Apr 12, 2018, 06:27AM

Tired of Changing the Subject?

A short story for a generation of people with non-existent attention spans.

D517224394b4e9ee8a73a0f84b4fdc28.jpg.gif?ixlib=rails 2.1

I really don’t think it’s my fault, you know?

What’s that?

People hold it against me that I’m inherently depressed and sad and all. If they care about me shouldn’t they try to help me instead of abandoning me because I’m not Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky all the time?

No. No, they shouldn’t. You see, kiddo, you’ve gotta be “on” all the time in order to succeed at the game of love. You’ve gotta be quick with a joke and even quicker with a compliment and, above all else, you’ve got to, uh…


I’m sorry. I have to go.

What? Why? I’m sorry! I can change! I can…

“Hi. I’m very talented. I have to be. After all, I’m on a syndicated television series and I’ve appeared in several movies,” the award-winning actress said proudly. “Don’t forget about my line of perfumes or clothing or action figures or whatever.”

“Let me just get this right out in the open, hon: I really like your latest movie,” the talk show host gushed to the award-winning actress seated opposite him.

“Working on it was a real joy,” the actress confessed.

“Mmm,” the talk show host responded, sipping water from the coffee mug to his left. “It’s really a great film. Your performance is just great.”

“Oh, thank you,” the actress replied embarrassedly. “I mean, I was surrounded by great actors and we really had a great director to work with. I’ve always said if you surround yourself with great actors”—she pronounced the word “ack-toors”—“then your performance can’t help but benefit from that, um…”

“Right, right,” the talk show host added eagerly. “Well, this is a shining example of this.”

The audience applauded for no apparent reason. “This” was certainly a “shining example” of “this,” though.

“Oh, it was a hilarious talk show,” the television critic pointed out. “It was hilarious because of the wit and the jokes.”

Everyone agreed. Of course the talk show was hilarious. Current events were referenced with jokes as subtle as a shotgun blast to the face and who could forget the wit?

Subtlety? You could learn a thing or two about subtlety, mister.

I could, that’s true… I could learn a thing or two about subtlety if I happened to be interested in learning, but I’m not. What I’m interested in, little missy, is selling you a used car you’re never going to forget.

Cut! Todd, you’re Jack Chaser, NYPD Homicide, that’s for sure. Marissa? You need to work on your, um… posture or something. I don’t know. There’s a huge line of coke sitting right in front of me. How can I be expected to concentrate on anything other than—Wow, that’s good stuff.

“Thanks a lot, man. Have a good night, man. Okay, man?” the customer urged the food service worker as he handed said food service worker a check made out for $10, leaving the food service worker with a generous gratuity of 61 cents.

“Yessir! Thank you, sir! You made my night! I love working at Papa John’s!”

“I’ll tell you exactly what’s wrong with you,” the doctor or self-help guru or both said with a knowing smile. “All you need do is sell me the rest of your life.”

“Really? That’s a steal!” the idiot agreed with the eagerness of a 13-year-old girl and immediately took a hacksaw to the rest of his life, cutting through both stone and rubber and then sticking it in the former’s face.

“Mmm, the rest of your life,” the doctor or self-help guru moaned with delight.

“Do you want to know me? The real me?” she asked with the innocence of a young fawn.

“Sure,” said the guy.

“Okay,” she said, and promptly removed the flesh from her torso and upper-body as if it were a long-sleeved shirt. “Here’s the real me,” she said with the giddiness of a six-year-old on Christmas morning. “I’m pink!” she exclaimed, tearing the skin off her own face.

“Why don’t you… I mean, all I want to do is… You didn’t have to take your skin off. I love you,” he confessed, tears in his eyes and indeed all over his face.

She shook her head and smiled a sad smile. “You don’t love me.”

“I do,” he protested weakly but wholeheartedly.

“You’re fixated or obsessed with me, but you don’t love me. You don’t love anyone. You can’t love anyone.”


Register or Login to leave a comment