A story about how life is sometimes shitty but then okay

A story about how life is sometimes shitty but then okay


My parents weren’t sure of what to make of me as a kid. I would often walk in circles, with my head hanging down, uttering, “Oh jeez, oh well…never mind.” I would spend hours trying to balance our Pomeranian, Blowser, on my head, and finally got good enough to walk to school, make it through all my classes, come home, have dinner, do my homework, with Blowser pleasantly situated on my noggin. Then there were the times I would have shouting arguments with electrons whenever things didn’t go like I wanted.

When it was apparent I wasn’t growing out of it, my mom and dad finally sent me to the Rodington Blemisphere School for Special Boys. It was an institution whose intention was, “to finally tune the erratic, pugnacious, and malevolent male youth into a fine upstanding cosmopolite.” I suffered through long classes on eloquence and demeanor. Whenever I began to veer off into the erratic, one of the professors would make me march in place and repeat, “I’m not a knave, scamp, nor rascal, thank you very much indeed.”

I became tremendously outwardly repressed, but what was considered by others as bizarre lived on in much greater degrees within me. In class I would imagine that I was an owl, internally writing and singing songs in hoots. When doing homework in the library, I would steal secret knowing glances at books, with the understanding that they were actually my brain that had popped out of my head and enlarged to fill the room, like expandable water toys, or grow monsters, that when you add water they grow in much greater immensity.

Eventually this inward pressure grew so great that I spontaneously escaped through a time travel experience. It occurred like this: I was sitting in Pragmatism 101, when I briefly passed through a tunnel of lights, then found myself sitting on the beach, looking out at the ocean. It was facing right rather than left, so I inferred it was the Atlantic. A bearded man in an old-timey suit that looked like it was from the late 1800s, was standing near me, looking out at the water with a brooding gaze. I liked that he wore a suit at the ocean side because I consider the ocean a respectful place, having been around a long, long time, and that it has the ability to crush any of us without an afterthought.

I went up to the man, apologizing if I was intruding, and wondered if I might have a word with him. He turned to me and nodded. I asked him where and when I might be. He said that were standing before the Atlantic, on the coast of New Hampshire, 11:12am, March 31, 1891. I got all excited and did a jig, barked like a seal, walked backwards saying, “!ereh eb ot lufrednow s’tI,” snorted the sea air like it was free snuff, bent down and kissed the water, then mooed.

I introduced myself. The man said his name was William James and asked where I had come from. I said I came from the future, September 19th, 2018. Mr. James said that although my claim was outlandish, it was clear it was my pure experience, thus true for me. I wanted him to believe it too, and being a fan of his life, expounded his earlier and future history, as well as the tenets of theory of radical empiricism. Mr. James countered by saying that although I curiously knew details of his earlier life, any declared details of his future were fiction to him because they had not been experienced by him, thus admonishing me for not truly understanding the basics of his theory.

I countered by rolling on the sand, uttering a long and continuous, “Ahhhhhh,” and sticking out my tongue. Sand stuck to my tongue, but I did not cease. Mr. James looked at me with disgust. But he could not look away. Soon confusion overtook him and he began humming. Then he ran into the ocean, fully clothed. I heard him slosh around and then yell. He returned to the sand, soaking wet, and lay down next to me. I stopped rolling around, spit out the sand in my mouth, and asked what had happened. Mr. James pulled up his pants leg and showed me where he had been stung by a jellyfish.

I said he was going to be okay, and that he needed to get some vinegar and tweezers. He asked me to assist him since he had difficulty walking. I agreed and he leaned on me as we walked a few miles to his home. Once there he got out the vinegar which I poured on his ankle. I took out the tweezers that I found in a drawer and pulled out pieces of tentacle from his skin. Mr. James was soon feeling better. It was then I felt myself fading away, through the tunnel of lights, and back into my chair in the present day classroom.

The students were freaking out that I had disappeared and then a few moments later reappeared. The professor came up to me, stunned to find sand in my hair, and bits of beached seaweed on my school uniform. He asked me to march in place and repeat the, ” I’m not a knave proclamation.” I sighed, got up and, started to when suddenly a crab leaped out of my front suit pocket and pinched the nose of the professor. He screamed and run out of the room.

I started walking backwards and repeating, “!ereh fo tuo teg s’teL” The students looked at me with a dull stupor. But then a look of recognition took over and they began to follow suit. We all chanted and marched backwards out of the room, down the hall, out the entrance door, and into the fields of clover and lavender.

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