Me

by Michael Price

This story is about me.

Aside from the fact that you have obviously, somehow, become fortunate enough to come in contact with this finely crafted piece of literature, you don’t matter a whole helluva lot. Simply put, in words that even you might understand, based solely on your merits alone, you don’t count. Therefore, you should thank me. As you read this, I give you worth.

Many years ago, it became readily apparent to me how truly special I am so I, therefore, have been obliged to accept this as a matter of fact. You should, too and, for the most part, you have. Good for you. I know it must come across as fairly obvious that my intelligence is undoubtedly to be revered. Additionally, I have amassed boatloads of money over the years, as notably evidenced by my…well, for one thing, my boat, my spectacularly gorgeous yacht…by my exceptionally fine wardrobe, two stylish European automobiles, and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of designer sunglasses. My state-of-the-art, elegantly modern, high-rise bachelor pad provides the quintessential definition of the term ‘luxury condo’. Furthermore, I am exceptionally handsome in the classic GQ/beefcake mode, far too glib for words (get it? that’s funny!), and, for years now, stunningly beautiful women have worshiped my every move, swooned over my every utterance. None of this is my fault, and should not be held against me. I seem to have been born this way.

Whenever I treat myself to a leisurely jaunt down the sidewalks of the big city I always walk right down the middle. None of this keep-to-the-right shit; I make you move. And those candy bar and gum wrappers I toss on the ground? Some city employee or whoever actually gets paid to pick that shit up. I mean, can you believe that? I’m a walking stimulus package.

I grace a local health club with my presence three or four times a week, whenever I feel like it, only during peak hours, of course. I always get the aerobic stuff out of the way first. Why? Sure, it’s a good way to warm up. But more importantly, everywhere I go after that, everything I touch, every bench I lay on, a welcoming little bonus of special perspiration awaits whoever’s next in line. Good for them. If they or anybody else wants to wipe it up, that’s their business, I couldn’t care less, it’s not my problem anymore. Occasionally, somebody will actually ask if they can work in with me on something I’m doing, usually something with the weights, go every other set on a machine, split a bench, ya know, whatever. I always say no, of course. The nerve…they can wait. What I’m doing is always more important, always has been, always will be, and takes precedence every time. Most people already know all that but every once in a while I regrettably am approached by God’s most recent gift to ignorance and–can you believe it?—I get asked to share. It actually happens more than you might think. It’s sad. I almost feel sorry for the damn morons.

Well, not really.

Okay, not at all.

I borrowed a couple thirty-five pound dumbbells from the club a few weeks ago. Walked out with ’em in my Gucci gym bag, right past the pimply little chicky-poo at the front desk, the one always smiling her tight little junior college ass off at anything that moves, doin’ the minimum wage/free membership hokey-pokey along with the rest of her cutesy little pals (pretty pathetic, actually–pubescent eye-candy, at best).

And I know what you’re thinking; yes, those weights werekinda heavy, hanging so low, thought for a minute I might even be running the risk of stretching out the ol’ Gucc bag, that maybe I shoulda borrowed ’em home one at a time. But, hey, I really do need ’em back at my place, for those days when I don’t feel like going out or it’s raining or whatever, or for the big game on my big screen. Priorities, am I right? And for what I’m paying that money-sucking sweat shop? Hey, I deserve ’em. Gotta keep the pipes pumped up for all the pretty little of-age babes, right? See, there ya have it

again–priorities. They’re great to have around during commercials.

The dumbbells, I mean, not the priorities.

Incidentally, that time you had your hands full of whatever crap was in all those boxes and the guy in front of you let the door slam in your face? Yeah, that was me. I know you said something, I think you might have even stooped to foul language, but I wasn’t really paying attention, nor did I give a rat’s ass. Besides, the guy behind you helped pick everything up, anyway, the schmuck. I know, I checked, just for the hell of it, more for shits and giggles than anything else. And I’m guessing (so I’ve been told) this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you how bad I feel about the whole deal, that I’m really sorry, I’ll never do it again, but those would all be lies, so never mind. I don’t do the door thing.   My time is more valuable than that.

Automobile turn signals have always been a waste of electrical engineering, as far as I’m concerned, and a colossal pain in the ass to boot (ass to boot, boot to ass…God, I really am funny!). I don’t even bother with ‘em unless I see a cop hangin’ around, trolling for suckers, and sometimes not even then. Hey, I’m right here, I know you can see me, it’s a red Porsche, for chrissake, get the hell outta my way, I’m turning. And yo, pedestrian, pay attention, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a lot bigger than you are, get your lousy ass across the damn street or I’ll run ya down, chop-chop, whad’ya say? Hell, a long time ago, I even tried to get my mechanic to disconnect the blinker wires on my cars. I mean, why bother? Everybody sees me. C’mon, it’s a brand new Mercedes convertible, ya gotta be lookin’ right at me, I’m turning, already.

Joe said he couldn’t do it. Communist.

Shortly after I purchased and moved into my delightfully urbane abode, some artistically challenged addle-brain was hired—by who, I don’t even want to know–to deck the walls of our building with art. It was all I could do to refrain from unmercifully belittling him and his excruciating lack of taste, that week he hung the hideous tripe. I waited until he was done and gone, then mercifully replaced some of the more offensive of his imbecilic selections with a number of aesthetically captivating paintings from my collegiate art class days, plus a few award-worthy photographs from my prodigious personal stash. I hated to break up a fabulous collection but, my God, something had to be done; I live in the damn building. I tossed the other shit in the dumpster, where it undoubtedly came from in the first place.

Okay, so a couple nights ago I walk into this bar. Nice place, decent scenery, been there, done that. Better than average success rate, not bad at all, really, definitely worth my while for a return visit. Anyway, I’m standing there, posed at the end of the bar, affluently dappered for the evening, as usual, scotching to myself, I dunno, on my second, maybe third…I see this chick across the bar. Real dolly-and-a-half. She’s sitting there by herself: big jugs, nice hair, good make-up job, cavernous cleavage, the whole package. So I call the bartender over, tell him to buy her a cocktail, anything she wants, put it on my tab, shot, wine, whatever. Bartender goes over to the chick, brief conversation, she looks right at me, gives me the cute little smile…shakes her pretty little head no. Couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t frickin’ believe it. I’m thinkin’, she has no idea what she’s missing out on. So I go over there, introduce myself. Nothing. So I start talking to this chick…ya know, real suave-like, charming the crap out of the whole deal. Says she’s meeting her boyfriend. I’m thinkin’, sure honey, I’ll bet. Go ahead, play hard-to-get, I know how to play that game, too. So we’re talking, ya know, mostly about me, naturally. Turns out she’s the poster child for Air-Heads Anonymous, a total flight deck, brain of a pocket gopher, and, as it turns out, a fabulous ass to go along with those wah-wah knockers which now, up close, look absolutely delicious. And I’m thinkin’, let’s get outta here, honey, I know a place, wink, wink, yada, etcetera…but hey, I’m playin’ it cool, ya know, keepin’ the eyeses on the prizes, as it were. So we’re talking, talking, five, ten minutes, maybe…turns out she actually does have a boyfriend, no shit. He shows up, a half-hour late, and a real pip-squeak at that: five-eight, five-nine maybe, one-thirty-five, tops, bad hair cut, wearing an L-Mart clearance-sale close-out three-piece job and a buck-special tie, not to mention the scuffed-up brown penny loafers (more like pennyless)—none of which matched. And I’m thinkin’, the whole time laughing my ass off inside, oh baby, this is gonna be so easy. So I buy the guy a drink, what the hell, try to be a good guy, anything he wants, on my tab (a Fuzzy Navel!—nice drink, Mary!). So we keep talking for a few minutes, she and me, I mean. Then junior fashion plate with the pretty little drinky-poo goes all brave on the deal and tries to bunny-hop his way into the conversation. Turns out he’s an idiot, too, one of those puny entry level business geeks that should never be allowed to speak where liquor is served, all of which I probably could have told you before he ever opened his skinny-ass lips to yap, yap, yap it up. Not to mention, a lippy little punk on top of everything else; wouldn’t you know, a real sass-box. Suffice to say, we kinda got off on the wrong foot, didn’t hit it off real well. There were issues, more than one of which were directly or indirectly related to a few of my favorite female physical attributes, all of which were practically gift-wrapped and sitting on a bar stool right in front of me. So, what does he do? The little shit gets in my face. He actually gets up in my face, starts bitchin’ at me, calling me this, that, the other; couldn’t frickin’ believe it! Starts railin’ on me for hitting on his woman. Well, duh!–no shit pally! I was saving her, for God’s sake. Him, too, for that matter. The puny little twerp was bound to get dumped sooner or later, no way a babe like that was gonna stick it out with…that!…she was bound to come to her senses, and probably a helluva lot sooner than later. A beauteous prize package like that obviously deserves better than little Miss Penny-loafer, sipping on his fu-fu-juice. God, he was pathetic. But he would just not let it go. He keeps comin’ at me. So I take this little twit’s bullshit until I just can’t frickin take it any more, nobody could’ve. And I get pissed. Like, really pissed. You would’ve, too. Hell, anybody would’ve. Twerp! Fuzzy Navel…pfft! What a wuss.

Long story short: I end up with a couple broken knuckles outta the deal. Hurts like hell, too.

So I’ve been informed that I’m allowed one phone call as one of the honored guests in this shit-hole. Damned if I can think of anybody to call who might want to help me out.

The food here is terrible.

Got my first court appearance in the morning.

Good for me.

Widely published in literary journals, Michael Price has been writing fiction for over 30 years.  He earned his BA in Theater from the University of Minnesota in 1980 and performed his own one-man one-act play “No Change of Address” to considerable acclaim at the 2011 MN Fringe Festival.
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