Hard to be in a healthy relationship when you don’t like to be physically touched ever, so I communicate solely via downloaded ALF pictures I hoard in a desktop folder labeled “I Kill Me,” and my life coach is the Hamburger Helper mascot, and I’m getting older, which means my hair is doing that exact same thing Bill Murray’s hair does in the movie Kingpin, and my personal five-year plan is taking too long, so yeah, my 30s have been a complete nightmare, and the term “coming up” when used to describe the act of maturing into adulthood is bullshit because it’s been all downhill since birth, and I can’t afford therapy so I need to be famous/interesting enough to keep being asked to do podcasts, and if I were a heavy metal album I’d probably be called Screaming for Validation, and I’ve let all my dreams die, so please bear with me, yet I still fantasize about running a tandem bike-riding business where I talk mad shit about things while seated behind you, and my feelings taste like Great Value brand mac and cheese, and my only aspirations in life are to watch shitty movies while eating shitty food and to resent anything that gets in the way of that, and my cat can seriously fuck off right now, and I’m currently reading a self-help book written by Gene Simmons from KISS, and I might just kill myself, which means the Gene Simmons self-help book will get 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, and my favorite album this year was YouTube, and Bell Biv Devoe and Tony Toni Tone are my Beatles and Rolling Stones, and my favorite movie this year was the one about the transgender prostitutes I only watched half of on Netflix but have been meaning to finish, and I think rebooted movie franchises would be a lot better if all those beloved characters were played by transgender prostitutes, or maybe drag queens, and I fantasize about providing a service where I walk behind you and purposely step on the backs of your shoes, and relationships don’t work and people can’t fulfill you which is why it makes perfect sense that someone would have sex with a parked van, and I’m pretty obsessed with the idea of not existing, and Death will probably roll up in an Uber, so please bury me inside a coffin that’s really just a custom-made replica of a plastic Judas Priest British Steel cassette tape case from the ’80s, and don’t forget the insert, and If I ever get a car I’m going to hang a miniature garbage can from the rear view mirror and tell people it’s my “dream catcher,” and I just got off the phone with a friend I hadn’t spoken to in over a year and I’m pretty sure I brought up suicide at least 8 times throughout the conversation, and a buddy who was a complete mess in our 20s is now married and happy and just posted a picture of himself swimming with dolphins, and if I can’t handle you at your Instagram pics of your kayaking trip then I definitely can’t handle you at your Instagram pics of what you had at brunch, and I don’t give LiveJournal enough credit for my development as a shitty writer, and I generally stop listening whenever someone brings the word “agent” into a conversation so please revoke my “lit” citizenship, and my legacy will probably involve great promise destroyed by self-hate and fatigue, and I bet that Adele CD your relative gifted you for Christmas (or vice versa) hasn’t even been opened, and I knew it was probably “420” when a co-worker spent several minutes trying to explain to me how great a guitarist Elliott Smith was because Elliott Smith had gone to Julliard or some shit, and another co-worker apologized for standing in my way and I said the only person standing in my way is myself and I think it freaked him out but whatever, and when work is slow I linger over the dishwasher’s shoulder and watch him navigate his Tinder for what always seems like a really long time, and preparation could’ve met opportunity but it swiped left, and I was going to bathe today but then my mom called and we talked about death for about an hour and afterwards the whole bathing idea just kind of seemed like whatever, and if you can’t handle me at my “not okay” then you definitely can’t handle me at my “nope, still not okay,” and Death probably drinks craft beer, and I’m sorry I had to unfollow you on Twitter to make room for more “bootleg” rappers, and hell is other people constantly deactivating/reactivating their social media accounts, and wishing multiple people a happy birthday on Facebook feels like I’m signing a bunch of soon-to-be bounced checks, and I’m so pissed at my one personality for getting my other personalities into the current mess they’re in, and I would love to catch my death but death is usually quick and I don’t like to run, and any public gathering can be a “variety show” if you happen to be entertained by the various faults/eccentricities of those in attendance, and if ever threatened with physical violence I would just start naming off all the pro-wrestling holds I think I know, starting with “arm bar,” so please make the dumpster behind 7-Eleven my final resting place while giving my inability to deal with anything 5 of 5 stars on Goodreads, and if you ever see me on Tinder, make sure you swipe up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, start.
BRIAN ALAN ELLIS edits the literary journal Tables Without Chairs, and is the author of three novellas, two short-story collections, a forthcoming novel, and a book of humorous non-fiction. His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Monkeybicycle, DOGZPLOT, Heavy Feather Review, Connotation Press, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Collapsar, Talking Book, People Holding, Third Point Press, Reality Beach, Literary Orphans, jmww, Hypertext, and Atticus Review, among other places. He lives in South Carolina.