Derek chuckled mildly to himself as he nervously bounced the small yellow pill in the palm of his hand. Once I ingest this one little pill, he thought, my biology will be permanently altered. He paused his hand, and pondered for a brief moment.
He shrugged. Worth it.
He clapped his hand to his open mouth and picked up the glass of water before him. A faint objection of last chance trailed through his mind before disappearing forever. He chased the pill with the water, swallowing until the glass was empty. He slammed the glass down on the table and stood up, looking around as if with new eyes.
“What am I doing?” Derek laughed. “It’ll take at least half an hour for anything to develop.”
He turned to sit in his recliner next to the ornamental plant that his mother had left him upon her demise. Reaching for the remote control, he popped the footrest up and turned the television on. After just a few minutes of flipping through the channels, the remote slipped from his fingers as a soft snore slipped from his lips.
A thin line of drool crept from the corner of his mouth, and the first hairs landed on his shoulder. Within six minutes, Derek was completely bald.
Fourteen hours later he woke with a start. He shook his head, trying to clear it, and noticed the cool breeze across his scalp. His right hand crept up above the place where his eyebrows used to be, and his eyes widened as he brushed the final loose hairs from his skin.
He kicked the recliner down and leaped across the room to the bathroom to freeze in front of the mirror, his knuckles whitening as he gripped the sides of the sink.
Derek squeezed his eyes tightly closed until his cheeks began to hurt, and opened them again. Still bald, and not a single psychic power to be found. He took a step back and stumbled against the bathroom door, knocking the knob into the stopper on the wall behind. The sound startled him, and he jumped back forward, nearly falling into the sink.
“No. Take a breath, man,” he told himself, and he paused for a deep breath. He felt his mind begin to clear, to push the worries to the side, making room for bigger and better thoughts. He felt an itching deep inside his mind, a need for…something.
He whipped around to his left and pointed at his mother’s ornamental plant.
The pot shattered, and a smile appeared on Derek’s face.
“I think I can work with this,” he nodded, the grin growing wider and wider. “I can definitely work with this.”
He wore a palm tree print button up shirt, and I’ve never before in my life seen a man who could rock a pith helmet as well as this man could, were he wearing one. Even without a monocle and large mustache.
If Vanilla Ice shaved his head and grew his eyebrows out I think I just met him.
He asked if I had change, I said yes sir, I have change. He said, no, I mean a lot of change like for $100. I gave him change for his $100, and he insisted that I check it somehow in the dark to verify its authenticity. I held it up to the streetlight and saw that it had a metallic strip in it so I thanked him. He must have forgotten that I have his phone number and address should something be wrong with his money.
And this guy. Jeez, this guy. I knocked on the door of his hotel room, waited, and knocked again. I heard nothing, so I called him to verify his room number. Yeah, that’s my room, but I’m not there. I didn’t know you’d be here so fast. So he left, apparently. And I am currently standing outside of this downtown hotel at ten o’clock on a Friday night waiting for him. He was quoted 45 minutes to an hour, and it’s now been 45 minutes on the dot, since I’ve been writing this post while I wait. Maybe this is him. It was him. He eyeballed me as he drove past, parked very far away, and then slowly moseyed back to the front door, where he complained that I was too fast.
And the lady who said let me just make sure there’s no onions before you leave like I was going to pick them off for her if there were.
Seriously though, I’m having a heck of a time back delivering pizzas. I love it.
Until a few days ago, when I received my very first fountain pen, I didn’t even know that they use special ink. Fortunately, while searching for a video on how to fill my pen, I learned this fact.
The nearest stationery store didn’t have any, Office Depot doesn’t keep it in store, and after several minutes on hold with Michael’s we decided to just head up there and check for ourselves.
I found some sweet washi tape rolls for my card making endeavors, but the spot for the single type of fountain pen ink they carry was empty.
At least we found it at the Hobby Lobby down the street from the first Michael’s, otherwise we’d have had to drive another ten miles to the next nearest one, which also happens to be by a Hobby Lobby. I never thought about that before.
Anyway, we got home after stopping for frozen yogurt, and I filled my pen. It writes beautifully, thank you. Now to put some fancy inks on my Amazon wish list…
When the servant knocks upon the door of every single room
And the nightshade blossom does appear to you
Your scent lingers in the air like an aftertaste of guilt
From the day we beat upon the bucket made of tin
And its approximation of a drum began.
The knot of sadness rose up my body from my stomach
And I choked the fierce repulsive bitterness back down.
The rhino stayed by my side the whole night through
And I felt the carnal rattle of no future in my chest
As I learned loss makes a cynic of each and every one.
I hear echoes in the dimness where the colors disconnect
And the bluntness of your words cuts like a knife.
Now follow me on the long and winding road
Where your polar divinity is clearest crystal
And use death’s eraser on us all.
I do not recommend reading a book on writing memoir right before you go to bed. I did it last night, and it was a mistake.
I didn’t even read that much; just a few pages, and then I was like, nah, dude, I’ll read this novel that I also downloaded when I finished Everything We Keep the other night. So I read that for a little while, and it was fine. I got sleepy, I put the Kindle down, I closed my eyes, and next thing I knew, it was five hours later and I had to pee and I had been having some pretty messed up dreams.
I’m pretty sure that every single bad decision I made in my late teens and early twenties came back to haunt me in my sleep last night. And I didn’t just dream what happened; oh no, my good ole brain had to go and make everything a thousand times worse.
Brain: you had an amicable breakup in the middle of dinner at a restaurant then finished eating together and went home separately? Not anymore! Now you’re screaming and naked and fighting for the entertainment of thirty thousand people!
Yeah. That kind of thing.
I woke up feeling the deepest darkest feelings of failure that I’ve ever felt when I’m not in the midst of a bout of depression. Miserable. Like everything I’d done was wrong.
I slept a little bit more and then I was okay for the most part, albeit still haunted by the sensations those dreams had left me.
And then it went away, as dreams and their effects so often do.
It’s funny now because I fell down an internet rabbit-hole this afternoon and ended up reading about James Frey and A Million Little Pieces. I’d somehow missed that story before.
Her garage was the most up-to-date scientific lab in the city. If the local university had the funding that she did, they would have certainly come up with a cure for cancer in no time at all. For that matter, if her interests had leaned in that direction, even the least little bit, she could have done it herself.
But she was slightly crooked of center.
She stirred the pot and gently sniffed the fumes rising up from the simmering liquid. It’s molten gold! she thought, and reached for a beaker. Grabbing a deep ladle, she very cautiously dipped out a spoonful of the steaming liqueur, and even more carefully poured it into the Erlenmeyer before placing it alone atop a separate stainless steel table to cool off enough for further testing.
That done, she retired to her living room to put her feet up and binge watch another season of Buffy.