It’s a lot of work being me.
Is what Frankie Machianno thinks when his alarm goes off at 3:45 in the morning.
That’s the opening two lines of my favourite book. It’s not my favourite book because of Frankie Machianno. It’s my favourite book because of the author.
The author wrote in a style I hadn’t come across before. I recommend reading it if you ever come across it. Frankie was a cool dude who could cook, run a business, kill people, and fuck like he was making a Bolognese sauce – Inside joke, dear reader. That one’s between me and Frankie .
Reading those two lines makes me laugh inside now though. When I first read the book I agreed, it was a lot of work being him, but now, I’d trade places with Frankie Machianno in a heartbeat.
I guess he has one thing on me still. I don’t miss the alarm clock. Well, in some regards I do. An alarm clock creates meaning.....a purpose, if you will, to your existence. An alarm clock lets you know there’s a brand new day just been handed to you by God and you have to be somewhere and you had better get cracking.
I actually miss that sort of purpose. I guess I could go looking for an alarm clock. The problem is that early on in my story I found all the alarm clocks I could, put them in a pile, and turned them into a dust cloud with explosives. LOTS of explosives.
Phones were next.
Then a house.
I regret the house. I regretted turning that house into wood chips from the moment I saw the head of a little girl’s doll in the dirt. It wasn’t that nice of a house, and there was no one in it; I’m not a murderer. But it was someone’s house. You could tell they loved the house by how neat and tidy it was. How everything had a place and by how everything was in its place. The garden was just as orderly as the house, and I had taken their delicious vege’s. The lawn was manicured and trimmed, just so. The clothes on the line weren’t flash, but they were clean and cared for too. Their car wasn’t that nice, but it ran, and well. The interior was worn from years of use, but still, it smelt new.
I think that’s why I blew their house apart. And how I laughed.
“TAKE THAT YOU FUCKERS. NOT SUCH A TIDY HOUSE NOW.....IS IT...” I screamed as my ears rang from the concussion wave of the explosion. I kicked dirt, chucked debris, and laughed. Thinking of that moment makes me smile. I smile until I remember turning my back, walking a few steps away, then seeing the doll’s head laying in the dirt. It stopped me. It stopped me cold. I just stood, and stared. I stood and stared and then the tears started. I lay in the dirt and wept just like the little girl would have at the sight of her precious little doll all but vaporised for no other reason than fucking shits and giggles. I felt like such an arsehole for days, weeks even.
I guess, dear reader, you’re beginning to wonder what you’re reading. Who this psycho is stealing vege’s, blowing up houses, phones, and alarm clocks?. Who is this person weeping in the dirt over a doll’s head?. Where is the little girl that owned the doll, her parents, the police even...?
Well, dear reader, I’m fucked if I know.
I’ve spent a while trying to think of a story that sort of sums up who I am, where I am, and what I’m doing. One story that comes reasonably close might be Z For Zachariah. I read that at school. My English teacher at the time, Mrs Witty, a hot young 20 something who was born in my home town and who had moved to the States, got married, and came back to start a new chapter on her life had introduced me to short stories. Z For Zachariah - not so much a short story - is one that stood out.
The Sniper, was the best.
The question I ponder the most may clue you in to my situation.
‘If everyone other than yourself is nowhere to be found, are you lost?’
There are no piles of gelatine-esque sludge on the ground where mankind once stood. No Triffids, no freaky as fuck undead/diseased people murmuring “Braiiiinz” and trying to eat me. There is no nukes, nor biblical apocalyptic drowning from polar caps and such. No earthquakes, nor second comings.
There’s just me, and you, dear reader. Welcome to my story.
My name is Earl.
Inside joke again. My name is Edward Kranson.