Chapter 1: Love at First Sight
“Ok class, today we’ll be discussing love at first sight,” I still remember that lecture from the third grade. ‘Pre-Sex-Ed’ they called it. “All couples are bound by love at first sight – destiny.” If you have passed the third grade then you will know how it works. But, the same year our English teacher also taught us to always assume the reader is incompetent when writing.
So listen up, you incompetent fuck. There are three components to the “love at first sight” equation.
Firstly, the size of your ears. For someone to be deemed a match you and your counterpart need to have the exact same sum of surface area of your ears. So, you could have two different sets of ears that do not match up in shape, but the surface area of both ears must add up to the exact same. Are you following this? “Why?” Are you stupid? Wipe that look off your face and think about it for a second. Never mind, you’ll never figure it out. Let’s say you hear a song or listen to a presidential speech. Two different people will have two different interpretations of the same thing, unless, of course, you have the same surface area of ears. Basically, this assures mental compatibility.
Secondly, we can split up the population into two groups: those that pick their nose and those that do not. For you and your counterpart to be compatible, you must have the opposite policy when it comes to nose picking. This is a test of acceptance; are you willing to accept your partner for who they are?
Finally, and this one is kind of old fashioned and barbaric, do you find your counterpart attractive? To produce healthy offspring you must be attracted to your partner.
Pretty simple, right? Well, no not really. Your match could be Japanese. You don’t speak Japanese. What now?
That brings me to today. I go to the Starbucks around the corner. Ask for a large coffee and the barista corrects me (a look communicating “I’m sorry I need to do this” is quickly flashed) with Starbucks’ pretentious naming scheme. Goebbels would be proud – propaganda at its finest. “Nice song,” she says while she’s waiting for my order to be prepared. No one else is in line, so it’s just me and her in an awkward trance. It was a country song; I hate country songs. Taylor Swift’s heart must be like an American car from the 90’s by now – barely working but still, it’s a car, right? Bam, Right off the bat, I know me and this lady aren’t gonna get along. Our ear surface areas are nowhere near each other. It’s a habit you pick up. You’re always on the outlook for that special person – sizing everyone up. All interactions begin with a mutual judgement of compatibility. There was no denying it however, she was pretty darn cute. 1/3 won’t cut it though.
I grab my coffee and book it out of there as fast as I can. If there is one thing I can’t stand it is awkward silence. “You just said you don’t like country music!” Wise guy, eh? Well, in that case, let me elaborate. I don’t like awkward silence, I don’t like country music, and I think nose picking is disgusting. But most of all, yeah, most of all, I hate you.
Chapter 2: About Me
Look, I said some things, you said some things… we both fucked up, you know? Come on man, don’t do this to me. You can’t stop reading now. I… I need you. Fine, I’m sorry. Is that what you wanted to hear?
My name is George. My favorite subject in university, and my completely useless choice of diploma, was geography – they called me Geo. As you can probably guess due to the fact that I just apologized to the reader of the imaginary book I constantly narrate in my head (I also have a kickass theme song), I’m pretty lonely.
I work the night shift at a computer support center just outside of Toronto. Guy calls last week and says, keep in mind this is at 3:30 in the morning, “Yeah, uh, my kid just spilled orange juice on my keyboard and it’s really sticky now. What do I do?” Orange juice? At 3:30 AM, your child sleepwalked to the fridge and took out the bottle of fucking concentrate orange juice you drink and spilled it on your keyboard? Dear reader, allow me to translate. “I was jerking off at 3:30 AM and accidentally (or maybe not, some people have some really interesting fantasies) blessed my keyboard with a healthy serving of protein.”
“Sir, thank you for calling Super Extreme Outstanding. This call may be monitored for no reason at all.”
“What?” I can hear spit hitting the microphone.
“This call may be monitored for quality assurance,” it’s 3:30 AM, I’m high as shit, and we both know no one actually listens to these – why not have a little fun?
“I’m sorry to inform you that we do not offer support for hardware such as keyboards, and if we did, we would not offer support for orange juice related matters. Our services include website creation and search engine optimization. If you like, I can help you set up a website in 5 minutes over the phone,” Sell, sell, sell, “May I ask how you got this number?”
“I googled support and called the first number.”
“… Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“What do I do about this keyboard?”
“Have a good night,” I slam the receiver.
Chapter 3: Freedom
“What we have here, and picked from no mean source, is a distillation of precisely what is twisted and immoral in the faith mentality: its essential fanaticism, its consideration of the human being as raw material, and its fantasy of purity.
Once you assume a Creator and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and then commanded to be well. And over us to supervise this is installed a celestial dictatorship, a kind of divine North Korea: greedy for uncritical praise from dawn till dusk, and swift to punish the original sins with which it so tenderly gifted us in the very first place.
However, let no one say there’s no cure. Salvation is offered; redemption, indeed, is promised … at the low price of the surrender of your critical faculties.”
Christopher Hitchens; 13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011.
Although attributed to Mr. Hitchens, he is actually referencing Sir Fulke Greville (Elizabethan poet, dramatist, and statesman who sat in the House of Commons at various times) when he says the bit about being commanded to be well. No mention of Fulke; It is easy to “borrow” when one does not believe in a God I guess.
I would rather believe in a God I can ignore and spite than accept my faith in love over which it is said I have no control. Urban legends exist which describe rebels. They break all the rules to be together – ignorant of destiny or anything of the like.
“You think it’s possible to escape your destiny?” I ask my only friend while coughing from the last hit of… tobacco which I was smoking out of my tobacco-only accessories.
“Totally, dude. Do you have any Doritos though?”
“How do you know?” Steve always wants Doritos. He shits extra thick orange crayons.
“……… I don’t know if you have Doritos, that’s why I’m asking, bro.”
Chapter 4: Ariel
Did you know alcohol is one of the most lethal addictions there is? All you ever hear from soccer moms with Frappuccino milk stashes is how terrible drug addiction is. Did you know coffee addiction is the most prevalent addiction in the world? Closely followed by sex and cigarettes I’d say.
I remember the first time I had coffee. It was during the 2002 world cup in South Korea. Games were at 6 PM local time which is 4 AM here. If you close your eyes you can vividly imagine it; 8 year old Geo sneaking out of his bed to get a cup of coffee. Tasted like shit to be honest.
Ironic how we learn to like things. The first hundred cups are more milk and sugar than coffee. At some point you deem yourself sophisticated enough to drink it black. It’s around the same time you bought that $120 white shirt because it was made of Egyptian cotton and apparently that’s the best cotton there is.
“What’s your name?”
“Your name… so I can call it out when your order is ready,” her coffee stained name tag reads Ariel.
“George, but they call me Geo,” no fucking idea why I said that last bit. She doesn’t care.
“Uh… ok Geo.”
Chapter 5: Reality
“No one cares about your fucking chirping, stupid birds” I tweet at 4:30 AM (in all caps) while trying to sleep. The irony isn’t lost on me.
Just got off work. “Orange juice” calls again. Still hasn’t fixed his keyboard. I pretty much tell him to fuck off and he asks to speak to my manager. I put him on hold for 5 minutes while I go for a smoke. Come back and pick up the phone introducing myself as the manager and swearing up and down I’m not George as he accuses me of lying. I was kind of telling the truth. I am the assistant manager. “Assistant to the manager.” You’re getting pretty annoying, you know that?
Sometimes I feel like it’s not normal to talk to you – like I’m weird. If it was a book, and if you were the reader, I’d be breaking all the fourth wall rules. Four walls is one wall too many and locks you into where you are, speaking geographically or in regards to a timeline. Would you rather feel stuck or feel like you’re not normal for talking to you? Takes two to have a conversation and by merely listening to me you have answered that question implicitly. And by answering me, implicitly or otherwise – well, you get the idea.
To be honest with myself, sometimes I think Steve isn’t real. How can I be sure? We never go out, not beyond my backyard. We only ever talk. It seems like we always agree on everything, and when we do not it is for comic relief. If this was a book, and if you were the reader, you’d think I am crazy at this point. Maybe if you’re scared of me you’ll stop being such a smartass.
“Do you have any Doritos, bro?”
Chapter 6: Rebellion
Imagine a finite three dimensional plane. Imagine yourself on this plane. You are, at this very moment, imagining the perfect representation of your free will, or lack thereof. You are bound by social convention in one direction, and legality in the other. On the third, you are bound by the laws of the universe.
Allow me to propose the possibility of a fourth dimension. If you are simpleminded, and I know you are you incompetent fuck, you will be delighted in the addition of a novel direction in which you can move or, in other words, an extension of your freedoms. I would like to argue the contrary. All you are now experiencing is a new limitation which is so cruelly imposed upon you. This fourth dimension is what I like to call destiny. It is the most hated dimension of mine.
There is but one escape.
Chapter 7: Suicide Note
I’m killing myself.
Chapter 8: Hope
Tips for the reader keen on suicide: make sure to wear clean underwear; you don’t want the police’s first impression of you to be a slob. If it is, they will instantly assume suicide and that’s no fun. You’re paying hard earned tax money for their salaries and you should get your money’s worth.
Secondly, I figure, and the quirky thing about suicide is that none of your tips can be proven due to the nature of the whole thing, that killing oneself takes quite the amount of energy. Cocaine, or coffee for those faint of heart, is strongly recommended.
A trip to my trusty Starbucks was in order. I spot Ariel behind the counter mouthing the words to the Taylor Swift song playing on the sound system. Fuck, what an annoying last sight.
Chapter 8: Epiphany
Suddenly I realize, a better way to escape your binding plane and live to tell the tale would be to rebel against your destiny – against the plan the universe has for you.
“Wanna see a movie right now?”
“I’d love to,” what a lie, “but my shift doesn’t end for a while.”
I recite the 6th chapter of this imaginary book and somehow, I imagine to make me shut up, she walks out of there with me.
Chapter 9: 6 Months Later
I will now admit the obvious: Steve wasn’t real and I’m addicted enough to Doritos to need an alter ego to take on the amount I indulge in.
It dawned on me that I defied destiny many years ago when I learned to love coffee.
Ariel is coffee.