Either Way, You’ll Regret It – Drew Mosman

I pedal like I’m dying, like I’m being followed by the homeless man who spat at me yesterday, like I’m following the homeless man who spat at me while I grip the lead pipe in my hand. Lead pipe. A classic weapon, I think to myself. It’s a board game weapon, it’s not even real, I’ve murdered four homeless men with this lead pipe and haven’t been caught, it’s untraceable, it’s the weapon I’ll be drawn with in one hundred years when my life is sung in folk tales. I pedal on my stationary bike. My wife has left and all I hear is my own quick breathing, the occasional plop of sweat onto our floors. She won’t be back for another hour at least. I pedal and I try to keep my head down. If I glance up, I see the world. I’d like to not see the world. That’s my problem, I’d like to not see the world but in fact, I live in the world. How am I supposed to cope with that? How am I expected to live in this place? I look up and see three men at the house next to mine. Surly men, men who I’d like to pedal after, chase down. They are building a garage, a tiny house perhaps, banging away all day, stumbling around in the cold, shouting to each other. Their existence frightens me. I can’t comprehend such a life, do they just go home after they finish their banging and nailing and cursing? I imagine they each have a hole they crawl back into, a literal hole, one made of dirt and whose sides have been made smooth with saliva and cum and I imagine they are the type of creatures to sense when the sun comes up, whether they see it or not, and to squint their beady little eyes in its direction and think to themselves, here we go again. It’s despicable, I loathe them. I do not wake up with some sixth sense of the sun, I went to law school, I hang my clothes outside to dry, I pluck my mustache until it is the pristine mustache that the world expects of me, that I expect the world to expect of me. These men do not know women, they exist as some functioning obelisks, just upright. That’s what they are, upright. There is no dimensionality to their existence. Obelisks can fuck, I’m sure these beasts have fucked every whore up and down Aurora, it’s in the nature of the obelisk, to be upright, to be the mystical wand, to penetrate. But more than that? It’s a steep cliff to unconsciousness. When dying, the brain runs through the memories of life because it is trying to find a similar situation that it has encountered to its current situation, to dying. This never happens of course, but it gives one the illusion of their life flashing before their eyes, trying to find the impossible solution. These men, at their death, impaled by one of their nails, surely, will have a ticker tape of their fucking, just a constant stream of their own insertions. But to know women, do obelisks know women? I assure you, no. One of them may even make this claim, he may even call himself a romantic, a figure of literature, I have unfortunately heard him utter. I want to kick the legs off my bike when I hear this, I want to have a burn out on my bike like a car in an action movie, I want to scoop up my lead pipe and crash through my window towards his direction, I want to watch as his dirty slimy face looks at me in shock as I pound his brains through the back of his skull. This idiot, this fucking lunatic, this self-righteous ghoul of a man. He’s never known a woman in his life! And he never will! Aside from penetrating, he swallows. He sets some kind of meat trap in front of his dirt hole and waits for a woman to walk by so that he can swallow her whole and spit out her bones in reverse order and in the wrong place. He is a scourge to our world and I can not believe I have to look at him each day, it is a cruel world. I often consider making posters to hang up around the neighborhood to warn all of the women of this all-consuming creature. They’ll build you a whole world inside of their hole, fit with fictional cities and fictional people and fictional books and then one day you start to see them crumble, you’ll glance around and notice that things have started to disappear. You’ll glance around and notice you’re missing a few fingers, maybe an ear. You’ll be aware of your own disintegration, but it won’t really register, you’ll make little excuses to satisfy the creeping doubt. But by then, it won’t matter, it’ll already be too late. You’ll glance around and you’ll see this man gnawing on your kneecap or munching on your toe. You won’t even scream, it’s okay, it’ll be okay, he has assured you it’ll be okay. This is what happens when I look up, I just have to remember to not look up, I can’t stand it. I pedal furiously, I sit in my kitchen, on my bike, and I fucking pedal, goddamn do I fucking pedal.