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  • Harry Jensen

April 17, 2021


After work on Thursday, I picked up some piddle-soaked rugs which I had taken to be dry cleaned. They accepted American Express for the king’s ransom I paid them, which was a victory made short-lived by the plaguecentric clerk who reminded me that my credit card points were useless.

“Getting those miles, huh?” he said. “Not like you can go anywhere.”

“No, Americans are not very popular right now,” I responded as he handed me two bundled up rugs with tags reading Harry Jensen: Dog Urine.

“My girlfriend says that we have to pretend to be Canadian if we travel,” he informed me.

I left the store after forking over a sum north of a day’s wages and, walking back to my car, noticed that the Oriental rug cleaning store shared a wall with a veterinarian. This seemed to me very convenient, since you could make a stop, with your yellow receipt clutched in your angry little fist, and immediately get ahead of having to pay this criminal fee again by having your dog’s urethra promptly and permanently cauterized.

It is the fifth day of the month of Ramadan, and I have been fasting for five days. No, not five days straight, but I’m in such a bad mood that it feels like it, and who the hell are you to judge me, anyways?

I have been a bad Muslim. I have been drinking water, slamming coffee, and vaping throughout the last three days. I break my fast early with a series of powdered potions — protein powder and kratom ­— while the sun is still shining shamefully into my house. I slurp my gritty concoctions in the corner of the kitchen, averting my body from the sunbeams like a new age vegan vampire, hungry in the shadows and full of magical dirt.

Luckily, I’m not really a bad Muslim because I’m not really a Muslim at all, just an observer straddling the dotted-yellow line of respectful participation and self-flagellation in the dressings of spiritual growth. You are supposed to be thinking about those less fortunate during the month of Ramadan, but I am mostly thinking about myself, who I have made infinitesimally less fortunate via hunger pangs and nausea inducing mood swings.

It is hard not to eat when you could just go get something to eat. I imagine it is harder not to eat if you are someone who cannot just go get something to eat, but that is not my plight. During my fast, I have found that it is not cookies, or brownies, or tubs full of lasagna that are hardest to resist consuming, but my coworkers. Someone makes the banal act of asking how my day is going, and I, exhausted and tummy arumbling, want immediately to chop them up into bite-sized pieces and remove them from existence. My rage has no bounds.

I have also been smoking and drinking alcohol, the latter mostly out of wrathful boredom than the usual, tedious evil that dwells within me. I locked myself out of my house two nights ago, and found myself standing outside of my home with a pair of slippers, a cigarette, and not a lot of options. I called AAA so they could get my garage door clicker from my car, and bumbled to the liquor store to kill the intermittent hour that I had. I arrived back home at the same time that the emergency vehicle came to save me from my smelly breath and torn slippers. The neon-clad man wielded a five-foot long stick to get into my car, and deftly used his massive green appendage to push the garage door clicker without even opening the door. He was kind, and did not comment on my breath, my exploded moccasins, or the utility of my credit card.

I read today about how Christ told the people or a pal or some leper or other that the kingdom of heaven is like the mustard seed. He seems to mean not that if rendered as a sauce they will both ruin a perfectly innocent hot dog, but that something massive and nurturing can sprout out of something so small.

I am nurtured in many ways with the passing of my father. I should be grateful that I have for now a kingdom from which I can deny myself, by foible or by force. And perhaps my not consuming whole the judgmental clerk today, in my delirium, will manifest into a beautiful, fulfilling Canadian life for him. I wish him many miles.


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