Due to the wealth of free time I have of late, I’ve been going through my journal. This entry does not immediately follow my first, but this one corresponds to my first visitor as well as providing a little background information on myself, thanks to the little bit of editing I’ve done. As for the references to you, the reader, I must admit that I took up writing a journal for the purpose of making it public. Being plagued with these villainous monstrosities introduced what I believe to be an interesting enough conflict.
It is also worth noting that, after a great deal of research, I learned what the lettering on my first visitor’s shirt said for the purposes of announcing his presence in a more concise manner. If I have done my work correctly then it meant “I was out of breath.” That doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, so I have taken to calling him Breathless, as you will soon see.
November 26th, 2012:
I feel miserable. Daedalus’ Doughnuts called me back yesterday to schedule an interview: an opportunity I jumped at. The manager, Mr. Coletrain I believe was his name, asked me when the best time would be for an interview. Eagerly, I informed him that I had no commitments and could meet whenever best suited him. We agreed on a meeting at 3:45am, Monday morning–today. I am still curious about the reasoning he used in deciding the time—perhaps, it being a doughnut place, he wanted to get an early start so that we wouldn’t interrupt his busiest hours. Nevertheless, I arrived early, groomed, and dressed to the nines with my resume in hand. I went to sleep early the night before in preparation for my early morning, an attempt to take every precaution. I wanted to alleviate the garishly obvious look of exhaustion which can saturate my eyes for the whole day should I stay up a minute later than 2am. The cool early morning (or is it late evening? I can’t tell any more) soothed my nerves as I carefully inhaled, counted to three, exhaled, and repeated. This was my first lead in months and I didn’t want it to blow up in my face because I couldn’t stop stammering like a moron.
“Make your way, mush-mouth.”
I muttered, beginning an eternal trek to the front door. The pavement met my hard-soled dress shoes with a sharp click, click, click, clack, over and over ‘til I reached the door. Mr. Coletrain was waiting for me in a booth. As he got to his feet, I took a minute to study his face. He was a strong-jawed man. His bright red hair was parted and sprayed to resemble the same glow and durability of diamonds. That gaudy hairstyle adorning his greasy pate accomplished two things—it drew attention to his receding hairline (perhaps it was retreating from his gaze?) and evoked a chill in me.
“Finally decided to show up, eh?”
“You said to be here at 3:45, didn’t you sir?”
“Mr. Saffron—am I pronouncing that right?”
“Yes sir.” It’s not that hard.
“Would you mind taking a seat right over here?”
“So, were you going anywhere with that first question or were you just trying to scare me, asshole?” I thought as I walked to my seat.
“Mr. Coletrain, I just want to say that I’m really excited about working here.”
“What did you call me?”
“Mr. Saffron, you shouldn’t be presumptuous. We haven’t started the interview yet. Also, my name is Gillespie”
“Oh, I am so sorry Mr. Gillespie. I guess I had the wrong jazz musician.”
I chuckled nervously. Mr. Gillespie just sat there stone faced; silent.
“Well, Mr. Saffron, tell me a little bit about yourself.”
I began to trail off on a personal rant saturated with thinly veiled narcissism and vague accounts of my personal achievements, attempting to communicate that I was the best option he had without explicitly saying it. I should tell you now that I am a great liar. I went on for six minutes about my work experience—adding in little fabrications like, “I was voted employee of the month three times in a row at such and such place” when there had been no such honor, or saying “I often had regular customers who would ask for me specifically,” when a more accurate quip would have been “Most people knew that I was an apathetic bastard who would probably screw up their order. Customers avoid me at all costs. That’s why I think a job in front of an oven would be great for me!” Sometimes I think I should win an award for my talent with social interactions (re: bullshit). It would have to be a bronze medal, though, because most of my speech—especially during my meeting with Agent Smith and Ronald McDonald’s love child—was riddled with pauses and stutters.
I went on to tell him—
(I’ve left out my interview with Mr. Coletrain as it is a dishonest representation of my true self. It is also quite droll. In its stead (for you, reader) I have written a short autobiography that I hope is far more entertaining and honest than my conversation with Mr. So-and-so:
My name is Miles. You already know my last name. My friends call me M, so that’s what you can call me. I’ve also mentioned that I am a skilled speaker and an equally skilled liar, but I should add that my talent expands farther than a mundane job interview; I have many friends and a close bond with my family, despite some of my daily activities. I have a proclivity towards over-indulgence, especially in matters of alcohol. Some of my favorite drinks are—well, it would be easier to tell you the drinks I don’t like: virgin drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, waters, sodas without alcohol, etc. I’m a heavy smoker, and I occasionally indulge in illegal narcotics, though I have never (not even once, I swear) taken a single hallucinogen. I also write a comic called Anti-Chris. It’s about a high school student with cutaneous growths on his forehead that look like devil’s horns. In addition to writing the comic, I also draw it, though my drawing skills are not as good as my writing—in fact, my drawing is really disgraceful, especially for writing that I am so proud of! I love to read. In fact, I am guilty of imagining my life as a novel (A graphic novel! Wouldn’t that be interesting?). Now that you know everything there is to know about me—everything that matters, anyway—back to my story.)
Despite my strenuous efforts at maintaining a calm demeanor, my interview did not go well. In fact, I’m positive that I will not be called back. That reminds me! Only a few words ago I was feeling horrible. For clarity’s sake, I should mention that I am an obsessively observant person. I have a habit of checking doors, windows—numerous minute details—for the sake of identifying potential problems, people, etc. etc. ad nauseam (reader, my habit has only worsened since this calamity). It is for this reason that I noticed when another one of my unwelcome visitors walked in. The first one: Breathless.
Try as I might to keep my attentions on Mr. Gillespie, the weight of my attacker’s presence was too much to bear. In the middle of my interview, I asked Mr. Gillespie if I could be excused. He was shocked, but he acquiesced.
My attacker was standing, still as morning dew on the grass, vicious as a serpent disrupting the calm with his slither. I approached him and, fearfully, attempted to whisper in his ear.
“Meet me outside, you sick fuck. And try not to attempt murder this time. You should know you’re not the only one with scary powers.” I lied. I was afraid.
As my attacker turned to leave, I heard a young woman at the counter say something unintelligible. I ignored her and pushed the door open. I went out the front door, pulled a cigarette from my front coat pocket and lit it. Breathless was behind the building, already waiting for me (the clever bastard doubled-back, or whatever it is you call it when someone quickly moves into a place, giving the appearance of sudden materialization). I confronted him.
“So, what’s the deal asshole, do you have, like, a gang following me now? Are you sending your friends after me?”
“Can’t you say anything, you mute fuck face? I’m just asking a simple question. I’m not looking for a fight.”
“Look, if you can’t talk to me, maybe you can write something down? Anything!”
“Can you shake your fucking head or something?”
Nothing. I balled my fist up and made an attempt to punch him, but he parted his lips, that breathless sensation swept over me, and after a few minutes of vain struggle, nothing.
I woke up behind the building; this time only a few minutes had passed. Breathless, standing, with his arms akimbo, hovered over me, waiting–perhaps he wanted me to return to the one-sided conversation we were having, since it must have been entertaining. The beast’s deep, dark eyes were staring down at me, not simply peering into my soul, but devouring it. His very stare caused pains in my chest. Gasping, I made another attempt at conversation.
“Please, tell me anything. I will fucking kill for some light on this fucking subject. So far, three of your ‘friends’—that is, if you even have any friends; how could somebody be your friend if you never talk to them? You’re a fucking statue, you—you—what’s your fucking name, even?—Three of your god damn friends have harassed me, for no fucking reason. One of them put a thought into my head! He fucking made me do something that could get me arrested! I could go to jail, god dammit! Why don’t you talk to me?”
As I was speaking, he started walking away from me. I shouted, “TELL ME SOMETHING YOU COCKSUCKER OR I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU.”
Rather than respond, he walked to the door of my car and motioned for me to come towards him.
(Since it will come up, I should tell you that I drive a Silver 1981 Ford Pinto. It has two Purple stripes down the middle, white wall tires and a cock-eyed bumper sticker that reads “Touch of Class.” It’s just conjecture, but I do love my car.)
“I’m in the middle of a job interview, can this wait?”
His jaw began to drop, so, before he could kill me—I am sure he would have—I walked to my car. I even went so far as to open his door! After we were in the car, I tried to lighten the mood with foolish quips.
“You comfortable? You want me to buy you a drink? You hungry?”
I turned the key, backed the car out of its parking space and pulled out of the driveway.
“I’m taking you to my house. Is that what you want? You know you can’t just kill me for not being able to read your mind–I mean, you could, but don’t. You probably know I don’t have super powers, too, huh? Did your friends inform on me? You know what, don’t even bother answering. I’m beginning to think you can’t open your mouth without sucking the life out of everything around you.”
Giving up, I turned on my radio—the Eagles’ song “Take it Easy” came on. Anything but easy, I drove my little Ford Pinto into the early morning, terrified, headed towards home.