Things On My Arm

Things On My Arm

by Mark Driver

Blue frosting. From a cake I made for a girl I’m in love with. It was supposed to say “Happy Birthday Kristina” but I ran out of space, so it just said “Happy B-Day K.” It wasn’t really a cake. It was a tube of store bought cookie dough pounded flat in a round pizza pan with a green, half melted spatula that must be at least seventeen years old. I covered the whole mess with a tin of rainbow frosting made by a company that calls itself Pillsbury. Not sure how they get all that rainbow shit into the tin or who thought it was a good idea in the first place. Nevertheless, I bought it all from a store across the street from our little apartment. I didn’t run out of frosting, even though half of it ended up on my arm.

Coffee grinds. I try to clean the kitchen, but I just spread around the muck. I swear, I don’t know how this shit gets so gnarly. I’m just one man, huh? I drink one big cup of coffee when I wake up. I have some sort of noodle cabbage egg soy sauce massacre around 12:30. I have some sort of tortilla beans cheese cabbage La Tapatio (es muy salsa!) massacre around 5. I start drinking cheap wine around 6:59. So who the fuck is making this mess?

Dirt. I swear that I washed this morning. Or maybe yesterday. That’s the problem with routine: when you fuck it up, there is no recourse, only chaos. When you abhor routine, you have nothing. When you worship it, you have structure and nothing else. When you try to worship it and sometimes abhor it, you have less than nothing. You have a list with nothing checked, promising starts with nothing completed, a wardrobe with nothing washed, CDs you haven’t cracked in years, friends who wonder where the fuck you’ve been, etc.

Dark pigmentation. Who knows where the fuck this comes from. I know I’m at least 50% Norwegian, my mom being a pure bred Aryan Viking Overlord from the Scandinavian homeland, mainlining lutefisk, caviar, reindeer, aquavit and all that shit. My so-called father claimed Swedish blood, but his so-called son cruises nightclubs and bars, cute Ukrainian on his arm, shining darker than a Mongolian cavalry charge, more subtle than an Iroquois baby exchange, rounder than a dying Eskimo, more passionate than a shitfaced Greek, louder than an Armenian massacre, more clumsily annoying than a Spaniard in love – the list of cuckolders is almost endless, but taking my constant state of mind into consideration, she must have fallen victim to a persuasive savage, lovingly begging her onto all fours …….

Hair. Who thought that this was a good idea? Hairy arms? Hairy face? Hairy armpits? Hairy chest? We’re a bunch of fake apes – our denial of animalism fighting through as the battle of skin vs. hair rages infinity. So are the less hairless more animal or more human? I ain’t got much except for my head. My beard grows in red. My parents are dead. Hee haw, I’ve got bristles like a mule, and muscles that have gotten huge of late. Yeah, there’s a God up above, and as our souls take form into shells, he turns the dial and designates the percentage of our bodies covered by hair. I got 5%. My roommate in college, Glen, was at 90%. Poor bastard. He’s married. I’m not.

Scabs. While people complain about the high price of zip-lock baggies and dig with their noses in the dirt at the feet of the people who they wished were in love with them, the scabs heal themselves. See, first there is an injury, also called an insult. Then the body, regardless of personal incompetence, takes care of it. I don’t remember how my arm was insulted thus, but my body doesn’t care. I’ll glance maybe once, maybe thrice on this scab, but it will heal itself. I can think about it or not, my body doesn’t care. My body is a machine and so is yours. Instead of bitching how Thompson in Marketing dropped the ball on the Jenson account, maybe you should assume the lotus position and thank whatever made you that your heart is beating and insulin is being released and whatever that chemical that absorbs the Tylenol is called is working overtime because you stayed up late trying to squelch your internal cries of “Panic! Retreat! Desist! Full Speed Reverse!” with big glasses of ethanol and sugar.

A scar. I got it exiting an airplane from Los Angeles to Boston, slashing myself on an vestigial ashtray that had popped up. Hee Haw! People often complain about the food on airplanes, and I scream “My Fucking God! You just soared 35,000 feet above the surface of the Earth at 600 miles per hour and ended up on the other side of the continent! Shut up and feel your blood pouring through your veins! We are fucking Gods running around this planet, and we are complaining like rats!”

Needless to say, I’ll never make stewardess.