And yet you are here, somewhere on the peninsula, pulled out from one useless nothing and in search of another. Perhaps that makes you a puller. If you are a puller, then you are the center of your universe. But there are lots of universes, you know, it’s been overcrowded with universes lately. Perhaps it’s always been, but who knows, certainly not you though, because you’re no puller right, you’re just here by accident — you don’t belong here, you’re an unfortunate outsider who had wandered too far — you’ll be on your back home if you only just think your way hard enough right? After all, is that not why you came to the peninsula in the first place — to think your way back or, if not, then to find your way forward — either would be just fine with you and of course, you had not ever imagined that mobility could be fueled so crudely — to command an entire universe, as impressive as that should sound, is but essentially your willingness to exploit your own faults, to ring them of whatever small worths can be scammed. Most can do that, you know, just most never think to ever stoop that low. But there are plenty who have, though, and still many who do, and yet, there you are, pulling on your peninsula.
“You’re not that special” — said a voice from somewhere but nowhere and from everywhere all at once — and for a moment you thought on it, but shortly wrote the words off as nothing. No big deal right? I mean hey, maybe it was just some sort of recall — triggered late — by all those hours you’d spent mindlessly scrolling the Internet last night, so, yeah, no big deal, not to mention not important, especially considering it’s not true — those four words, man, far too trite (a word on those words could really be more accurate, you just don’t know of one) to bother wasting any more of your thought.
But you wouldn’t know true value in those words had they literally slapped you in the balls — remember of course that you despise the word literally — literally makes you cringe — even though you’d meant for that cringe to last only that one night you decided it made you cringe — you kind of actually stopped hating literally–literally as soon as you’d started hating literally — time you figuratively let that one go, don’t you think? Oh how you love the idea you could ever hate something more than you hate yourself–don’t they all.
But what’s important in any of that — fragments of useless shit that race by in flash, never to be perceived of again. You’re on a mission, you know, you’d better get a move on, you’re aging pretty fast, “If you don’t get there soon, you’ll never get there last” and somehow, that makes good sense to you because, you don’t know why, and could you even understand then you might find it worthless, but hey, make your call, flip the coin, you’re on the clock — appease them to appease you — they’re not pullers, they’re not like you. You’re doing what you know is good and right, and that much is more than you’ve ever had. Why risk it all when all you must do is play within lines. If you’re as great as you believe, you can hack it. The trials they live by daily deserve at least just maybe your weekend—maybe not.
Suddenly, your mind flips, though not literally — “Why are you speeding? Stop speeding” — That voice again — You’re not even moving though, much less are you speeding. Well, you are driving, though, remember? Pay attention to the fucking road, man, it’s incredible that you’ve not killed someone. Wait–no, wait, no, it’s not, she’s getting to you, disregard her — “Where are you going?” —
What kind of question is that? You know exactly where you’re going: it’s that time of the month — try to make things last this time the best you can — even if that is just an empty fantasy — good thing though is that you know better, and better thing yet is that she knows jack shit, because had she, she’d be elsewhere — and yet here she is, pissing in your ear, and you deserve it, all of it, though you don’t care. But you have a right to not to — I mean hey, it’s not like a crime or, not one punishable by law at least, and besides, you’re no monster, you are damn decent material and she knows it–and she’ll know it, long after she’s gone.
Don’t be so hard on yourself, man, defending your actions as if you’re on trial inside your own mind. If you do take that path, dude, you’d better at least win your case — how embarrassing would that be, losing in such a silly way. And besides, you know damn well she’s no saint — In so many ways you’re both so perfectly different, your juxtaposition could only be a gift from Satan herself — that’s a rare find, man, in any day and age — Were you Ricky Riccardo and she Lucy, she’d not only iron holes through your shirts, she’d poison your oatmeal — sure, yeah, she’d toss it away before you’d have it, she’s not that dangerous, but every morning, though, would be the same lame old routine — She comes waltzing into the kitchen with the same stupid green bowl of poison in hand and, as soon as at the table, she breaks like the twine on your maraca, dumps your toxic oats down the drain and whines and cries for failing to murder you — A little bit funny, yeah, the first few times, but really, it’s more insulting than anything else — And you, being the jaded fuck of a Riccardo that you are, you just roll your eyes, lean back in your chair and dump “Kaaattttyyyy” from your lazy star-fucked mouth.
Yeah, man, strange how chillingly normal that seems, right? Pretty wide, sure, but hey, it’s your mind, man, think what you want with it — Not sure how you landed on Katy though, I mean, her name is June — you know damn well her name is June — you do fucking live, with fucking June. Say something, bro, you’re showing as more than just awkward, “Do you have any cigarettes?” wow, man, way to go, Casanova, reminded her you’re a tobacco leach, that’ll lighten the mood for sure. Hey, why not ask for a blow-job while you’re at it, throw some candied cherries on that diabetic’s sundae, she’ll love ‘em — “You don’t have any? You bought a pack this morning” — apparently she’s not impressed, go figure “Yeah, I left mine at home” because I’m forgetful like that, bitch, you know that, bitch, give me a goddamn Newport.
— “I don’t have any menthols. I’m switching to regulars because menthols have fiberglass, plus menthols are gross, only scumbags smoke menthols.” — Only scumbags smoke menthols? What the fuck does she mean by that? Is it because you smoke menthols so you’re a scumbag? No, is it because black people smoke menthols? Whatever, “That’s kind of a racist thing to say” good call, that should piss her off — “How do you figure?” — I told you, man, clocks always tick, “Well, you said only scumbags smoke menthols. A lot of black smokers smoke menthols, that much is factual” brace yourself yo, it’s coming.
— “Isn’t it a bit racist to equate black people with mentholated cigarettes? Because that’s literally what you just fucking did, not me.” — Damn, why’s she gotta bring literally into it–the bitch, “No, I did not, I said a lot of black smokers smoke menthols not black people, there’s a difference, and there’s ample statistical data to support that as fact. What I said is verifiably true, and you know it” don’t roll your eyes at me — “OK, Malcolm X, do you want a fucking cigarette, or not? — Word, “If it’s not Newport I’m not interested” black power, bitch, take it — “Fine, enjoy nothing then, idiot.” —
Suddenly, the drive turns more enjoyable — you have to savor those rare victories, you know — oh how they always go down so smooth — Uh-oh, she looks like she’s thinking — you can tell because her fists are clenching and her head is starting to shake — “The point was and is I’m switching to non-menthols because they are less disastrous for your health. And you should do the same” — Oh the fucking saint she is, always looking out for you — and from only as always high above you, of course — the fucking angel she is.
And so yet once again, here you are, the timeless crux to your daily fate. Her point is weak sauce, not to mention a cop out and you know it — But should any of it matter, her feelings could have been hurt by you, you know — and who knows what her intentions really are? Sure, history stands to reason she’s just trying to win the argument at all costs–regardless of how petty or senseless it may be — but what are you doing though that’s so different, Malcolm X? “Look, forget about whatever I said about racism, it’s really not my place to call it, and I only did because I wish you had menthols on you” holy shit, man, she almost just smiled — that soon already, from just only one sentence — And she would have, too, you know, but she’s cautious, though, just like you. Good for you, Ben, you could have gone with the all filters have fiberglass route, but you didn’t, and now the day is better for both of you. You’re at CVS, man, pull in and park, “Back in a minute, babes, getting a pack.”
“You don’t deserve [her]” is all that registers in the back of your head as you walk inside — feeling your jean pocket for the fifth time, to make sure you brought what you need. “Welcome to CVS!” says a short black woman in a company blue vest — eh, just nod your head and walk past her, you have business to take care of.