blog-0-tron9000 v2.0

what could have been and what should never be
21 December, 2008: [355/365], 19:20.43 [Sunday]
Filed under: Microfiction

Same, same, same, same… different, different.
Same, same, same, same, different different
Same, same, same, same, Arby’s is different!

Those words rang through my head for the last three hours, as I carved a name into my palm with a white-hot table knife. You won’t forget it this time, Rebbie, I thought. My thirtieth month in hell began with a gunshot echoing through the station. Some young punk thought he’d try and be funny and mug me, but I sure showed him. “Hey mister,” he said, “could I have a quarter for the soup machines?”


Try making it though fifth grade with half of your face missing, you little shit. People glared at me with unbridled scorn, but I didn’t care. Nobody asks Reb Cump for a quarter. Nobody. That gap-toothed smile and freckly face will get you nothing but a hollowpoint slug from ol’ Rebbie. Kids.

I dumped the post off into the box, hoping my subscription to Weekly World News and TV Gossip Daily would arrive fresh on my doorstep. Not that the YMCA locker room has a doorstep; not that paper can be fresh.

Arby’s is different!

Keith Franko. He’d be the next one. My bleeding, scarred left hand told me so. As did the oven mitt with Tom Arnold’s voice. Old Keithie. I wondered if he’d remember me as I laugh over his broken, marred body. I wondered if he’d remember the way he ruined my life with his poison-soaked words. I wondered if he’d grown up and realized that Layne Staley was a much better Kurt Cobain than Kurt Cobain could ever have hoped to be, and that both men failed miserably at the task anyway.

Pins and needles in my arm
Pins and needles, what’s the harm
Quit drinking, Reb, alcohol doesn’t make you Superman

I need a hero
Mr. Hero, o my!
Come save me from the ordinary fast food life…

“I’m sorry, mister President, but we don’t have the duct tape to repair your recliner.”
“Fine,” I replied, “but it’ll be your ass when I buy a new LayzeeBoi™ to read up on the latest hijinx about The Donald and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.” I shoved the waitress out of the bathroom stall. I needed a nap. “So, I’ll see you again next Tuesday? Here’s five bucks. Keep the change.”
“Gee, thanks. That’ll totally cover my penicillin prescription.”
“Oh, that reminds me, could I have three bucks back? Thanks, ‘Phillis.”


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