She sent me this YouTube video of a cat trapped in a house, that should be meowing/hissing, but instead somebody dubbed themselves going “heyyyyyyyyy” every time the cat opened its mouth.
I watched the video for awhile, getting to the end and then restarting from the beginning.
Outside the window, the sun climbed the sky and set all the puffy white clouds on fire so they fell in the river, sizzling. Think this was Thursday.
The couch hurt so I got off it and walked to the trash can where she’d thrown away my flip flops, for some reason. I put them on.
I wanted a roast beast sandwich from the Uzbek deli on the corner by the fire house; and so I began this great journey off my couch, leaving the crumbling apartment, joining the bubbling world.
Oh look at this. Outside the building, now there were purple flowers at the bottom of the staircase in a massive concrete cauldron, that had always been empty, that I assumed, the founders of this city, had used to boil heretics alive. Okay, now it has purple flowers. Cool.
Out of a doorway by the abandoned Lutheran church, a man stumbled onto the sidewalk behind me.
He looked like a zombie, minus the gore, but also in green flip flops.
Earlier today one of my friends posted this on Twitter: “Where can I score the super mega heroin, the kind that makes 2016 die forever? ”
I @‘d the friend, “If you are serious about the super heroin, you can get it at the abandoned Lutheran Church by my apartment.”
You can can get blocked for even the slightest helpful thing.
I dm’d the friend on a different platform.
You can get blocked for even the second slightest helpful thing.
I turned back and snapped a picture of the church on my cellphone and tagged the friend on Instagram.
“You taking my picture?” the flip flop zombie said.
“Heyyyyyy,” I said to the flip flop zombie. But the flip flop zombie didn’t say anything else.
The sun was killing us on that side of the street, so without discussing it, we both crossed the street into the shade of the woman’s catholic college, its big brick facade and angels up there on the roof with machine guns. I felt like I was in a slow motion flip flop chase scene, and so I laughed and laughed.
But the joy began to wear off halfway to the fire house. The guy’s flip flops were loud as hell, as if amplified. Flop flap flop flap.
I walked faster and my feet too, went flop flap flop flap.
In front of the luxury condominiums, the guy walked through a puddle made by a broken sprinkler, and his flip flops got even louder and wetter. Sucking and squishing. Fllweep flawwp flawwp vluuurt flerrrp.
I pulled over and let the guy get ahead of me so I wouldn’t have to listen anymore.
The back of his t-shirt said: If Life Gives You Lemons, Obviously, Just Have Sex With The Lemons.
He vanished around the corner, and was never seen from again.
I walked the rest of the way to the Uzbek deli, and just so you know, there is no one from Uzbekistan that works there and they don’t make or sell any Uzbek food.
The ebb and flow of change is too swift for any business around here to keep up with on something as temporarily permanent as their own sign.
As I opened the door, the clerk killed the music, 90s hip hop. After a pause where he looks me over and contemplates me, he pushes a button and rockabilly music bursts from the stereo. Reverb drums and walking bass line and sunshine guitar. Hiccup vocals.
“I’m not rockabilly, bro,” I say.
But the way he looks at me, I know that truly, in the eyes of the world, I am rockabilly now and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
White t-shirts here on out. Pomade and indigo Levis. Converse sneakers. These flip flops are going back in the trash.
I order the roast beast sandwich. The sandwich is three dollars more than it used to be because of the luxury condominiums, but I am up against a wall. I’ve Yelped the place with two stars complaining about the three dollar increase and there is nothing more I can do. My powers begin and end at Yelp.
While I’m waiting for my suddenly fancy sandwich, my phone buzzes and it’s her again.
She’s found another video, a kitten escaping out of its pen by scaling an impossible glass wall, and then hopping into a different pen with an alligator, but the alligator is asleep.
The kitten crawls across the alligator’s snout. Dark scales with flecks of bright green.
And one eye of the alligator opens. An eye like a ripe lemon with a black exclamation point for a pupil.
And then the alligator rises its jaw, slowly and methodically, a drawbridge opening with a car on it … and so like this, the kitten doesn’t even notice what is happening.
But the kitten is curious, and leans over the nostrils and hanging on to the edge, shivering, it peeks into the tunnel full of jagged teeth and sinister hot breath.
And the alligator seems to smile as it benignly wheezes, “Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.”