Immediately following the preacher’s final thumbs-up to God, the congregation floated like blood cells, coagulating religiously at the front doors.  The outside air brought new birth, spewing the cells like a severed artery in their designated homeward direction.  Once outside, Ryan, with whom I had shared several head nods and Amens, strip-searched me for epiphanies and/or revelations.

“I liked the metaphor of Satan’s sunglasses,” I replied.

“Yes, an allegory of the unfaithful.”

“However, I don’t think I can continue to commute.”

He placed his hand empathetically on my back.  “I understand, Tyler.”

“And I don’t think it was affecting me in a spiritual sense either.  I’m full.”  I tugged on my belt.

“Hm.”  His tone denoted a dissimilar notion.

“For now.”

Standing in a vein of traffic, I summoned a cab.

“The airport,” I said to the driver.

As the cab pulled away, Ryan called out, “Sorry again about your dad.”

I leaned out the window.  “Thanks.  See you later.”

The cab drove to the Sea-Tac Airport.  I caught a plane to JFK Airport where I took another cab to my apartment in downtown New York City.  I walked in to see my roommate Marko and our two friends Anna and Xavier collected around an elaborate collaboration of several board games.  Intentionally and lavishly recreating the coffee tabletop were the boards of Clue, Pictionary, Scrabble, and Monopoly.  I received Hellos all around.

“We’re pre-heating the oven for lasagna,” Marko informed me.  “You’re welcome to have some if you like.”

I picked up the box of frozen lasagna and read the instructions on the back.

“It says here it takes seventeen years to cook.”

“Yeah.  Sorry if you were planning on making something.”

“It’s okay.  I’ll use the stove.”

“We’re also playing some Scrablu-oponary if you care to join,” said our friend Anna.  “You could be the Lead Pipe or the Letter K.”

“I think I’m going to make a casserole.  But thanks.”

As the game continued in the background, I gathered several pots and pans on the stove.  I boiled some potatoes, which I mixed in a wok with some stir-fried vegetables and roasted peppers.  I char grilled a steak, which I garnished with some grated parsley and deep-fried lemon peel.  Then I muddled the remaining food together in a large pot and left it to simmer for a time.

Xavier read an All-Play Card: “Go directly to the Library.  Do not pass Go.  Do not collect a vowel.”  And then he zigzagged a Candlestick across the grid.  “Okay, Marko.  Draw a tile.”

Marko picked a letter from his tile-holder.  “H.  Four squares.”

And the game continued as such.

There was a knock at the door.  I opened it to see our neighbour holding the leash of a dog that was heeled politely at his feet.

“I found your dog,” the man began.

“Oh,” I replied.

“You should stop leaving your apartment door open.  I think you forget to shut it when you leave in the mornings.”

“Oh.  I don’t remember forgetting to do that.”

“Well, you should really try to.”

“Try to remember?  Or forget?”

“Exactly.  Anyway, I found your dog.”

It was a very young border collie named Panda that we had adopted several years ago.  Our neighbour handed me the leash and walked away, muttering, “I’m a very old man.  I can’t be running around teaching dog’s new tricks.”

I shrugged.  I decided to take Panda for a walk since she probably hadn’t been outside all month.  The nearest dog and human park was only a brisk gallop away, and all guests were free to rove about sans leash.  There were even a few tables and chairs for humans (or dogs) to play chess or have tea.

I noticed a woman at one of these tables, sitting alone.  Sitting next to her, I instantly noticed her tremendous beauty.

“Hello there,” she said to me, as if we were old friends.

“You sure are captivating,” I replied abruptly.

“Thank you.”  She blushed.

Panda drifted up beside me and bonked her head on my chair.  Her liquid body melted languidly onto my feet.

“This is my dog Panda,” I introduced.

“She sure can’t see as well as she used to,” she noted.

I nodded in agreement.  “She’s been especially slow lately.  She looks a lot like your dog.”

“That’s not true.”

“Oh.  But he’s a border collie, right?”

“No, he’s not.”

“You are very attractive,” I repeated.

“My name’s China.”  She reached out her hand.

I grabbed her hand.  “I’m Tyler.”

“I know.  You already told me.”

“Oh.  I did?”

“You’re not as bright as you used to be,” she chortled.

I shrugged in agreement.  “I’m not sure what to say.”

“You could really say anything and I would accept it.”

“Well, it would have to be within some common realm of logic.”

“Not necessarily.”

“It would have to make sense given the situation.”

“Well, not in our situation.”

However, I decided to remain within the confines of logic.  “You could say whatever you want,” I concluded.

“I already have been.  This whole time.”

•     •     •     •     •

A few days earlier, our author, located in Hamilton, Ontario, has an idea for a story.  Before he types or writes anything, or even brainstorms any further, he rejects the idea completely because it is too far outside of the margins of common sense.

“I could write whatever I want,” he says aloud to himself.  “But if I don’t, then the idea only exists in my head.  Any characters I don’t create never exist.  I am their god, but not if I never create them.”

And so instead, he writes nothing.

Copyright (c) 2009 Joshua Nichol.  All rights reserved.

One Response to “Ambiguology”

  1. Xavier said

    Dude! Sorry to burst your bubble, but I exist whether or not you write about me.

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