The Other Jim

The sun is setting. I just got my hair cut. It had become a bit of a necessity to do so. I now look like the love child of Audrey Hepburn and David Bowie. That’s alright. I walk down the road when it happens. She gets off the cab and crosses the road. A motorbike speeds towards her. He is about to drive right into her. At the moment of impact, something absurd happens. Instead of freezing, like in the movies, she jumps two steps back. The motorbike wobbles in the other direction. For a brief moment, it almost looked like somehow a few extra feet of space appeared between them. The rider looks back to make sure she is alive and doesn’t take a moment longer to take off. “LADY!” I call out. I jog up to her. She is slender, like a snake, and almost pretty. Her pink t-shirt features a group of Asian girls in brightly coloured wigs. “Are you alright?” I ask her. She’s still in shock, and there’s a stranger asking her about her condition. It takes her a few moments to process what just happened. She looks in the direction in which the rider left with just a hint of mild disgust on her face. “I’m fine,” she says, “but he won’t be if he keeps on driving like that.” “Are you not even slightly injured?” I ask insistently. Too many questions might raise suspicion, but that’s alright. Whenever there is an accident, there are concerned onlookers. “No, I got lucky.” Yes, you did. I made you lucky. It’s only happened once before in my presence that someone has escaped almost certain death with absolutely nothing to remind them of it. At the very least they get a nasty scar. “That’s interesting.” I remark absentmindedly. Foolish. It’s not something she expected to hear, and with no appropriate response, she says “Aren’t you the thoughtful type?” with a smirk on her face. That’s it. Nothing more to learn here. I leave her there with her smirk and cross over to the other side of the road from where I enter a nearby alleyway. The ones left with no marks from our interference usually never see us a second time. I light my last fag. That’s a cigarette, to avoid transcontinental confusion. I’ve had nothing but tea all day and my body is running dangerously low on electrolytes. Performing miracles does tend to drain you. With my knees shaking, I somehow make it to the nearest convenience store. The girl behind the counter greets me but her voice is just static at this point. I get what I need and she prepares the bill.The haircut from earlier has left me just a little short. I have no choice. I put my arms on the counter and all my body weight on my arms. Focus. I feel like I just sprinted for a few seconds. Something shiny on the ground catches my eye. It’s a coin. I pay and leave. Two bags of salted potato chips and a bottle of mango juice. Sustenance is a blessed thing. I always seem to have just as much money as I need. Not a penny more, not a penny less. Or maybe I am just poor and not fussy. Or maybe I am just a spendthrift. I walk into sunset. Except the sun sets in the West, behind me. It’s not the sun in front of me. Some fucker has his headlights set on high beam. I am momentarily blinded and drop one bag of chips. I look up with spots in my vision. Was that me? No, he stopped on his own. “…second time today…shit…” It’s the same motorbike from earlier today. “I am so sorry. I don’t know what’s happening today. I almost hit someone else. That’s how this happened.” He holds his arm up. There’s a bruise just under his wrist. So he was the one who got marked today. “Interesting.” I say impulsively. Second time today. It makes me chuckle. As I walk away, I look at my scarred palms. There’s fresh blood on them. I pull out my handkerchief and wipe them clean. The handkerchief has my name embroidered in neat cursive in one corner.

Jim Cain

Jim

It’s Friday, the 15th of July, 8:08pm.

Uncle Trevor finally got his own place to stay, not very far, about four blocks down the street. He’s been staying there for a week now.

Uncle Trevor’s house is on the way to the guy’s house. I do not remember what possessed me to go visit him today. The guy is droning on about the Kashmir situation while I only half process his words. Something on his table catches my eye. It’s one of those old boxes of watercolour cakes that they’ve long stopped manufacturing. I turn it over and check the date of packaging. The thing is 12 years old. He says I can keep it.

On my way back home, it begins to rain. Big, heavy drops fall at first, a little tentatively. Then all at once, it pours. Uncle Trevor’s house is ten steps from me and that is where I take refuge. I ring the doorbell and wait for a few moments, as hurried footsteps make their way to the door. Uncle Trevor squints at my face. It is dark outside with all the cloud cover. It’s measured in oktas, Uncle Trevor once told me. For some reason, this piece of information has always stayed with me. I sit still under the ceiling fan, while he makes me some tea. It’s too strong.

“Uncle Trevor, what do you make of the Kashmir situation?”
“Pretty awful.”
I nod.

Uncle Trevor lends me his umbrella so I can walk home. Our street is flooded with water up to my ankles. I’m drenched up to my waist by the time I cross one block. The rest of me is soaked in sweat. It’s humid and I perspire a lot. My phone’s in my pocket. It’s probably alright. It’s been through worse. The headlight of some vehicle behind me casts my shadow on the street before me.

I get home and take my glasses and wristwatch off. I remove my wallet and leave Uncle Trevor’s umbrella to dry. I find dry clothes to change into. Dry, but not fresh. The t-shirt reeks of sweat. I discard it and pick another. This one is dusty. I put it on anyway. Laundry is a bitch to do in the rainy months. I place a bucket under the leak in the roof and put the leftovers from last night into the microwave oven. My parents still aren’t back home. The telephone rings as I cast a look at our washing machine with the Donal Duck sticker on its side.

Laundry really is a bitch to do in the rainy months.

Confession

I write with the earnestness of a man whose heart has never been broken but who is perpetually paranoid that any moment now it will be. I just have it invested in so many places, who knows when a small crack might appear somewhere remote.

Humble Beginnings

newspaper

Tuesday, 28 June 2016


Kern Outed As Baron Of Lies

Two time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, renowned Men’s Rights Activist, and prominent member of the LGBT community, Dr. Baron Kern, revealed late last night on social media that the crusade he led for nearly one and a half decades was initially meant to be nothing more than a joke. “I was just taking the p**s, you know? I just wanted to see how far I could go with this. Never imagined it would snowball into something this big.” He posted.

Uncle Trevor has been on fire all morning. This was the first man he ever interviewed. Parts of the interview were, well, see for yourself.

Monday, 29 October 2001


Hot-Dog Trevor: So, you’ve stirred up quite a reaction. Did you ever imagine your movement would shape up like this?

Baron Kern: To be completely honest, Trev, I did anticipate something of this nature. What I did not expect was for it to be on this scale. I expected maybe citywide notoriety at most. I couldn’t have possibly foreseen half a nation rising against a simple former college lecturer just for calling Feminism cancer.

It doesn’t end there.

Hot-Dog Trevor: What’s next for Baron Kern professionally, and what’s next for your movement? You stated, “At this point, it’s pretty safe to call it an ideological revolution.” Correct?

Baron Kern: I did. I did. See, what I’m trying to achieve here is what Jesus and Lenin could have done together. I want to establish a power cult for men with the largest following in the world. Professionally, I might have to look for a new career. I’m more or less unemployable in the field of education now, but looking at the public outrage I’ve caused, I could probably be an effective media personality. What do you think, Trev?

Hot-Dog Trevor: Aren’t you already a bit of a media personality?

Baron Kern: I suppose I am.

Hot-Dog Trevor: Some have accused you of being chauvinistic, regressive, and even homophobic because of your views on masculinity.

Baron Kern: Homophobic? I am bisexual.

Hot-Dog Trevor: I did not know that.

Baron Kern: I’ve never spoken about it before. You see that pretty little lady standing there? I’ve had c**ks in more orifices than her, which should really impress you for two reasons. She is prettier than me. She has more orifices than me.

Hot-Dog Trevor: That’s alright, doctor. This isn’t the kind of news outlet that you have to convince of your sexuality. However, you have used homophobic slurs in public statements previously.

Baron Kern: F*g? Yeah, I’ve called a couple of people f*gs. They were f*gs. What about it?

Hot-Dog Trevor: A former lover accused you of being overly aggressive and verbally abusive. She said that you called her, and I quote here, “pathetic and friendless.”

Baron Kern: I did.

Hot-Dog Trevor: I suppose it was one of those situations where there were other factors involved? In what context did you say that to her?

Baron Kern: In the context of her being pathetic and having no friends.

And in case you’re wondering what this guy is all about…

Hot-Dog Trevor: Do you have any parting words for our readers?

Baron Kern: I believe we’re going to win this war, Trev. You know why? Because we’re men. This is what men do on a daily basis. We conquer. Authority might favour women. I can see that firsthand. I can’t get employed for my statements, despite being one of the best in my field. Society, however, worships men. In the eyes of society, we are the alpha, and we are the omega. And authority derives itself from society. It is much easier to convert authority than to convert society. This is a man’s threat to all of womankind.

Hot-Dog Trevor: Thank you, doctor.

 

Save

Weather Report

Hello. It’s Saturday, the 16th of April, 5pm.

The sky is a slightly darker shade of grey this evening. The birds have been silent all day. The grass is more yellow than green. The flowers have all dried and shriveled up. Faint rays of light penetrate the cloud cover every now and then, but they are few and far between. Do not expect the clouds to bring rains though. It never rains here. Everything looks like an old, yellowed photograph of the aftermath of some disaster.

Expect unmitigated gloom over the next two days.

The Cultural Significance of Flatulence

Uncle Trevor got hired by the Jamshedpore Irregular after 8 months of unemployment. I can see why it took so long.

4d2e7cbfcaf845358f2405b9a756ccc3.0

The Cultural Significance of Flatulence

To fart. To cut the cheese. To pass gas. To break wind.

 Flatulence, more commonly known as farting, is the expulsion of intestinal gases through the anus. It is a perfectly normal, though slightly embarrassing, human activity. The intestinal gases generally have a characteristic feculent odour and are accompanied by a noise made by the vibration of the sphincter muscles. Why is it embarrassing? Because it’s funny! Flatulence is a source of comedy in several cultures. In fact, Geoffrey Chaucer is known to have used flatulence humour in his works.

 However, I do not think that farting is anything to be embarrassed about. I believe farting in public is not very different from dogs urinating to mark their territory. What do you do when you fart? You make sure that nobody realised what you just did, right? You try to play it cool. You act as if nothing just happened. That’s just you, out of place.

 Here’s a story from my childhood. As kids, my sister and I spent an awful lot of time with our grandfather. The old man was as headstrong as he was unrefined. It’s probably him I get my confidence from. One fine day as we went about our regular games as usual, my grandfather sounded the most dreadful trumpet horn one could ever imagine. It took me a few moments to process what just happened. As soon as I did, I held my breath. My sister doubled over in laughter. I didn’t find it funny. I was very uncomfortable. I looked at the old man. He seemed unfazed. He did not try to pretend as if nothing just happened. He simply did not care. I was in awe, and to be honest, a little scared of him just then. After spending 80 years on the planet, I imagine it gets pretty hard to not get comfortable. That is exactly what farting in front of us meant. My grandfather was comfortable. He knew he belonged. He knew what he did was natural. He did not care what others would think. Nobody could steal his comfort. Nobody could make him feel embarrassed. This right here was a man who knew he was an alpha wolf. He was just making sure we understood it as well. There was nothing funny about it.

Hot-Dog Trevor