It has been five months.
I am haunted. I cannot let go.
When I walk outside, I look for you.
Around corners. Under bushes. Along the fence.
You’re not there. You’re never there.
I search the pet rescue sites, chasing your ghost.
Every black cat, young or old. It doesn’t matter.
No, this one is a kitten.
No, this one has green eyes.
I will never find you, because you’re not out there.
Gone is gone. And nothing will change that.
But I will keep looking.
And I will keep searching.
Because I am haunted, and cannot let go.
While online dating sites constructed databases of compatible personality traits, Prometheus Industries collected data on organ compatibility for transplant purposes.
Every mail-in paternity check, medical biopsy, and blood test brought in more data.
Prometheus ingested every result and wove a complex web of names and organs.
At first, Prometheus offered up its data on voluntary donors to eliminate transplant rejections.
But after they demonstrated how successful their algorithms were, they quietly opened up the secret market to allow the wealthy and desperate to view donor resources not yet available.
Prometheus just offered the data. The illegal procurement agents operated independently.
I like to drink coffee with milk and Bailey’s in it.
But I’m out of Bailey’s.
So, I went to the liquor store for Bailey’s.
That’s when I realized I drank the last of the milk that morning.
I got back in the car, to pick up a fresh gallon of milk.
If only I had picked up more coffee… I was out of that, too.
After another grocery run, I had the Bailey’s, coffee, and milk.
I put a filter in the machine, poured in water, and hit the ON button.
I took my Bailey’s bottle to Starbucks.
I wasn’t responsible enough for a dog or cat, let alone a pet rock.
“You’d throw it through a window,” said my mother. And then she’d tighten the straps and buckles on my harness.
As I sobbed, I noticed a glimmer on the wall.
A sunbeam reflected off of a buckle.
I named it “Boing.”
He followed me everywhere.
At night, I turned on the lights, and Boing danced on the walls.
Over the phone, the psychologist told my mother to bring me in.
Boing felt threatened, and he leapt into her eyes while she drove us to the hospital.
I love to light incense.
The more aromatic it is, the better.
I watch it twist and curl into the air, spreading trails in an alphabet only known to the gods and the mad fools who follow them.
Today, I light a stick of jasmine, and I can remember when our fence was covered with vines and white star blossoms.
The red tip glows brightly, consuming the incense slowly, dropping ash into the groove of the wooden holder.
And then, the tip goes dark.
The smoke trails vanish, and I’m left with the memory and scent of tiny white flowers.
My job is to write technical documentation.
Because we have so many global customers, I need to write in a manner that makes it easy for translation engines to translate my documentation into many languages.
To help me, I bought a Global English style guide.
The more I use it, the more I realize that I have poor grammar and write in rambling sentences that translation engines choke on, spewing out confusing nonsense.
This is turning me into a neurotic drooling mess, unable to communicate.
Wait. Am I drooling?
Oh my God! Please don’t let my last word be “drooling!”
I bought a pair of running shoes with built-in computer chips that track how far and fast you run.
Just wave the shoes over your laptop, and it uploads all the information to a website, complete with maps and calories.
One morning, I looked at the chart, and it said I had run all the way to bank and back overnight.
I don’t remember doing that.
Had I been sleepwalking? Or sleepjogging?
I got my shoes out of the closet, and a bag of money fell off a shelf.
Apparently, I’d been sleepbankrobbing.
At least the shoes paid for themselves.
I trusted you with my life.
I gave you the backup drive, and what did you do?
You got drunk, and did a restore with mine instead of a backup of yours.
Now you’re me. And you don’t want me to restore you with the right drive and files.
You know I’m afraid to be overwritten. You’re me, after all.
There was some corruption. Because you were drunk.
I’m sorry about the broken arm, but you broke my nose.
You wiped your drive, but unlike you, I can be trusted to keep your spare safe.
Sit still, stupid.
I’m having trouble remembering simple things.
Things I do all the time.
Like if I turned off the stove before going for a walk.
I’ve done it so much, I can’t remember if I just did it, or I’m remembering doing it thousands of times before.
The same goes for locking the door.
Filling water bowls for the cats.
Even shampooing my hair.
I feel the bottle on the shelf. Is it wet?
Duh. My hands are wet.
I smell my hands, and I’m still not sure.
So, I reach for the shampoo.
Well, it says “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” right?
I forget words… starts with a v… vocabulary.
I lose vocabulary when I am tired.
I reach for words like… like I am… digging through a discount bin… a bin full of… DVDs… looking for a good one… one that’s not an Adam Sandler movie…
One that fits just right.
Starts with a v…
But, it’s not there.
Another fucking Happy Gilmore
I can feel myself… losing focus…
But for Christ’s sake, you just… won’t… shut… up.
So, I just nod. I say
I’m hearing you, but I’m not listening.