I’d always thought it was the stuff of movies; B-grade comedies with a heaping dash of slapstick. The possibility itself seemed real but I’d never fathomed the execution. You stepped onto the waxed hardwood and gave your targets a look of either pity or confirmed conspiracy. Because when you wound up to throw—your arm in a wanton sweeping arc—you let go of the ball at the halfway-point and it came crashing towards us. We all jumped and dove out of its path as it trampled beer cans and street shoes, while the gleaming, pearl pins stood tall and untouched in the distance.
“Hello, I started this website for one reason: to share a secret.” I was intrigued. I love secrets. Whether they’re recipes, soap-opera stories of adultery or passwords to X-Box live accounts. It’s that strange pleasure of knowing even the most trivial scrap of information that others don’t. When you revealed that the secret was how to get free live-cams I was confused and disappointed. I knew you were just a pop-up but that offer of disclosure was what was keeping me from watching my illegal online-stream of Broad City. You tried to win me back with the promise that the free live-cam girls would do anything I wanted. I wasn’t swayed. You asked me if I was tired of paying for live cams as if it was as obvious as wanting free health care. I told your casual, regular Joe voice to fuck off, clicked the red “x” and began pretty seriously looking into getting Comedy Central.
“Do you have bugs? Any bugs here?” You ask as I let you in. I say no. “Good. Let’s go.” You bark, turning to the Orkin man who stands his ground clarifying for what must be the hundredth time due to the look of frustration branded on his face that he is required to do a routine check for pests. As he looks under the sink you raise you arms and pose the eternal question: “If there no bugs here, then why are we here?” In a misguided attempt to help justify your visit I share how occasionally there are moths that fly into my apartment when I leave the balcony door open. Your eyes turn cold. “There are bugs here? You said there was no bugs and now there is?” The Orkin man sighs. I shake my head and backtrack. “Once. There was one bug once.” This seems to satisfy and you turn to leave, arms still in the air, calling to the Orkin man, “Good, let’s go”.
“Well, you know time is a flat circle so we’re bound to miss this train over-and-over for eternity.” I told my classmate after we’d stopped running for the Skytrain that was gathering speed out of the station. He said nothing. “It’s a paraphilic love map.” I stated as my friend and I looked down at a pile of vomit outside the front door of the liquor store we’d just exited. He shook his head. “I don’t sleep, I just dream.” I said to the neighbourhood cat as I walked to the corner store to get potato chips at 1:00 in the morning. It slunk into the shadows. No one was getting my True Detective references and that was fine with me.
You wore not much more than that mask while dancing through the crowd, the smile that stretched across your face so bold and so honest that I started to get envious. I tried to remember myself ever being so happy. The day my mother bought me a Gameboy after months or years of badgering came to mind. When I finally stopped feeling so awkward and arrhythmic during sex was also pretty good. What came the closest though was an afternoon bike ride down 10th Ave. The sun freckled the road through the crossed arms of trees overhead and the air was warm and I saw three cats and stopped to pet two. It was a feeling of whole contentment that I’d never experienced before. You crossed the dance floor again and hollered something I couldn’t make-out to your friends and you all broke down laughing. In relatable terms I figured you were probably at two 10th Ave bike rides or at least three Gameboys. You pirouetted and stumbled backwards into someone and grinned. I upped it to four.