Monday, January 2, 2012


Life has not been the best, lately. I’m at the age I’m supposed to have everything together but I never managed to make that work out and am stupid in a lot of ways and have a bunch of fucking issues and blah blah blah and things just didn’t work out the way I wished they would have. So I got on Craigslist and found a place to live. Rented a room with some college kids young enough to be my own damn children. You know what? I don’t even care about how pathetic this is. I’m just happy to have a roof over my head.

Ever meet somebody you can’t stand on sight? My new roommate Dick is, or was, just such a person; his name pretty much sums him up. Now perhaps it’s a case of meeting one’s shadow self—he thinks he’s funny when actually he’s just annoying—but no, not a fan. My first day in the new place and he’s knocking on my door and telling me stories about meeting lesbians and converting them over to the straight side and I just want him to dry up and blow away. But no, he goes on and on and decides he’s my new bestest buddy and is going to show me the ropes on what it’s like to live here. So he babbles, and babbles and I dearly wish he would choke on his own tongue. But he doesn’t. “Oh, hey!” he shouts, “You haven’t met Bob!” Motherfucking Dick grabs me by the shirt sleeve and actually pulls me out of my room—as if we were that familiar—and leads me out the door onto our back balcony. “Meet Bob!” he shouts in triumph.

What I am looking at is a moulded rubber bayonet practice dummy with caricatured, Vietnamese features. It was something the landlord brought home from the war, a long time ago. It is a head and a rather ripped torso on a metal post. Instantly, I assign a voice to it. No, not a cartoonish “Velly Solly, me no work in the rice paddies” but just something in my head that made it seem like this rubber thing was talking to me. I did not like this feeling. Not at all.

Goddamn Dick was carrying on about how everyone called it Bob and I should too, and so forth. I didn’t care; I’d already made up my mind I didn’t like him.

It was my first night in the new place. I was tired; I went to bed early. But I had a very vivid dream: I saw Bob, the dummy, and the voice in my head asked, “Want me to fix it?”

I woke up with police in my room. Dick had been found in the bathroom, dead, an apparent suicide. A whole bottle of prescription pain pills washed down with a few cans of Four Loko. I’m like, “Look, I just moved in here yesterday, I don’t know the guy, no I don’t know if he was depressed or anything, really I don’t know.” I guess they bought it but they didn’t seem any too happy about it.

And that goddamn thing, that goddamn Bob: Every time I would go out the back door I’d catch sight of it, think it was a person standing there and jump out of my skin and shriek like a little girl. But the frozen look on its face made it seem like it KNEW that would happen and my response was just what it wanted.

Another bad dream…something about my mother. She’d been dead for a few years but in the dream she was back and I was young and being punished. I awoke with a jolt. In the corner of the room I saw the unmistakable shadow of the thing that was supposed to be on the back balcony. “Life’s what you make it,” said the voice in my head. I grabbed for the lamp and switched it on. Nothing. Just me, about to pee the bed.

Now I’ve had some mental health issues in the past. I mean, I didn’t see or hear shit that wasn’t there or anything, just kinda had trouble reacting emotionally in an appropriate manner and that kind of stuff. But this business with seeing Bob in my room was a whole new level of crazy. I went out on the back balcony. I rubbed my hands across his face, his rubber chest and said out loud: “Stop it.” The voice in my head said, “Oh, we’re just getting started.” And the thing fucking grinned. At least I think it did.

I ran back into the house. Bob was in the middle of the goddamn kitchen.

I must have fainted, passed out, lost my shit, I dunno. I woke up on the kitchen floor, alone—there was no bayonet dummy in the room. It was out on the back porch where it belonged. I got up and went back to my room and started playing on Facebook. But then, that voice, that same voice: “The people you love don’t really love you back.” It wasn’t like before, I didn’t SEE Bob but I could imagine him. The voice in my head would not turn off: “Come outside and play. You know you want to.”

So now I’m outside. I have a serrated steak knife. I could slash up some rubber or I could slash up some flesh. Not sure what to do.

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