Sunday, October 26, 2014

LIKE AN ANIMAL

Three feet. It's the length of my arm and the distance between me and the world, a wide enough span to give me some false comfort.

To draw the world closer is unsafe; it's inviting all sorts of potential mayhem to barge in and mess up the furniture, piss on the rug, maybe stick my head in the toilet. Before too long I might be trapped in a Lebowski nightmare full of nihilists and no cash machines.

Arm's length, dude. Keep it all at arm's length. Not just for my well-being, either — there is also the danger that with close contact I will contract the illness and trigger an outbreak. Sure, the experts say it's not airborne, but psssht, what do they know and what aren't they telling us? One wrong move and we could all be toast.

So I keep the door closed and locked. If someone knocks I will ignore it and wait for the visitor to go away. They always do. All I have to do is turn down the music and be quiet, and once they're gone I can get back to Spotify — maybe some Nine Inch Nails so I can feel like an animal and a little closer to god.

It's the only way, I tell you. The only surefire way to keep a vacuum lock around my insides and keep my heart free from the infection of affection. That stuff will eat you from the inside like spider venom; one good hit from those fangs and before you know it your backbone is nothing but a slurpy slushy, and once you're sucked dry all that's left is a husk.

Shh. Someone just rang the doorbell. Must not cough and give myself away. Above all — no laughing. That's a sure sign that something is awry. I put a pillow over my face and count to 100, open my big ears and listen for the footfalls to fade.

Perfect. I think they're gone. That was close. Gently, quietly, I walk into my bedroom so I can watch a movie. I wish David Lynch had his stuff on Netflix. Blue Velvet, at least. Or Wild at Heart. Nothing like a little creepy kink in this Halloween season.

"Hello," she says, stretched out in a T-shirt, a cat on her lap, one hand behind her head. "Hope you don't mind that I made myself comfortable."

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