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  1. I was in a bad mood, my arthritis was acting up and it occurred to me that sex was done with me. My feet hurt and I was tired of not being eighteen.

    I had just finished varnishing my newly sanded floors and the results were, meh. There was a grey hair in my pubes and sawdust floating around in my day-old coffee. I chugged it down anyway.

    All my friends are nuts.

    Rock and roll is dead.

    Chocolate milk is fattening.

    I decide to take a break from my fucked-up everything and sit in a center city park. The usual suspects strolled by, suits and skateboarders, chihuahuas and pits, queens, hustlers, a stray nun or two, and stoic, pale white dowagers being wheeled by hard-looking black nurses dangling cigarettes from determined lips.

    God are we tedious, myself included. Why be alive when all we can come up with is this shit-show?

    A bottle blonde in heels teetered by, painted to the tits and wrapped up in some kind of dead animal. Christ, it’s almost summer and she still has to pelt it up. I had a sudden fantasy of pulling out a .45 and blowing my brains out all over her fur. It’s the kind of thought that gives one pause, especially since it seemed to be cheering me up a little. I made a vow right then and there that, if I ever choose suicide, not to waste it. There are plenty of assholes out there who deserve to be splattered with grey matter, why not go out with a little impact?

    Fantasies concerning brains and who to splatter them on were concerning. Should I be investing in a little chemical support about now, antidepressants or something? What would a normal person do?

    Just then a girl walked by in a sheep mask, pushing a vacuum cleaner and carrying the frontal portion of a naked female mannequin on her shoulder. She sets up shop in the middle of the park and begins to push the vacuum cleaner back and forth over the torso.

    A small crowd gathers, then disperses. This happens again and again. No one knows what to make of her.

    She keeps pushing.

    The minutes turn to quarter hours, then an hour slips by. She vacuums, vacuums.

    It was a slow transformation, at first unnoticed. My mood lightened, a positive thought slipped in: the one right thing I had done in my life was to move into a city.

    I began to wonder about motive. Was she an art student, engaging in some elusive performance piece? Perhaps this was a feminist protest? Maybe she was simply crazy? One thing that happened was that I stopped thinking about myself.

    Pushing. Incessantly pushing. Sheep head down, her arms cranking, at one with her task.

    At some point I started to smile. My face thawed. Thank Loki for whacked out people.

    I stood up and stretched, a new man ready to face his mundane floorboards and single grey pubic hair. Sheep Woman had saved my day, restored my balance. I wanted to thank her, but she had important work to do and I didn’t want to interrupt.

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