Thought Exercises

“I see myself falling and I have strangest urge to follow the vision off the rails and straight down to the beautiful cold hard floor three stories down. It would be easy enough and I’m nimble enough to jump it. I am so curious of the next hour, where do you go after?”

“Probably to the hospital, that’s what happened to that kid from Texas.”

Melissa smiled, anyone else would ask her to seek help. Brad just had delicious deadpan. Three stories up the two shoot the shit in the middle of a busy mall. It’s a bit of a Monday morning routine for the two.

“You know I don’t actually want to die, it’s just a thought exercise.”

“Yeah, try that bit about a tree in a forest. Wipes my brain clean every time.”

“The one where Martin Luther runs into a tree? How is that perplexing?”

“No that’s an anecdote. I’m talking about a Zen koan.”

“Oh.” She had no clue.

“It’s a paradox you use to clear your head. Like a laxative for the mind.”

“That’s utterly unappealing. You shouldn’t do that, never know what kind a stuff you’ll unleash.”

“Actually I’m pretty comfortable in there. Anyways I got an answer to your little emo riddle.”

“Jesus, more ageism.” She was eighteen and he was twenty three. He had much wisdom from his lofty place.

“What happens after? First you lose time, then you lose memories. After a while you’ll even lose your name. Then you wake up in a parallel dimension in a tan suede jacket, a three day worn hoody that smells like sex and a pair of chinos with a bloodied stiletto in the left pocket. Individual experiences may vary.”

“Holy shit, that’s some Dianetics right there.”

“No, I’m serious. I’ve been through it three times.”

“Uh-huh.” She was incredulous and bored, aka a teenager.

“Jeez, you ‘re United Church of Christ. You should really join a religion before dismissing mine.”

“Don’t question my faith in God, you dick!”


The pause was at first awkward, then pregnant, then born and named Billy.

“What we were talking about?”

“Ways to clear your mind.”

“Wait, so none of that was true?”

“Nope. Not a single word of it.”

“You are a tremendous ass.”