He Who Remembers

-Strange – 3 Pages –

I was once held captive in a horrible dungeon by a large British man with ghastly teeth. He surgically switched my hands, just to see if I was truly ambidextrous, and had a persuasion for cooking rats on his hotplate. He was a terrible man and I hated him so. I was often remarked to say: ‘You’re a terrible man, and I hate you.”

“Brush your teeth!” he would yell back.

I would point out the glaringly obvious fact that my teeth were in top-notch condition, and his teeth, well….I had seen better teeth on a worn-out gearbox. This would make him very angry, and I would get no rat for several days, though it wasn’t all so bad, I had a big bag of marshmallows jammed under my abs and would snack of them frequently. But to be perfectly honest, with you the reader, it has to be said, that in my heart of hearts, I had given up, a young man, slowly worn down by dreadful events, sinners, yet somehow maintained the passion of an idealist, yet wanted to die.

To fully understand why I wasn’t overly fazed by the prospect of death, we must travel back in time, in my time machine: I call it ‘the time machine that’s in my head’:

The year is 1987, Slovenia, I live in a very smart studio apartment, with my better half Sarah, incidentally, Sarah is dead now, in fact her whole family tree is dead. As though someone had taken to it with industrial pesticide, they are all no more. The entire family had been dining in a restaurant, a transvestite came in strapped to the gullet with dynamite, recited some scripture, and then obliterated everyone in one flash of terror, smudged lipstick, and caked-on makeup.

But before the dungeon, the transvestite, and the death, was the list. In a moment of brilliance, Sarah and I, sat down one evening, listening to smooth jazz and drinking thrice hopped beer, we devised a list of things we wanted to achieve – no holds bar. We went silly, I remember the night with such fond memories, endorphins fizz and my heart swells just to think of it.

This, my friends, was not your standard, hum-drum, ‘5 year-plan that I would maybe do, someday.’ We would begin immediately, remaining dedicated to the cause until it had been completely, and faltering along the way was punishable by a 2×4 to the neck, which, funnily enough one of the things on my list, so there was absolutely no getting out of that one. To give one the true peppery sting of our list; I feel obliged to share some of it with you now:

  1. Try a Brazilian wax
  2. Finish super Mario 3
  3. Dress as a man
  4. Force a blood nose
  5. Have sex with an 80+
  6. Dress as a woman
  7. Drive a truck
  8. Crash a truck
  9. Free-fall skydive
  10. Design large tattoos for one another
  11. Write some beautiful music, sell to a big recording company, use proceeds to fund a hate campaign against them.
  12. Make love in a store window
  13. Start a fight with the local squirrels

I’m proud to announce that we successfully completed every entry on the list, well, all except for the sex with the 80+ one. Sarah did it, and Fucken hell it was funny, creaking and strange moaning , I couldn’t stop laughing. The time came around for me to get it on with this absurdly elderly broad and I just couldn’t do it, I will do just about anything, but this decision was too final, the psychological repercussions overwhelming, and I couldn’t stop laughing from Sarah’s little show. So there I am, giggling like a Japanese school girl, and WHAM!! I feel the unnerving blow of a 2×4 to the neck, but I still can’t stop laughing. Sarah winds up for another shot, and just as she’s taking her hit at me, I crouch down from laughing pains…. and she slams the old broad square in the face. We bolted, never turning back to face the scene. I do wonder whether the old bag survived from time to time. Homicide was not on the list, but we would lap up new experience like dogs after a big run who drink from their bowls, leaves, bugs and all.

Empowered by her brutal assault on the old lady, Sarah even went as far as to suggest parricide; ‘C’mon it’ll be a lark.’ Her eyes lit up like a wild-eyed child.

“Are you drunk?…You’ve been drinking haven’t you.” Her cheeks flushed incriminatingly.

‘No I have not.’ She replied defiantly.

‘I’ve taken just about everything else, but I am most certainly not a common drunkard.’

Sarah hopped over to the bar and poured herself several drinks.

“Look Sarah, about this whole parricide business.” I said.

‘Yes’ she replied.

‘It’s not on the list.’ I said.

‘So.’ She said.

‘Well, that would mean I get to thump you with the 2×4….where is the 2×4 by the way?, I couldn’t find it before.’

‘Oh, it’s in the car, I couldn’t manage it up the stairs with the shopping.’ She spoke through her beverage.

‘Ok, so, yes, it’s not on the list Sarah.’ I could tell she had already forgotten our topic of conversation.

‘I suppose it would be quite painful, and splinters and so very irritating.’ I had curried her favor.

‘Let me assure you it is very painful, just ask that old woman.’

After the list had been completed we both felt an immense sense of satisfaction, and the prospect of new, original, exciting lists in the future kept us salivating at the bit, and mad and crazy. And then this British fuck had to go and kidnap me. In all seriousness, who kidnaps a man with $1.50 to his name, going to buy milk from the store? The question was so vexing, the rats and the bad teeth seem to run secondary as the major infliction of torment. But like I said, I wasn’t Italian, nor was I overly worried by my situation;

Visa v the awful dungeon and the impending doom.

Throughout my time in the dungeon, I would talk alot, I would say things like: “What ever ‘appened to the ‘cow-lick’ hairstyle? Or is it ‘cows-lick? You don’t seem to see so much of that any more. Do you think cows used to actually lick the face of unawares children in the pastures? I think it’s quite possible; cows are strange beats you know. Actually, Mr. British fellow, everything is strange when you think about it. Trees are strange, laughter is strange, the way water sits in a cup, it’s all most peculiar.”

My keeper, enraged by my rambunctious insolence, proceeded to bludgeon one of the rats he was cooking. It splattered every ways and was followed by an awkward silence that made me regret I had said anything at all. So this when on for quite some time and then one day, out of the blue, the British man with bad teeth, quietly unstrapped me, kissed me on the cheek, and sent me on my way. I’m not one to look a gift horse on the mouth, so I got my derrière out of there oot-sweet.

Sometimes when I sit at my writing desk, I long for that dungeon. With its finite possibilities, damp smells, and menacing vibrations. The stretching rack does leave one with excellent posture.

sigh*…..I miss Sarah.

More Strange Stories…

Nils Erwin

Nils submitted this piece in 2004 with a link to his webpage "under the floor" which is no longer available.*** Here's an "about me" excerpt from his long lost webpage: *** "Shortly after I was born it came as quite a startle to my then already beleaguered parents (they had wanted a girl who could sew), that I would speak fluent spanish. My first words were: "Dónde está el tocador? Necesito refrescar para arriba." Which roughly translated means: "Where is the toilet, I need to freshen up." Fearing that I had some incredible gift, or even worse, that I was channeling a homosexual spanish immigrant, my parents paid a vagrant to drop me down a manhole along with a satchel of dried food with the hopes that I might surface one day quite normal and ready to join society again. Fortuitously, this tuned out to completely unnecessary, for as swiftly as I picked up the dialect, it abandoned me, and I returned to the normal incoherence of a baby."

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