What should I do for Christmas?
Confused for Christmas
For my own part, I shall spend the Christ's Mass Holy Day here, in my pressurized salt-water tank high atop Detroit's Renaissance Building, taking my rest from the day-to-day hustley bustle of the workweek. I also may detonate three small bridges within the continental United States (try to guess which; I believe you will be pleasantly surprised!)
But, I recognize that my Holy Day plans are far from the norm, so I took your question to my occasional lab assistant, Mr. Rob Miller.
Rob, for his part, shook of his head as he removed his coat, thus displaying a t-shirt emblazoned with Hebrew characters which translated to read FUCK CHRISTMAS. "We've been over this, Lord A.; I don't really roll with the Xmas thing, right?"
"ROB, FOR TO CLARIFY: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THIS FORTHCOMING CHRIST'S MASS, DURING WHICH ALL AND EVERY AMERICAN CELEBRATES THE DEATHLESS PERPETUAL BIRTH OF A WISH-GRANTING BEARDED ENFANT TERRIBLE?"
Rob rolled of the eyes. "Probably gonna get Chinese. Hey, that reminds me: Are you on Facebook, Lord A."
"Do you know what Facebook is?"
"I PRESUME IT IS A BOOK MADE OF HUMAN FACES, NOT UNLIKE THE ONE MADE IN 1539 BY THE MAD ARAB, ABDUL ALHAZRED."
Rob stared at me for a long minute's passing, attempting to ascertain whether I was "for reals" or merely jesting. (Nota Bene: I was "for reals.")
"OK, right, so, it's like this website where you can totally, like, reconnect with folks you knew back in the day, like school chums and whatever—"
This gave me a bit of a thrill, "I COULD RESTORE CONTACT WITH MY DREAD COMPANIONS FROM OLE MISKIE U.?"
"I guess. I didn't do much colle—"
"OR DRURY HIGH?"
"Listen, I dunno. Anyway, so, like, I'm on the Facebook, cold up facebooking it a week or two back, and I get this, like, friend-request-poke-message-tickle-jam—or whatever—from this, like, totally, totally hot-ass chick. Just getting messaged at all is sort of a thing for me, 'cause I'm not real facebook-popular or anything, but this chick . . ." he shook his head "Man! For real. Like, it's this tiny picture next to their name, maybe not even so big as a postage stamp, but even that little pick, it just took my goddamn breath away. For fucking real; I was gasping and shit, and my heart sorta hurt. It was this real professional-like shot, with the nowhere-white-background, and she's, like—like, this isn't some weird MySpace skank thing, you know? Or a twitter pornbot—"
As an aside, dear readers, I desire to take this moment to point out two facts, bare and hard as chipped marble: 1) I often have only the very faintest glitter of what Rob speaks and 2) your world is not simply wonderful and bizarre, but it is likely the most wonderfully bizarre thing an evolved mind could begin to grasp. Please cherish it.
"—it's straight-up classy, classy shit: she's in this, like, chocolate brown satin dress, short—but, like I'm saying, not skanky-short; this is classy shit short—and her arms and legs are bare, like coffee with lots of cream, and straight and, like, just sculpted. Like, serious, it was a fucking . . . a fucking . . ." his hand involuntarily grasped at the air, like a drowning cat pawing at passing neon tetras, "Revelation." A smile, honest and good and, no doubt, making his swollen cheek and blackened eye ache, broke across his abused face. "For reals. It was a goddamn revelation. Like, I didn't know what arms and legs were supposed to be until I saw her arms in legs in this tiny postage-stamp picture you know? And her black hair, her crinkly black hair was sorta floating around her head and, just, like, WOW, you know? I mean, serious, for real, Lord A., this chick totally, totally, totally put the 'hot ass bitches' in . . ." Rob trailed off and then stared into the middle distance for a long while, stitching his brows whilst his lips gently sussurated, as though he were trying to discern the wording on a distant marquee. Finally, he retook his thread, ". . . in, um, 'Hot Ass Bitches on Facebook.' For reals. And then I look at the name, and it's this chick I went to high school with, Sari Devon—which, like, now that I say it, sounds like a pretty straight-up porno name, but Sari was, like, real mousey and quiet and . . . you know, not even Velma-hot."
I did not know, but gestured that he should continue toward the point.
Rob stops, a frown creasing his face, "People are living rough out there, you know? Like, Dookie's joint was this terrible fucking squat, just like a stained mattress and garbage, cold, nothing but this weak-ass space heater and headachey vaporous stink coming up off this batch of, like, skinhead meth he was cold-cooking by the cracked window. Rough."
Rob's frown deepened.
"And, like, maybe it don't go without saying, so I'll say it: Dookie didn't fucking look good, man. His face was all scabby where he'd been digging at it, and he smelled bad. I laid some dough on him and we chatted and, for real, Dookie was a lot gladder to see me than most folks ever are, and so that was nice, too. Then, trying to play it nonchalant, I was all like, 'So, where's Sari at?' and Dookie, his face just fell, 'Oh, dude . . . I mean, I just messaged you 'cause I saw that we went to the same school and you still lived around, and I kinda hoped you'd turn out to be one of those rich SUV fucks with fat pockets. If I'd known it was you . . .' And, yeah, I know I'm not the shiniest fucking knife in the drawer, but the way Dookie looked at me as this all soaked in, it was like how you look at a dog that's gotten his dumb ass all tangled in a bunch of rusty wire. 'Listen, dude . . . I mean, I figured you'd know, 'cause you're around and you two chilled and shit; Sari's been fucking dead for ten years, dude.'
"That shit . . . Lord A., it just took my breath all over again you know. Like, I never knew what the fuck fuckers meant about some shit 'taking the wind out of their sails,' but that was totally it. This hot-ass chick had been dead since Before the Towers Fell, you know? Since barely just after high school. What the fuck? Dookie was totally into smoking down some, and said he even maybe had a little crystal we could mix in but, you know, I wasn't feeling it. I gave him the rest of the dough I had—wasn't like I was going out for Chinese or nothing—and drove home."
Rob was silent. He stood and I floated and together, for a moment, watching the snow drift past the windows of my lab, watched it collect upon the window's ledge, and the sooty city below, softening its edges, hushing its tremors.
"WITH ALL RESPECTS DUE, ROB, I AM FAILING TO SUSS THE CHRIST'S MASS MESSAGE EMBEDDED HERE-IN."
Rob looked up at me, his eyes wide and clear. "Just sayin' it's the thought that counts, you know? Every year, there's more hot-ass chicks in the grave than out, and it's sort of a shame."
We again dwelt in silence, which I broke as gently as I could. "BUT ROB, IF SARI DEVON DIED SHORTLY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL, SHE WAS LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN WHEN YOU KNEW HER. ERGO, SHE HAD NO OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP UNTO THE HOT-ASS CHICK; THE PICTURES WERE CLEARLY ERSATZ."
Rob looked back at me and shrugged. "Yeah, but I thought they were legit, and like I said, it's the thought that counts, you know?"
And I suppose that, after a manner, I did.
"ROB; WHAT DOES IT SAY UPON YOUR T-SHIRT?"
Rob looked down at the shirt and grinned, "Yeah," he said, "My cousin Adam gave this to me for Chanukah—no one has given me shit for Chanukah since I was thirteen!—fucker saved his allowance and shit for it. He told me it says 'MERRY XMAS.' In Hebrew! Isn't that a fucking riot?"
And, indeed, taken in its totality, it rather is.
Wishing You a Merry Christmas, I Remain
Your Giant Squid
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