Belong – Perfect Life

Hate it, love it, at least it’s different.

I’m paraphrasing but that’s the gist of Pharrell’s advice in a recent viral video. Be different because different invokes a reaction. Think of no reaction as worse than a negative reaction.

Angel investor, writer and world acclaimed hardo, Tim Ferriss, echoes this same credo in his podcast with Chase Jarvis. Be creative. Be different. Go for the extreme. Embrace the weird and abstract.

So, in the spirit of fun, The Aftermath is posting its first short story. It’s short. It’s odd. And it pairs nicely with Perfect Life. 

Perfect Life

I opened the car door sensing this wasn’t my garage. Were those pictures hung on the wall? Someone was smoking a cigarette in a frame. Was it a window with someone on the other side? I felt weird. The smell was off and the BMW was definitely not my car. The clues were compounding, climbing over each other to get on top.

Perfect Life

I’d been drinking. Nothing excessive, but I felt warm and red-cheeked. I was on my way home sitting in the back of a Lyft, conducting a mental breathalyzer. Was I drunk? Definitely. How drunk? Hard to say.

The driver, a man who never showed his face, pulled up a few feet from the curb next to my house.

“Have a good one,” I said, moving out of the car.

The driver didn’t acknowledge me. Maybe he was wearing an earpiece. Maybe he was talking to his wife back home. Maybe it was the mistress a few blocks away tucked into a pair of sweatpants. Maybe the guy was planning a murder. I guess I just don’t know.

The neighborhood was quiet. The wind moved and everyone, everywhere was sitting in their dark living rooms, TV’s flashing like fireworks. I stopped and took a breath, relishing that I was the lone ranger on the block, a cowboy enjoying the warmth from his bed of coals.

I opened the garage door and leaned into the darkness fumbling to find my car keys. The lights blinked and I slunk into the driver’s seat, proud that I didn’t need to rely on light. I had cat eye’s.

It was peaceful sitting in the front seat. I put my hands on the wheels and relished the darkness. I’m not a solitary man, but I can appreciate the silent moments when the world turns and spins and dances.

The dashboard looked unfamiliar and after looking a bit closer, moving my hands over the buttons, I realized that this wasn’t actually my car. I was in the wrong car. This was a BMW 3 series. I drove a Mercedes.

I opened the car door sensing this wasn’t my garage. Were those pictures hung on the wall? Someone was smoking a cigarette in a frame. Was it a window with someone on the other side? I felt weird. The smell was off and the BMW was definitely not my car. The clues were compounding, climbing over each other to get on top.

Inside the house a light was on. A man sat at a stone table top, his hands cupped together. He was wearing a red dress that hung on his bony shoulders.

Across from him were two women and I got the sense that they were prostitutes based on nothing but prejudice. All three members were sipping wine in cheap plastic cups.

The man who looked tired, grey and old in that red dress, locked eyes with me. I’m not sure how he could see my silhouette in the dark, but his eyes were friendly and he smiled tilting his chin forward as if to signal, “It’s alright. You can escape.”

Escape where? I figured it was probably easiest to be polite and explain why I was standing in his garage. But the more I thought about it, the less it made sense. The 3 series, this shaggy, old man wearing a baggy red dress. None of it was right.

I waved and walked away, concerned. Did I know the old man? Why did he act like he recognized me? Who were those woman? Were they going to hurt him? I felt certain the old man was trapped and I thought about going back. Busting down the door like they do in the movies. But my feet kept moving and I started to wonder where I was and what had happened to my house.

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Published by

D-man

What will be left?

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