Jacques ran two fingers over the top of his head, lightly, so as not to disturb the bandage. He had no idea how he’d hurt himself and couldn’t even remember applying the bandage. It was a complete blank. But it didn’t bother him. Things like this had been happening to him since as long as he could remember. Cuts, bruises, pulled muscles He remembered some of them but the majority of them were a mystery. He could remember losing only one of his baby teeth but found the quarter under his pillow for every one of them. He’d learned to just shrug it off. That, or go crazy trying to remember, trying to piece it all together. It made more sense to forget it and move on to the next thing.
And today, on a whim, he’d broken his regular schedule and just as he was about to start writing, opened his email instead. An odd day.
He read responses to his posting about his email being hacked. Most of them were sympathetic.
He wondered about the “personal pictures” and how she would know they were stolen. Unless they were deleted there would be no indication that they were even noticed. And if they were deleted, how could she assume they were stolen? Maybe they were boring personal pictures and they were just deleted.
Katelyn, you’re a bonehead and so is your sister.
Jacques had a theory that the intelligence of the human race was on the downswing. Artificial compounds in the environment and a general lack of interest in anything that wasn’t the NOW GREATEST THING had combined to constrict the growth of intelligence and reverse it. He also considered the possibility that the human race had reached its pinnacle and was currently turning into a reality TV show. He considered the possibility of a nuclear war an increasingly possible scenario as the global will to thrive and improve as a species dwindled along with its intelligence.
Right, Dorothy, I feel much better now that the Good Lord is watching over my email account. Maybe it’s time to switch to another genre of writing, maybe sick-ass children’s books like that asshole who got the kid and his dog killed.
He sucked hard on the cigar. He had to admit that he was getting bored with laundromances. There was only so much he could do with characters who weren’t allowed to speak to each other, only so far he could take the possibilities. He’d thought about switching to a romance sub-genre, like science fiction romance, or mystery romance or post industrial death disco romance. Or maybe he would get out of romance all-together.
He noticed an email from Judy.
Yep, maybe it’s time to change genres. And maybe a new pen name. Maybe try my hand at porno under a new name: The Insufferable Bitch.
He smiled as he pictured himself in lace and sequins. Different genre, same gender.
He was on the home stretch for his next novel. A few thousand more words to go. He enjoyed the re-writing as much as he enjoyed the writing. He loved turning a bad sentence into something he could sit back with and say, “I wrote that.”
It was dark outside. He’d been on a roll and hadn’t noticed the time flying by. He felt strange, as though something had switched in his life. He’d always done his writing in the morning and afternoon and checked his mail and other things in the evening. It was a well-ordered life with no surprises—the way he wanted it.
He considered that the break in routine today might have been caused by the mysterious wound on his head. Why could he not remember what had happened? It was deep. There must have been a lot of blood. A lot of pain. It must have taken a while to stop the bleeding—and then the bandaging. These things had happened often when he was young. Scraped knees, missing teeth, cuts to his arms and legs. He couldn’t remember them but his mother had soothed him and told him that it wasn’t important, to just get on with things. She’d told him that his writing would make people happy and carry a message to his readers that romance was still alive in a world where love was fast becoming just another confusing decision to make.
So he put it aside and changed into his blue housecoat. He went to the refrigerator for his beer and opened the door. He looked in, ducked around a bit and stood straight, eyes dulled with confusion. Suddenly, nothing was making sense
Where’s my beer?