Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Mark scanned the aisles of the home improvement store. He looked for lumber. He unhooked his phone from his belt and dialed Jack. "Your call has been forwarded ..." He listened to the rest of the recorded message and then replied, "God, you lazy fuck! Record a voicemail greeting! How hard can that be?" He chuckled and continued to rib, "Okay, I'm standing in Menards trying to figure out what kind of board I need to brace my garage door and apparently you're so caught up in that capitalist greed thing that cash means more to you than taking my call during business hours. Call me, bro." He hung up his phone and holstered it at his waist. He located the lumber and searched for a scrap of wood.

Mark heard a voice from behind his shoulder. "What are you doing?"

Mark stood up from his crouched. "Hey bro! Are you following me?" They laughed and shook hands.

"I'm buying a rake." Kevin said.

"Okay I'm so glad you're here. I know nothing about this kind of stuff. I need a board to repair my garage door." They discussed his need and located the necessary board. They exchanged the how is and the did you questions. "Oh hey. Did you get my email?" Mark asked.

"Which one?"

He laughed. "Dude, I've sent you maybe 3 emails in 2 years."

"Oh yeah, I got it." Kevin planted his rake and closed his face. He looked like a homage to Wood's American Gothic. "Why are you always inviting me to shit? Every time I see you, you're inviting me to something."


"What's the deal Mark? Don't you have any friends?"

"Apparently I have one less than I thought I had." Mark stepped back and held the board like a staff. "Bro, let me ask you something. How does this work? You approach me in a public place. I greet you. We have a friendly conversation and then you insult me because I invited you to a party. I don't get it. I seriously don't. People always tell me I have so much conflict in my life. And I don't get it. I didn't approach you. I wasn't rude to you. And I didn't exclude you by not including you in a social event."

"I think you just like to collect people." Kevin replied.

He took a step forward, "No you fuckwit. I try to connect people so no one is alone. " He picked up the board and began to walk away.

"Well, aren't you special!"

Mark turned around. "No. Apparently I've become what I've been accused of my whole life. The loneliest word ever. Unique."

"I'll tell you what you are! A pompous, self-righteous ass!"

Mark turned and walked alone to the register.