. But most of the time, I didn’t detect anything. There just wasn’t anything to detect.…
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Groceries

I like buying groceries. I like the buying part. But groceries are always a source of stress. I buy this food, cabbages, cauliflower, chorizo, bread, cheese, milk, coffee. I don’t worry about the coffee. I don’t worry about the chorizo or cheese until after I’ve opened their packaging. The cabbage I don’t worry about too much either. I’ve never had cabbage go bad on me. But the cauliflower, bread, and milk, I begin to worry about immediately. I have to have some sort of plan to eat it before it goes bad, and in order to eat those things, I need to open the chorizo and sometimes the cheese, which adds to the pressure.    It seems like I have too much food, but never enough. Enough to worry about it rotting, but not enough so I’m not daily going back to a grocery store or deli. I need small amounts…
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The Physical

I sat on the edge of the bed, or whatever you call them. The half bed, half psychiatrist’s couch, half gym mat thing that they always put you on in examining rooms. It’s covered in butcher’s paper so none of you directly touches it, but it still smells old and dirty, like a bad odor covered by another, stronger bad odor.    Time elapsed without elapsing. I might have been waiting 10 minutes, an hour, 30 seconds. I kept forgetting and remembering myself, where I was and what I was doing. Maybe I belonged here. I thought about going to sleep, but knew that it wouldn’t work out for me. Either the doctor would arrive immediately, or I would just lie there, smelling the smells and staring at the ceiling.    “Ah, Mr. ____ . How are we doing today?”    He had materialized in front of me. I hadn’t heard the door…
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The Cat

When my first girlfriend dumped me, it was a new kind of hurt. The songs we had listened to, the fading odors of her hair on the pillows. the smell of her clean body on the towels. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I sat in my underwear all day and night, sometimes for over 36 hours at a time, playing video games (mainly Shining Force) and drinking Georgi Vodka with generic ice tea mix. I took breaks to sleep and to go out to buy more vodka and cigarettes. It was a cold winter, but I had a car, I could make it to the car in just a bathrobe and shoes. Driving to the liquor shop, I thought about her. I was young and stupid in a way that I’ll never be again. I was ashamed of myself then and I’m ashamed of it now, but I was…
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Competitive (Ch)eating

Growing up, my father always wanted me to be an athlete. “Quit being a pussy musician and learn combat skills,” he used to say. The recorder was my instrument of choice, and if he caught me playing it, I got “the belt”. It’s not like I didn’t try to be good at sports. I was just a doughy kid who didn’t have the heart of a champion. That is, until the day I discovered the glorious, gluttonous spectacle they call competitive eating. Finally, a sport where fatties finish first! Well, that is what I assumed anyway. In small, local tournaments, I held my own. The sheer size of my stomach was enough to beat the lightweights in Latham, NY.   However, once I made it to the national level, I discovered that genetics of a different sort gave skinny kids the edge. The day I met Takeru Kobayashi was a humbling,…
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Chonken 55

Paul sat hunched over a microscope, he was examining a sampling of the ants that had recently invaded his apartment. He removed and replaced slide after slide, meticulously examined antennae, eye, segment. After half an hour he admitted he knew nothing about ants. He would be better off taking pictures and posting them online, but how to take a picture of an ant? Would you just zoom in, or would it be better to take a picture through a microscope? Paul realized he knew nothing about taking pictures, he was wasting his time, he always wasted his time like this, he cared enough to wonder and waste time, but not enough to learn. A tapping on his door disrupted his thoughts and the door popped open. “Paul!” Lenny was panting. “Why do you bother knocking if you’re just going to barge in anyway?” Paul tried to remember what he’d been…
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Super Truther

Melvin scrolled through his Facebook feed and shook his head. How could people be so blind? He wanted to scream it from the rooftops, but it was difficult to discuss these things person to person. Out in the real world who knows what might happen? And it just didn’t seem polite.   He took a deep breath and started to type. He didn’t know it, but the feeling of being heard, of standing up for your beliefs, felt like getting high. The anticipation of attention made him high. He tingled as he typed. 9/11 was an inside job, the Twin Towers were brought down by controlled demolition, it’s obvious to anyone who sees the footage but none of you wants to see! The globalists have you all hypnotized, you believe whatever the mass media feeds you. Wake up!  How could people not see the plain truth right in front of their…
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Dishwasher

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. My first day on the job. I heard the dishwasher I was replacing arguing with a female supervisor. He had worked from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. and she was claiming that he had only worked for three hours. He protested sadly. Being a poor, black, 40 some odd year old dishwasher, he knew he was going to lose.  The Sheraton Hotel. Of all the dishwashing machines I had ever encountered, this one was the largest and meanest. The water was never below boiling. No plastic gloves were supplied.  The first hour wasn’t bad. There were no dishes. Only a few pots and pans. I took care of them and smoked cigarettes. The chef approached me and ordered me to skin potatoes. He was a small, greasy looking man. I skinned potatoes, smoked cigarettes, and listened to the radio. For $7.00 an hour, I could…
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Jason

In the caveman days, the entire world was full of retards walking off cliffs, eating raw meat, batting women over the head with clubs and dragging them off to be raped. The stupider ones died off, leaving us.    Jason Call. In kindergarten he pissed in a corner, mooning the entire class. We all knew then that he was fucked. That he was in for a lifetime of ridicule and torture.    Once, when we were about 11, he asked if he could use my bathroom. A neighborhood boy, Matt, had told me that he’d let Jason use his bathroom once and he’d shit all over the walls and the floor. Matt had had to clean it. Jason lived about 50 feet from each of us, the entire thing seemed ludicrous. Maybe he wanted to mark our bathrooms, to expand his territory.    “Go home and use your own bathroom, retard. And try…
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