Others Anonymous — 2/17

Inspired by an overheard conversation wherein two jagaloons discussed the sexual prowess and examples of friends, despite likely never having any sort of sexual relations themselves. This is their story.

Full Disclosure: I gave myself a timer of one hour, starting at 9:35pm. I did a terrible job at not distracting myself through my writing as I threatened several twitter friends whilst writing. However, I attempted to write in a Cormac McCarthy-esque voice without commas and not worrying about sentence splices and allowing for tremendous run-on sentences to occur which turned out somewhat beautifully in my opinion. Raw and unedited follows without the benefit of the backspace, aside from silly spelling mistakes. No words written fully were ever removed.

“And so to make a long story short… I saw the ad with the Marlboro Man, and I knew that I wanted to smoke. So, here I am. My name is Andy, and I’m thirty-two years clean. I’ve never smoked but that doesn’t mean that I might give in to temptation.”

The other folks in the OA — which stood for Others Anonymous and occasionally referred to as Oh-Anon — room in the basement of St. Claire’s applauded, modestly. The chairs in a circle and the rank smell of bad off-brand coffee having been brewed for fifteen years hung in the room like a banner at the door claiming the room for their own with a distinct tag. Chairs sat in the same circle they had the last eleven years the claimants of each chair in the same spot each week. Andy who had just stopped talking about his issues with not smoking but possibly smoking took the same slight bow he took every week even though he knew he did not need to bow and did anyway a practiced ritual as much as his not smoking. He’d seen the ad of a cowboy mountains in the distance a Marlboro Light in his pursed lips in the midst of a drag on the mighty cigarette and saw the very face of manliness that scared him profusely. He hid unapologetic behind truth.org and nonsmoking.com and dontdarefuckingsmoke.org/youfuckingsmokerprick/ ads and spouted half-truths and whimsies shared by the anti-cigarette lobby with the most outlandish being his favorites to speak.

Andy sat as like always Ralph stood next. Ralph took his deep breath and started to speak though no sound escaped his lips until he said “Fucking bitch” his usual first words followed by “I hate her so much that I cannot” and then followed by more squeaks that almost resembled words from his mouth until he stopped and sat again. Ralph was addicted to love but not just any kind of love. Ralph was addicted to the complete and earthshaking love that comes along once in a lifetime. As a teen Ralph kissed a girl and instantaneously the earth shook under his feet at precisely 5:04pm on October 17th 1989 nearly twenty five years ago. He still blamed himself for the catastrophe and asked those in his Oh-Anon group to never give up his secrets and with their applause as he sat he knew they would surely not tell.

This left Craig the sex addict who’d never had sex and Alvaro Gonzalez Zapata who once dreamt he’d smoked a joint and promptly checked himself into Betty Ford and Gilly the other sex addict who’d actually had sex but is more addicted to dirty talk. When he stood he’d say “You fuckers wanna hear me talk don’t you” whilst simultaneously rubbing himself through his jeans uncomfortably. Thankfully Patricia who was also addicted to sex she’d never had but could see a penis in every work of modern art and cubism and constructive and deconstructiveism and was therefore addicted to penises and sex and love would scream something about Degas and Seurrat and it would be Jerry’s turn.

Jerry smoked a Marlboro Red from a crushed pack of cigarettes staring at Andy with a smile on his face while rubbing himself back in Gilly’s direction. “Fuck yeah, baby” he’d say sitting back in his chair working his zipper before Reggie the administrator would stop him thankfully this time. “Jerry” Reggie would say sternly “Please stop.” And Jerry would purse his lips and blow Reggie a Kiss.

The only ‘true’ addict amongst the group Jerry had spent years quite comfortably at the bottom of a bottle of rum coming up for warmth in the cherry of a joint or bowl only to sink into the arms and breasts and other parts of a woman who turned out to be somehow involved with rum and repeat the process all over again. His hair greasy and balding his fingers yellowing and finger nails shattered from hammering penny nails into boards to pay for an apartment and food and a car. The Oh-Anon people leaned in as Jerry stopped rubbing himself as it was time to be the main event of the evening.

“Okay fucks. Ask me anything.”

They all spoke at once as they’d always done, a cacophony of voices shrieking and growling and a distant fart rumbling somewhere in the neighborhood of Andy’s chairbottom but forgotten immediately despite the smell as they asked their typical questions about Jerry’s addictions and struggles and pursuits and life. And while he’d passed thorough a drug phase and a drinking phase and a sex phase he was neither a drug addict nor an alcoholic nor a sex addict but rather a reformed sycophant spending all his time possible in front of these people forgotten by society and life and illness. To treat himself he gave himself to the masses and allowed them to heap praise on him for no other reason than he




2 thoughts on “Others Anonymous — 2/17”

  1. Well done, Pete. For the most part, I hear your voice. Some McCarthy slips in (like using adjectives in place of adverbs), but, really, this is you without the hurdles of punctuation to slow you down.

    Also, it looks like at least one pattern is starting to pop up in your ideas: the precision of time.

  2. I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t need hours of planning before I start writing. Thirty minutes on the train, ten minutes in the basement, an hour on the couch; whatever it takes.

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