by John S
Jerry has many questions and few answers to life in the year 2018.
Jerry was in a pissed off mood walking down Henry Street. It wasn’t rare for Jerry to be in such a mood, he spent a good part of his life angry. The guy walking towards him looked to be in his fifties, around Jerry’s age, and Jerry knew he had never seen the guy before, but somehow, he knew that someone in the world had to look exactly like the guy. It was a feeling he got every once in a while. He wondered if everyone felt that way sometimes. He was never interested enough to ask anybody though. Maybe God gave him some superpower that he wasn’t aware of. He doubted it.
The guy turned and looked at Jerry as if to say, “what are you looking at.” Jerry kept on walking. If the guy did that to him at 2AM, when Jerry was returning to his apartment, half in the bag from a night of drinking at Mike’s, it would be a whole other story. The guy would be bleeding from several of his orifices and Jerry would be dragging him behind the 711 they were walking past. Jerry would then toss the asshole in the dumpster in the back. The very thought brought a smile to his face and put a hop in his step.
As he got older and he realized he didn’t have much time on this earth left, he spent a good part of his day and most nights contemplating his own mortality. Jerry had questions about heaven and hell he needed answered. If we die and we have done everything right our reward is heaven. How exactly does heaven work? If we were as dumb as a rock when we died, will we get smarter in heaven? Is everyone equal in heaven or are there degrees of goodness. Do the really, truly righteous get extra dessert or something? If we just snuck in by the skin of our teeth do we have to wash dishes or mow lawns? Did everyone speak English in heaven, if not he didn’t want to go. If by some miracle he got into heaven could he hang out with really cool people in Hell and be let back into the pearly gates? There probably aren’t that many cool people upstairs, the righteous are really boring.
Other things he wanted to know before committing himself to a righteous life were. Will OJ ever find the real killers? Will the Knicks ever win another championship? We don’t take our bodies with us, so what do we look like, does everyone look the same? Can we pick what we look like? If so Jerry wanted to be Brad Pitt. He’d been told since grammar school that only Catholics go to heaven. What happens to really good people of other religions? Do they go to hell? It just didn’t seem fair. He had most of these thoughts after a few beers.
He entered his studio apartment without much enthusiasm. As usual the place was a mess. He wondered how a relatively clean person like himself could never keep clean his own apartment. Maybe it was because since his wife left no-one ever saw it but him. Her final words to him still rang in his ears, she screamed, “you hate women” on her way out of the door. If he was quicker on the uptake or not drunk he could have snapped back, “If I hate women so much why did I marry three of them.”
The kitchen wasn’t as dirty as the rest of the place. He hated bugs and mice and a filthy kitchen was like a magnet to them. He learned that hard lesson from wife number 2. He spent a lot of time in his kitchen, one of his few talents was cooking. That could be one of the reasons the three exes’ left him, jealousy, not one of them was any good in the kitchen, or in the bedroom for that matter.
The spaghetti Bolognese, he made the night before sounded good, so he heated some up. It was delicious the night before, it would be even better tonight, he thought. He sat in front of his only dinner companion, the TV, ate and enjoyed his feast. He loved television, the shows anyway, but like most Americans, he hated the commercials. Was it his imagination or did the advent of cable TV promise the masses commercial free entertainment? Things didn’t work out that way did they. Just another broken promise. How many viewers out there didn’t want to strangle the guy who says nothing but bada book, bada boom. For some reason Owls seemed to be the major commercial theme this year. Jerry had nothing against Owls, who did, but why were they constantly speaking on his TV. Who the hell wrote this shit? At least half of the ads made it almost impossible to know what the hell they were selling. Did the morons who wrote this stuff realize they were pissing off most of the audience?
Worse than the commercial ads were the political ones. Jerry lived in a city on the border between New York and Connecticut so he received TV stations from both states. It was primary season so his TV was filled with nothing but political bullshit. After giving it some heavy thought Jerry believed that the stuff coming out of his home state of Connecticut was worse by a hair. Most of the Connecticut ads looked like they’d been done in a serial killer’s basement. The New York ads were just as full of bullshit, but at least they were polished.
Jerry was especially bothered by some Asian guy who was running for Attorney General in Connecticut. For some reason this delusional piece of crap was promising he was going to take down President Trump. Jerry was no fan of the president, but he didn’t think that Trump was shaking in his boots because some pissant Attorney General candidate of one of the smallest states in the union was promising to take him down. Like every other politician the dope played to the crowd. This year’s theme from both New York and Connecticut was vote for me and get free stuff. Hell no, you don’t have to work or even be a citizen, but you’ll get all kinds of goodies from me. None of the candidates explained where the money for all the free stuff would come from. Jerry was reminded of an old song he forgot who wrote the song or where he heard it. He did remember the line, “vote for me and I’ll set you free.” One of the wannabes should change the words to “Vote for me and everything is free.” Maybe they could get the money from the owls?
The spaghetti was excellent. He dressed for another night out. He might be able to find wife number four if he got drunk enough. He had to share all this wisdom with someone.