This is how it works. With my marathon over, this month’s project is a short story a day. Each day, I will take a writing prompt from the frontpage of reddit.com. There is no length limit and as this is a writing exercise, I will try my best to write something worth reading, and will invest in your comments, but make no guarantees (not that I ever do) as to the quality of my work. Enjoy!
Have you ever thrown yourself off a cliff? Or bungee jumped? Done any cave diving, lately? These are all rhetorical questions. Or maybe not, but I’ll bet the shit-filled farm that you can’t answer any of these questions with a yes, which doesn’t leave us with much to talk about. No, I doubt you’ve never even drunk milk past the expiration date, and if you did, you were half-hoping that it would mess with your stomach so you could boast about it. I don’t give a black damn about all your little stunts or how much you drank last night or how you once saw someone get the snot beat out of them in some flabby frat fest fight. As my mother used to say, you can blow it out your ass. So if you’re going to keep boasting about all the times your life flashed before your eyes (let me guess, a lot of DVDs), please bear with me a second and if you would be so kind, please, sir, to allow me one good whack of my head against that wall, so at least with my ears ringing all I’ll have to do is put up with watching your chin wobble and your spit dribble, I would be most grateful.
Now. These being questions of a rhetorical nature, allow me to furnish you with answers: D, all of the above, or E, all of the above plus some. I’ve wrecked three motorcycles, four cars, two and a half bicycles (counting a unicycle.) I’ve got more half pairs of skis hanging broken-hearted in my closet than you do ex-girlfriend and ex-jerk off fantasies combined. I’ve fallen off of three cliffs, jumped off ten times as many. I got my skydiving license before I got my drivers license, and before that I was bungee jumping. When I got bored of bungee jumping, I got my drivers license so some of my buddies and I could drive two days to a set of caves and bungee jump into those. If you’re thinking to yourself that you may still have one over on me in terms of intellectual pursuits, let me tell you something, Sir 12 shots of Whiskey, we got so good at math calculating just how close we could get to the cave floor before that cord snapped us back up that the worst injury I ever got was a black eye banging my face against a rat sleeping on the cave floor.
I’ve got more stories in one month than you’ve got in however many years your hairline held on. You’re worrying about settling down and meeting whatever timeline you set up. Hell you probably got an online life calendar that you check three times a week like it’s your fertility cycle. The only thing I’m worried about is finding the next “bigger” and the next “better” and seeing just how far I can push myself. How many lines I can cross, and if I can’t cross it, at least touch it. Don’t say I have a death wish, because death is either nothing or eternity stuck in one place, which sounds not only boring, but a hell of a lot like your life. If that happens maybe you and I can meet up and we can start drinking—12 shots!—just to pass the time.
Do you know what I did before I got here? I put on a wing suit and a helmet, and I stepped off a cliff. Going more than a hundred miles an hour I came so close to the ground I could see my own shadow and some idiot photographer who, you know, looked a fair amount like you, had to throw his dumb ass on the ground and get out of my way. That’s going to be one of they key stories of his life and maybe he’ll frame his blurry ass photo now, as he’ll say, that digital photography has made everything so cheap. For me? It was a momentary bonus thrill coming that close, and then the gorge opened up and I started to slow down, and I pulled my parachute, and with it came a feeling of relief..
Maybe I felt something else, too, something like disappointment, but I don’t know, man, I’ve had more shots than I can count.