It was an accident that we hung-out.

I got to know him, by hiking up a hill, and our families knew each other, which loosened-up suspicion. History makes a difference, or is it familiarity—even if you don’t have much in common.

Chris invited me over and taught me the ins and outs of pool. He was just good enough to beat me, but not good enough to be an authority on the game, which is the extent of most people’s knowledge. His sister walked-in, totally drugged.

I couldn’t figure-out what she was on, but she seemed intoxicated, like she drank wine in her room.

“What have you been doing, Katherine?” Chris asked.

“Oh—” she said in a far-off voice. “Just watching my favorite show on Netflix.”

“What’s that?”

“Hannibal. It’s so cool how he artistically eats his victims, like a gourmet chef.”

“Katherine, stop watching that!” Chris said. “Do our parents know that you fill your mind with that garbage?”

“No. It’s none of their business.”

Katherine had sad eyes and a puffy face. She looked like a depressed dog.

I tried to mind my own business, but there was nowhere to go.

“Andy—I have to give a talk in Nice. Would you like to go? We could make it a Euro-trip,” Chris said.

“I’ve never been on a plane before—let alone leave the country.”

“That doesn’t matter.”

“I’ll need to get a passport.”

“That’s easy. You just go to the one-hour photo at Costco.”

On our run, Chris kept two paces in front of me. I was thinking about traveling, while he was considering the opposite sex.

“When I went to Chile, I met a girl in the elevator, and my friend told me to buy condoms.” He said this, hungrily. I wasn’t sure if it was the desire for the female, or the subliminal association of cowboy food.

“I want to go,” I said.


The plane made me feel light-headed. I went to the bathroom. The idea that people joined the mile high club was an indication of their barbarism. Humans dress-up, go to church, and give cash to one-legged beggars, while they get naked, perform rituals, and steal a pound of flesh for sacrifice. How much does a human leg weigh, anyway?

My free association was costing me brain cells, like a feather flying in the wind at 40,000 feet.

I was reading a book about how women pin-down a strong man like a helpless insect, and nurture him until he is weaker, so by the time he gets old, he can’t defend himself, like a baby in a cocoon. The black widow eats her husband. A man has to break-free. It made sense to me, but nobody was saying that in society. That’s why books have value—some fool actually writes what he thinks.

When we landed, we had to wait for two hours on the airplane because the door wouldn’t open. I thought about the simplicity of a door. What if something more complicated failed? That caused us to miss our connecting flight, and we spent the night in the airport.

When we arrived in France and went to the beach, I stared at the boobs—the men and the women. They wore Speedos.  I couldn’t believe a sophisticated country trained their females to go topless. I liked the beach.

Katherine was nervous about taking-off her layers. She walked on hesitating footsteps, down to the surf, and allowed the wind to blow-off her clothes.

I was fat, and pleasantly sat, in the sand. I read a book, and occasionally glanced at a pair. I kept my shirt on.

That’s when Chris took-off his shirt and stood in the sand like a champion, wearing only what women should have on. He flexed, looked at his abs, and then ran into the waves, crashing underneath them like an Olympic athlete.

“What are you doing in the sand?” He shouted.

“I swim like a dog.”

“Get out here!”

I made a doggy-paddle motion. I didn’t want to take-off my shirt.

To be continued…

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