It was late in the evening inside a hotel room and Jon sat next to the small table, watching the late night news. He had saved up enough money to live for awhile without having to look for work and didn't want to be bored with looking for an apartment. For a brief moment he could hear sirens and then the sound faded. He opened the curtains and saw an empty lot.
He slowly plopped back into the chair. Only slightly paying attention to the channel he spooned a spooful of pork and beans into his mouth. He enjoyed the simplicity of the meal. It was cheap and full of protein.
He didn't exercise, but wasn't fat. The type of labor he did required sweat and for him it was adequate exercise. He glanced at his arms and legs and remarked that they were hairy.
A news program came on about upcoming politicians and it caught his interest. One of the politicians wanted to make abortion and homosexuality illegal.
"God damn Republicans," he muttered to himself. "It's not enough that they disagree with issues. They have to make it illegal for everyone." He turned off the T.V. and spit out a few curse words. Then, he pulled out a dirty magazine from his suitcase that he'd seen several times, and unable to get erect, he threw it on the floor and rolled over to fall asleep.
The next day, after eating lunch at a small diner he parked at a local park. There was a rally for governor in three days and he wanted to attend. For now, though, he sat at a chess table next to about ten players. He saw a few children playing in the playground and reflected on some of the changes that made him adult.
"Would you like a game?"
A tall man with glasses and a huge smile approached him.
"Sure," Jon replied. They both sat down. Jon had the white pieces.
"Have you played before?" asked the stranger.
"I was in the chess club in highschool, but never understood the strategy so I stayed pretty inactive."
The stranger smiled. "Well I am advanced. I have won two tournaments. Don't worry, I will let you keep your queen."
"Thanks," he replied, a bit bitter.
Jon noticed that his opponent made decisions quickly, yet still managed to capture valuable pieces. In only five minutes Jon was able to put the king in check, but he didn't see the bishop and lost his knight for checkmate.
"No thanks," Jon said, a little disgruntled. "I'd rather watch you guys play." For the next couple of hours Jon watched the players compete against each other. He was able to see how some of the men did much better than the others. A gentleman sat down next to him in a Walmart uniform.
"I come here everyday after work."
They began to chat about different political topics, which they mostly disagreed upon, but were mature enough to accept their differences. The sun began to set and the tall lights in the park turned on.
"Do you smoke?" The stranger asked.
"Occasionally, when I drink. It's bad for my health though so I try and stay away."
"I don't mean cigarettes, man. I mean the gangha green."
"Oh, I've tried it before and didn't really like it."
"Oh, that's cool man. It's not for everyone. I got a joint back at my pad if you wanna smoke out and watch a movie."
"Shaun of the Dead."
"Ok," Jon agreed.
After a few puffs Jon confessed his feelings about the candidates for governor. "I hate that bitch. She's just one of those people that are going to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The whole system is fucked. I should really just kill the bitch and make the world a better place."
"Woah, man. That's some crazy shit. I thought I was nuts from smoking all this herb. Fuck it, though. I agree with you if it wasn't for unions the rich would just pay us less and make us work more. I'd help you, but I'm on parole so I can't even own a gun."
"And you're allowed to smoke pot?"
He burst out laughing. "Of course not. I take this drink before a drug test that flushes it out of my system so I don't pop." He inhaled the joint and then blew a puff of white smoke into the air. "It's the only thing that keeps me sane."
He stayed the night at the strange man's house and slept on his couch. He bid the man farewell after a small breakfast and met up with an old friend for lunch. His friend had adapted a new diet and it was all he could talk about. Jon was quite bored to hear of the different exercises he would do for each set of muscles or all the comments women made on his photos on dating web sites. Then he went on to talk about cholesterol, fat, and protein shakes before trying to persuade him to accompany him at the gym.
"No thanks," Jon replied. "I'm in decent enough shape that I won't get a heart attack."
His friend was a bit unhappy that Jon didn't care as much about his body. Jon was a bit disturbed to hear that his friend shaved his legs to swim faster. He wasn't a competitive swimmer though and Jon counseled him several times about his friend turning into a manwhore and was worried he was using his sexy body to attract both men and women.
After dinner at a greasy spoon diner they watched a comedy and they both fell asleep watching late night T.V. sitting in their chairs. A barking dog woke up Jon and he squinted his eyes in the bright morning sun. He glanced at his watch and made a note in his brain that the rally was in one day. He didn't like either candidate, but felt that voting for a third party candidate would be like throwing his vote away. His friend was still asleep so he went to check his luggage. At the very bottom was a loaded 9mm pistol. He pulled it out for a second and held it in his hand, then gently buried it at the bottom.
He walked back inside the house and saw his friend still asleep. He drew a giant penis on his forehead in permanent marker and then went to brush his teeth. Cereal was interesting, watching the man that didn't know he had a giant penis sketched on his face. He recognized it though when he took a shower and washed it most away. Technology has made life easier, but no one thinks of all the negative side effects of having things like mirrors in every household.
They played a videogame for the rest of most of the day. Jon's friend had to visit his family a few hours away and was forced to stay in a hotel again. He was a bit nervous for the next day and realized the huge risk he was taking. Not being religious, he meditated to attain peace of mind. He lit a few sticks of incense and put on calming instrumental music that he meditated to for hours before becoming tired enough to fall asleep.
An hour before the rally he imagined himself succeeding and putting bullets right through the face and chest in front of the entire audience and then running off into a safe distance before being captured. At the rally it was foggy. He saw the string of armored and armed bodyguards surrounding the debate. When she approached the stage he pulled out his pistol and ran towards the podium squeezing off a few rounds. His first two shots missed, but he pierced her arm with a bullet before being shot in the chest fatally five times by multiple bodyguards and dying.
His friend who was in terrific physical shape shook his head in sadness when reading the news in the paper. Jon had no other loved ones to feel sad for his death.
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