Authors: Sam Pink
He laughed and gave me the middle finger before walking away—hands in pockets, looking down at the sidewalk.
We waited for a bus out front.
My girlfriend called her sister, leaning against the bus sign.
The first thing I heard was, “Hey, how’re things!”
And I thought about how I’d answer.
I’d answer that things weren’t working for me.
That there were only things.
And I couldn’t get them to work together.
Other things would indicate, “No, we’re not going to work with these things.”
I’d make like, two or three things work then realize those two or three things were attached to everything else, which never worked, which stopped referencing each other and became just things.
And I’d be helpless again—standing there with things in front of me.
A pile of things, piling more but only ever making one pile.
Born with it, though felt like something that never happened.
Not a phase.
Not something to get over.
But something to overlook, to forget about.
Something that’s there.
I stood sweating on the street with vague and unguided thoughts about being an architect who knows nothing, but tries, learning what not to do the next time—each next time having less and less energy to produce anything.
A series of accidents creating exactly the same thing, resulting in the same sad person, everything connected to time as it happens, without any ability to turn around and stop it even for a second to say “what is happening” because that is happening.
And eventually your body just learns to operate so slowly it looks like you stop moving and decay—looks like you die—but you don’t.
Everything else around you just speeds up and learns to look different until you look dead by comparison.
But it always makes sense.
Never any errors.
Of course this is what’s happening—I thought, standing on Milwaukee Avenue waiting for the bus.
And it felt like things were going to have meaning again maybe.
Also felt like I couldn’t imagine anything that would make me feel better.
I walked up behind my girlfriend and lightly kneed the back of her knee and she fell a little then breathed in quickly, saying, “Ahhh.”
About the cat
Rontel is three years old. He lives in Chicago.
About the author
Sam Pink is 29 years old. He lives in Chicago.
Also by Sam Pink
Available from Lazy Fascist Press
Rontel (print edition)
No One Can Do Anything Worse to You Than You Can
The No Hellos Diet
The Self-Esteem Holocaust Comes Home
Frowns Need Friends Too
I Am Going to Clone Myself Then Kill the Clone and Eat It
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