I guess you should meet my roommate, Weevil. Not really; you shouldn’t meet him unless you’re an English teacher. It doesn’t matter what grade, although Kindergarten is preferred. The point I’m trying to make here is “Weevil can’t read”. No, really. He’s in his 20’s. And he’s white. And this story is happening right now.
Seriously. I left a copy of the previous paragraph on his pillow for him to find in the morning– almost like a kid finding his reward from the Tooth Fairy but it’s not a reward and the Tooth Fairy thinks you’re a fuckass. Weevil brought the paragraph back to me on notepaper and said that he had “already taken out the trash”– which wasn’t true by the way.
This is my roommate, Weevil.
It’s actually kinda refreshing having a roommate who can’t read. Everything in life, after all, comes down to reading. Readers know this. Non-readers don’t. Restaurants are better when you know the menu before ordering, for instance. Knowing how to read a menu can mean the difference between “surf and turf” and “surf and who’s this fucking retard I met on the internet”.
Weevil complains that work sucks and that he wants a better job. But honestly, if you can’t read then nobody is gonna make you the manager of Pizza Hut. Sure, you can handle the register but numbers are only a stone’s throw away from the English alphabet. Weevil complains that our new president is an idiot. And that’s a fine opinion to have, but if you can’t even read the Donald’s 140-character limit tweets then I’m pretty sure I know who the real idiot is. Weevil even complains that I drop the hard R — which I do. But if he can’t tell the difference on paper then he shouldn’t be able to tell me the difference in real life. And, again– Weevil is white; no white person is going to tell me I can’t use the N word– especially one that works at the local Pizza Hut.
So I don’t even know what I was thinking when I asked him to read my script.
“This is an abomination,” he said, dropping the manuscript on the coffee table. It was a nice coffee table, by the way. It hadn’t seen a coffee spill in decades– bong spills, however, were a nightly occurrence.
“That’s a mighty big word for a person who can’t read,” I said from the kitchen. I was preparing a bowl in the kitchen– the kind of bowl that would be perfect for the coffee table.
“The ending is an insult.”
I was stunned. An insult? No, this talentless motherfucker was the real insult. I continued to pack the bowl in silence. Weevil went on another one of his finger snapping tangents. This is another thing about Weevil: he may be retarded but he sure can snap like a motherfucker. Seriously, the guy is the rain man of snapping fingers. However, that comes with the caveat of still being retarded like the rain man.
All of these mean thoughts about Weevil were distracting me from what was really bothering me: Weevil hated the script. It was a fine script, I thought. It was possibly a masterpiece unrivaled in American Film. Should the script be published I could even imagine it making tops on best seller lists. New York Times and shit. It was a script so well-done, in fact, that those who could not afford to purchase hard cover copies of it would go out and get better jobs just to support my audacious and masterful writing habit. The script was, in short, way better than Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.
So why didn’t Weevil like it?
I plopped down next to Weevil on the couch and handed him the bong. “How could you not like the ending?”
Instead of responding, Weevil took a huge rip from the bong just as I intended. I took his inability to respond as an invitation to explain why the ending to my movie is awesome. It really is, by the way. “The bears win. Audiences are too used to winning and I want to take their assumed victory from their grubby, paying hands. It’s brilliant. And the humans are always in fear of the bears coming to take more states back. Would they start with a Cali-border state? Or would deeply-rooted splinter bear insurgents reclaim New York for their ursine bretherine? Sequel potential, Drew. There’s sequel potential.” I punctuated this great analysis with one of my mighty patented bong rips.
“That’s not what it says at all,” Weevil finally said. He picked up the script and thumbed through it to the ending. There were strange markings– almost hieroglyphic in nature but chicken-like in execution, all over my script. Drew’s rudimentary english skills were tested to their limit with my script. Maybe he could read after all.
He looked down at some of his scratching and tried to read along with his finger. Quickly he stopped staring down at the page and turned his gaze out the window, as if looking into himself and finding nothing there. Nobody ever would.
“You didn’t actually read this,” I said, taking another hit from the bong.
“Okay so maybe I didn’t.”
“It’s still a stupid ending. An abomination, like I said before,” he slammed the manuscript back onto the smelly coffee table and reach back for the bong. “What’s going on with you and Laura today?” He killed the bowl and placed it back on my manuscript. What an asshole.
“I dunno. She’s hanging out at a friend’s house so it looks like I’m free for the rest of the day. Maybe I’ll make burgers and take the rest of that acid.”
“Bullshit,” Weevil exclaimed.
“No it’s not bullshit. I’ve still got half a tab left in the freezer.”
“That’s not the bullshit,” he said. “I call bullshit on Laura having a friend. Laura hasn’t had a friend in this town since middle school. Tammy Studebaker said–”
“I know what Tammy Studebaker said about my girlfriend. I’ve heard the story.”
“There were so many rats.”
“I haven’t heard that part of the story.”
“Everybody in Bullpine has heard that part of the story. It’s like the whole point.”
This was quickly becoming a conversation I didn’t want to have. Conversation always bothered me but this conversation was starting to bother me most. Like any good person annoyed by conversation with the person they were conversing with, I pulled out my phone; I was going to read an article out the United States finally coming out of the closet. We might as well, by the way. I mean, a year ago I considered myself a straight, white male. Now I consider myself a fat lesbian– my dream profession, if I can be honest for a second here.
The chirping. Aha– a conversation I did want to have. I got up from the couch and headed back to the kitchen. “You didn’t change the batteries in the fire detectors?”
“It’s just one of the detectors, Chuck,” Weevil said.
“Then why haven’t you changed one battery in one detector?” I asked, pulling the freezer open. A bit of foil was bunched up under loose pizza pockets. This was the rest of the acid.
“You said you would do it.”
And, by God, Weevil was right. I didn’t want to admit he was right, but he was. It was my turn to be responsible. I unwrapped the foil and took the acid.
Knock knock knock.
“You expecting anybody?” I asked Weevil.
“Yes, that’s why I asked you. Who is it?” I called to the door.
“It’s me, Charlie,” a familiar voice said. It wasn’t– it wasn’t somebody named Charlie. I’m Charlie. Chuck. Call me Chuck.
The voice was my girlfriend. Fuck, I just took a shit ton of acid.
“Coming,” I said, rushing the front door. Swinging it open and giving my best gap-tooth smile, I greeted the love of my life– my dream come true.
“I cheated on you,” she said.