Wednesday, July 20, 2011


In that moment, I knew two things. The first was that this was not my living room. This place was unfamiliar to me, completely alien. Also it was very dark, so I was prepared to invest in the possibility that I was in someone’s closet. The second was that I had done horrible, mean spirited things last night. Haunting things, the likes of which still echoed back at me even if there were no actual memories to base them on.

In fact, I only had one solid, dependable memory from that fever dream of a night. I recalled looking down at a bottle of vodka clutched in my hand. The other hand cradled a ball of pills roughly the size of a child’s prostate. I recalled thinking “what’s the worst that could happ-”

Then, darkness.

“Dan” my friend Zach asked, or more accurately moaned from the darkness. Through the spark of him lighting a cigarette I could make the outline of his gargantuan head rocking back and forth in the shadows. He’d been privy to the events of that night and the series of increasingly poor decisions that preceded it. It was extremely likely that he had taken a shit in a trash can earlier that night.

“Yeah?” I answered, my voice a hollow squeak, the sound of an emasculated squirrel.

“Where are we?” he asked. I looked around.

“Well, let’s work this out. I’m just gonna throw this out there, y’know, get the ball rolling: this place has a lot of shelves.”

“It really does” nodded Zach, “Just a shitload of them. I didn’t know you could have too many shelves, but this place does. You couldn’t possibly need this many things.”

“It’s like Prince’s shoe closet up in this bitch” I muttered, “what else?” Zach began flipping through the shelves.

“There’s a lot of medical stuff in here. Tubing, moth balls, bed pans, syringes…… Were we here to mainline something?”

I considered it. This was clearly a hospital, but I felt fine. The only reasonable alternative then was that here to pump something into my neck.

“Do you see windex here?”

“IIIIIIII do not, no.”

“Then no” I said. Zach put his hands on his hips.

“Well fuck me, why are we here?” I looked around, dumbfounded. Also, I was actively trying to not shit myself, but mostly I was looking around. Zach found and flipped the light switch, and a few things happened.

1. I contemplated biting out Zachs’ trachea because screw me with a cat toy I was hung over. Whole new level. It was like some had boned the hell out of my frontal lobe, and hadn’t had the decency to pull out. Needless to say, the light hurt.

2. I figured out where we were. As stated before, someone had clearly knocked up my brain, but it turned out to not be such a bad thing, because we were in an abortion clinic. I was looking at a vacuum clearly designed to be jammed inside a woman.

3. Something much bigger than me let out the exact sound of me and everyone I know dying. I didn’t know that could be a sound before, but it could and it was right behind me. Literally, right there.

Zach turned around first because, and I cannot emphasize this enough, I am a pussy.

“There is a walrus behind us. Only, like a fucked up one. It is a fucked up a walrus.” I turned around now, because the desire to call my friend on his bullshit overrode all my instincts towards survival.

“If by walrus, you mean something other than a walrus, then you are correct.” He looked at me, confused and hurt. It was fantastic.

“That’s not a walrus. It’s a bull seal. Or possibly an elephant seal. Maybe even a bull elephant seal. I’m not totally prepared to take that off the table. Regardless, you’re wrong, very wrong, and should feel bad about it. You’ve shamed your father and made us all weaker with your ignorance.”

“Oh,” said Zach. “What’s the difference.”

“It’s like a walrus, but not. And it’s very bull like. Also there's some elephant in there. And it hates you, because there’s a big, floppy bag of fat stuck to the front of its face. That’s where it stores it’s hate. In the face fat.”

“So its like the John McCain of the animal kingdom.”

“Hyoooooo!” I shouted, “but no, seriously, we’re in very grave danger. “

“Right, right. So, did we steal this thing, or what?”

“Probably. Also, I guess we went to the zoo at some point. I’m kinda mad we can’t remember that.” In my head I reviewed possible reasons for our current predicament. Why was I getting this animal an abortion? Was this many-beast pregnant? Who was the father? Was it me? If it was, then well played drunk-me, well played. Our child would have inevitably been some sort of abomination, and as a father I would have been emotionally unavailable. This was the right thing to do.

“I don’t think it’s yours” said Zach, quite possibly reading my mind.

“It’s a boy seal. Don’t ask me how I know. Also it looks like we carved the word vengeance into the side of it. “

“That’s probably why it’s so mad!” I shouted.

“That’s right Scooby, that’s probably why it’s so mad. Anyway, I guess we were trying to get revenge on the seal? Or something like that, I don’t know.”

I looked at the animal, you know, really looked at it. As it foamed at the mouth, roared wildly, and blasted what I can only imagine to be feces about the closet, I realized what a beautiful creature this animal was. Powerful, yet majestic. Like the ocean itself. Even at my most vile, in the darkest corridors of my pitiful, ugly life, I could never declare a vendetta on such a beast. I didn’t have it in me. Also, this animal was wasted. Like holy shit, you think a sea monster would be able to handle its liquor. Jesus.

“No. Absolutely not.” I said, proud of myself.

“Alright, well in that case, the vengeance must mean that...."

“We were trying to transform it into a machine of cold hearted murder!” We both said in unison. We stood there for a second, smiling.

"Revenge is a dish best served via sea mammal."

“But if we wanted to train this thing to kill people for us, and I think we can say with all certainty that we did, then we would have to give this animal the blood lust. It would have to not only hate, but hunger. Hunger for hearts of our victims, the faces and lungs of our enemies.”

“Right, yeah. We would have to give it a craving for human flesh. And not just any flesh, but the freshest, most pure of it. Of course.”

“Yeah, so then why would we have come to an abortion cliniiiiioooOOOOLY SHIT WE’VE COME FULL CIRCLE.”

Silence. I knew it. Zach knew it. But neither of us wanted to give it that power, that heft of word. It was too severe for us. Luckily, I have no problems writing it: we had been feeding this seal abortions. Little baby fetuses. There it is. Really no big deal when you absolutely refuse to think about it.

Honestly, I only had one issue with the situation; we had absolutely no method of controlling this thing, or getting it to murder Zach’s ex girlfriend for that matter. It knew no fear, no forgiveness, only hatred and pain. I would be feeling something akin to fatherly pride, if not for the fact that my surrogate son was barreling down at me, bloated with the goo of many-child. Zach asked me what we should do. With the bravery of Patton and the decisive nature of Napoleon, I assumed the most basic and primal of combat strategies; I ran the shit away. Zach followed. Then, we tried to burn the place down, got frustrated, and just peed on it a little.

As we walked off into the dawn, Zach turned to me and asked

“What will we do when people find out about this?”

“Simple,” I said, “we’re going to lie. To our families, our friends, and to the police. We’re going to lie like the shallow, gutless men that we are. Right through our goddamn teeth.”

“Awesome” said Zach with a grin, and we were off into the day, with the wind at our backs, and the knowledge that everything would be okay.

I sat back in my chair, smoking a cigarette that no one had offered me and I was quite frankly not allowed to have. I was also smoking it backwards, huffing lungful of mostly filter, but by the time I’d noticed it was too late to stop. I was riding this cigarette all the way to hell. The police stared at me with a cold, unwavering silence.

“You realize you just told us that entire story,” asked officer Mancuso, who was fat. Just picture a fat cop, and you’ve got a pretty accurate mental picture.

“Yup” I said, feeling like a badass. This was like the Usual Suspects or some shit.

“It’s…. pretty common procedure that when you lie to the cops you don’t tell the story of what you did along with your decision to lie. That’s not really something people do. Because we are cops" said detective Redding, who looked like a man have a seizure in slow motion.

“Right right,” I said, keeping my cool, much like a badass would, “Well, while we’re handing out constructive criticism, your good cop bad cop routine could use work.”

“I keep telling you, we’re not doing a routine,” said Mancuso, “We both just fucking hate you.”

“That seal ruined the planned parenthood you idiots left it in,” continued Redding, “It took our officers 47 bullets to put it down. We counted, because each one of them was heart breaking. It was like shooting Forrest Gump, and every time it leaked blood and baby everywhere. Our entire department is in a horrible depression, and one of the officers has gone or record saying that the event ruined his marriage.”

“Of course” I said, putting out my cigarette badassedly. “So do you want me to flip on Zach, or what? Because I can do that. I’m pretty sure he’s on meth or something.”

“No, he talked too. Almost immediately. You’re both going to jail. Pretty much forever.”


  1. Riveting piece, you kept me strung along with the mystery. I was gripped helplessly in your authorial grasp like a black widow before it is devoured by its she-mate.