(I walked with earbuds on)
“Hold me if I’m dying and vice-versa, OK?” — Castle Shikigami 2
I walked with earbuds on
my first three years here
but now I’m involved in the community,
I make cufflinks out of 20 gauge shotgun shells
in the backroom of the Abel Sisters’ boutique.
I patron traveling salesmen selling exotic taquitos
and they never cut me off.
I accelerate the game clock
to live entirely off of Christmas presents.
I am not allergic to anything that lives
in Arkansas’s row crops, and hardwood forests.
I disregarded sharp chipped
tooths and cavities. My birthday
is on my wristband, stop asking.
When I played Medal of Honor: Frontline, the dead bodies
of my allies always disappeared.
The Playstation 2 is weak, I was storming Normandy.
Priorities had to be made
and the bodies were just going to be bodies.
I would rather be at the cafe near Intensive Care,
everyone is young-ish like me:
the on-call surgeons,
the mothers of the teenagers
who chugged bottles of hydrogen peroxide.
We duck our heads behind our laptops
and pretend we can pick up the Wi-Fi.
What should a non-player character do with himself,
how should he walk by the player,
talk to the player, after he’s shuffled off
his last useful piece of dialogue?
I miss everyone I love,
sure, but how can I make
someone stick around town
after they’ve beaten its boss battle?
No, I have not been in a different country
in the past six months.
I never asked to travel, all I ever asked for
was a view of Helena that I chose
and roommates who attracted interesting junk mail.
How many bodies did you watch
How long did you have to wait?
Trust me, I took you here for a reason.
This is the best gun store in town.
He’ll sell us guns all day
until we unload a round in his chest.
This piece was previously published in the Spring 2016 issue of FRiGG.