I woke up in a strange place

By Marc Heiden, since 1997.
See also: a novel about a monkey.

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January 10, 2002

After serious consideration, I have settled upon a resolution for this year. My plan is to win the Comeback Motherfucker of the Year Award. All but seven votes will go to me, which will be a record for margin of victory. I will accept the award, and I will place it in the arms of the gorilla I received for Christmas. The doubters will say, "Damn." I will sip a milkshake.

Until then, though, I am legally required to be sad. And so it goes. I'm working, so I won't have to try so hard. I have a job. I write long essays and letters for a rabbi. He's a great guy. He gives me notes, and I try to make them into something. Frequently, I construct entire paragraphs that I find completely incomprehensible. The job, while interesting, is having a serious effect on how I react to language. I can form sparkling passages of prose without knowing what any of it means. I think that's how James Joyce happened. So I have to watch out for that.

In the morning, I find it hard to wake up until I know I am supposed to have left. I spend a lot of time listening to "The Lindbergh Suite" from The Royal Tenenbaums. I have been doing well as far as eating potatoes goes. I don't think Cornel West should get fucked, like the old guys behind me on the train did. I dress better than I used to. My hair cooperates. I don't have any money, but I will. I am not sure if I enjoy any of the goals I have set out for myself. Writing is still the only thing that lets me relax, and I am still terrified every time I think about doing it, because I am scared that I will discover I'm not any good at it any more. I drink mostly water. I still don't get enough sleep at night, and I stay up late wishing I did. I still like the rattling noises that my radiators make. I have found new and vivid reasons to find every member of my family disturbing. I want to go somewhere, but I can't. I wish I was still in college, not because being a student was easier, but because I think now I'd actually enjoy the classes I took. I still don't enjoy talking about myself very much. I am still in exile. They still haven't fixed my apartment's buzzer. I don't have much going on these days.

The rabbi thinks I am very smart and likes me very much, but he gives me a lot of shit for not having any religion. I hum "Welcome to the Terrordome" whenever he gets on my nerves.

So, we in Chicago are robbed of snow. If I wanted a mild winter, I'd live in fucking Florida. I do not want a mild winter. I want snow all over everything, several feet of it, so deep I can't see anything except streetlights and my front door. I want to fall into snowdrifts at night.

RabbiCo offered me health insurance along with my paychecks, which was nice. That kicks in at the start of March. God damn. I am an intellectual mercenary.

Arden, who would be expected to respond if I were to call out, "Where my dawgs at?", sent along the valuable information that Dave Thomas was a Freemason. The good news is that his Freemasonry makes it somewhat more likely that his intentions regarding the preservation of the Frosty - if, in fact, he did have any intentions - will be respected, because the Freemasons get their way. The bad news is that his Freemasonry also makes it somewhat more likely that his head will, in fact, be grafted to a giant lizard body. And, for some reason, I feel certain that a giant lizard Dave Thomas would come with a biological imperative to wreck all my stuff.

Next time I do not have enough money for a Frosty, I am going to go into a Wendy's, hold out my hands, palms open, and ask, "Will nobody help the widow's son?" If he was a Freemason, that should get me a free Frosty.

Dispatches From the Tenth Circle
The Onion

A worthy successor to the monumental Our Dumb Century. Although this one is another hits collection, it follows Our Dumb Century in using crafty design to fill every available bit of space with content, and excellent content it is. For me, having a new Onion collection at hand doubles the length of any given trip to the bathroom, but that's okay. I am that much better a person for the time spent.

Incidentally, it is a dream of mine for Our Dumb Century to assume its rightful place as a school textbook by the time I have children.

I woke up in a strange place is the work of Marc Heiden, born in 1978, author of two books (Chicago, Hiroshima) and some plays, and an occasional photographer.

Often discussed:

Antarctica, Beelzetron, Books, Chicago, College, Communism, Food, Internet, Japan, Manute Bol, Monkeys and Apes, North Korea, Oregon Trail, Outer Space, Panda Porn, Politics, RabbiTech, Shakespeare, Sports, Texas.


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Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.