I Wish Kevin Was A Bag Of Sand – Bobby Miller
November 9, 2022
The divorce blindsided Kevin. Not being a part of his wife’s life was one thing. But, not getting to see his 6-year-old son was gutting. Through a fluke in the court system, he did not receive joint custody of his child, mostly because the judge didn’t like the way Kevin looked. You know how that goes. Sometimes you just don’t like a person. You can’t put your finger on it, really. But, sometimes, you just want to smash someone’s face into a million pieces.
I’m not saying that Kevin had that face in a universal sense. You and I, we’d probably be totally fine with it. But, that judge…man, he didn’t like Kevin’s face. And because of that, Kevin never got to see his son after his sixth birthday.
After Kevin moved out of the house, he tried to focus on work. Work would save him! But he couldn’t help beating himself up. Maybe it was all his fault. Or maybe his wife had sabotaged him? Or no—it was probably the judge and his face-bias. Regardless, someone must be to blame for this heartbreak.
Years and years passed. And during that time, Kevin worked and worked. His 30s and 40s came and went like a dream. He found himself middle-aged and still grinding away at the same company. In fact, Kevin was working so much at the office that he began to dissolve into his seat. It didn’t happen all at once, though. At first, his left palm went numb. Then, suddenly, everything went numb, and then BOOM! Kevin was just a fine powder.
It was awkward initially, and his co-workers didn’t know what to do. Should they still invite him out to lunch? Should they tell his superiors he was behind on his cloud computing work? Eventually, Kevin caught up with his assignments. He discovered that if he concentrated REALLY hard, he could form his powdery self into disembodied hands—and those disembodied hands could collate copies like you wouldn’t believe! But the hand trick didn’t impress his cubicle buddy Patrick, mostly because Patrick found himself allergic to “Kevin Powder.”
Yep. That’s how people addressed him now. Kevin Powder. Soon, they grew tired of calling him that and abbreviated it to the much more efficient name of “KP.” And boy, KP was unpopular at the office. The fellas invited him out to various get-togethers, but KP was always his dull old self. It was like hanging out with a bag of sand. Although, at least with sand, you could put your toes into it and pretend you were at the beach. If you sank your toes into KP, you’d just feel weird. Or bad about yourself.
Back home, life wasn’t much better. With his wife and son out of the picture, KP spent most of his time watching “House Hunters International.” It was now in its 103rd season (despite rumors that it was all staged). His job was low-paying and the divorce cost him dearly, so “House Hunters International” was the only way for him to travel the world. And with 8K resolution pumped into his sizable LCD-MAX screen, it felt incredibly real.
But, while that may sound super cool, life was not going well for KP. Quite frankly, being a finely granulated powder sucked shit. So, one day, KP decided to do something drastic. “Tomorrow,” he thought, “tomorrow will be the day I mix myself with water.” After all, some of his favorite granulated powders (Tang, Ovaltine, that discount iced tea mix at ShopRite) mixed agreeably into water. So, why not him?
That night he had a bunch of weird dreams, one of which entailed a decapitated fish head sitting on a pier singing Weezer’s “Say it Ain’t So.” It was surprisingly soulful for a fish head. (And the bass was focused, yet explosive when it needed to be.) Anyways, the alarm clock sounded. It was 5AM, and there’d be more time for dreaming.
KP dragged himself out of bed and looked into his small, vacant kitchen. He carefully poured himself a glass of water and then BLAMMO. He was submerged. The contents of the glass spilled over, and KP found himself violently spazzing on the table. Here he was—no longer a fine powder. Here he was—a gelatinous lumpy goo. If you thought working at a cloud computing office was difficult as a powder, wait ‘til you rock Windows 37 and an ergonomic mouse as a lump of goo. He quickly earned the nickname “PKG” (Powdered Kevin Goo) and unfortunately left a slimy snail trail wherever he went. “Great,” said Patrick, “those were goddamn designer jeans.”
“Fucking hell,” shouted Carol, a new secretary, “PKG is a dickhead of a disaster.”
“I hate PKG. He keeps getting his shit on my pantsuit,” said some intern who ultimately didn’t matter much to the company. After a while, this started to hurt PKG’s feelings.
One particular night, PKG found himself in a blue mood. Actually, blue isn’t the word for it. He was really depressed. He had tried, in vain, to contact his son that night. And every social media search ended in heartbreak. The whole sad affair caused PKG to seek solace in his old PlayStation 3. He always enjoyed that one game. You know the one—the one where you have to hit a fox on the head with a hammer. After consuming way too much pizza and beer (through a revolutionary osmosis kit he bought on Amazon), he began to stare at the disc slot of his PlayStation 3. That gaping slot called to him. What if he could get lost in this carefree feeling? This feeling of hitting a fox on the head with a hammer. This feeling that all of his expectations and ambitions in life were no more. What if he could get truly lost in this old gaming console? What if he could become part of it? Forever?
Perhaps it was the beer talking, but PKG decided to say, “Fuck it.” At that precise moment, he flung his lumpy, gooey self into the disc tray of his PlayStation 3. He pushed himself inside as hard as he could with every fiber of his gooey being and then FLUMP! He was in. It was terrifically dark at first. Like, real dark. But, as the minutes passed, he began to settle in. Suddenly, a wave of electricity pulsed through him. Darkness became light! Silence became…noise? Was he about to be reborn? Was he passing through to another dimension? Was he dying? It wasn’t any of that, honestly. Quite simply, KPG had fused with his aging PlayStation 3. And it was…fantastic. He had access to all of his favorite video streaming services and games galore! Sometimes, if he thought hard about it, he could even get the outside LED status lights to flicker. It was a neat trick. Honestly, he was proud of himself for that.
For a while, the office was concerned about KPG. He hadn’t returned their calls. And no one knew where he lived after the divorce. Soon their concern diminished when they realized they could rent out KPG’s desk to another cloud computing company. They ended up making $800 a month off KPG’s desk. Not bad if you think about it. I mean, that’s just extra income.
A decade passed, and Kevin, who I will now call by his birth name, started to feel lonely. All of the digital stimuli were beginning to tire him. Even “House Hunters International” was becoming annoying. How many times can you watch a couple say they like or don’t like a house? (Try watching that a million times. I dare you!) So, while Kevin had found a safe space, an entertaining one too, he began to miss the whole “not having a body and being part of the world” thing. Just as Kevin was feeling incredibly sorry for himself, he heard a KNOCK at the door. He was scared at first- so frightened he began to flicker his LED status lights.
Kevin’s place was not particularly tidy. He had moved into a trailer home after the divorce—and the place looked that sad. CRASH! Two figures broke into the front door and surveyed the area. It was nighttime, so the shapes appeared dark at first. Kevin was really hitting those LED lights hard by this point, trying desperately to scare these intruders. But, suddenly, the figures revealed themselves. Kevin didn’t recognize either of them. One of them had a robot arm with an iPad soldered onto it. “This is him,” he said. Kevin got a better look at the iPad-man’s face and quickly scanned his internal PlayStation 3 photo library for a match. But, no luck. Still, the face looked familiar. Despite his weird iPad hand, the man looked strong. He even seemed happy. Another man stood behind him, almost in tears. Finally, the iPad-man spoke: “Dad?”
You could hear a goddamn pin drop.
Kevin stopped hitting the LED lights. Everything went quiet and dark. The iPad-man explained that he had been looking for Kevin for a long time. And that he tracked him down with a “dad finder” app (which, by the way, is on sale right now in the App Store). He explained that Mom told him he died in a fire. Like a crazy, fucked-up forest fire. Somehow a bear was also involved? Or was it a pack of wolves? Who knows! Mom was telling him all kinds of crazy shit!
Kevin studied this handsome iPad-man’s face for a moment as the other man grabbed his hand. “We just got married.” Kevin filled with emotion. His oldest boy, in front of him for the first time in decades. And he was happy and seemed to be in love. Kevin wished he could have been there when his son came out. Wished he been the supportive dad you see in those Netflix5000 reality TV shows. The ones that don’t really exist. But he hadn’t been there for him. Because, for the significant part of the decade, he was fused inside this godforsaken PlayStation 3.
At that point, things were happening inside Kevin. Electrodes ran through him for the first time in years. He was so happy to see that everything worked out for his son. So glad that he found his bit of happiness in this world. It is hard to do, after all. The electrodes finally washed away from Kevin, and he settled back into the dark expanse of his PlayStation 3. In the darkness, he watched his son explain the last decade of his life to him. And Kevin finally relaxed.
In the end, he thought he had a nice life.