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I, Shithead

[I, Shithead, 1,017 words, Genre: Realistic Fiction/Dark Humour]

* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn

Leonard had woken up to another day, the sun had just risen and he flicked the switch that would slowly initiate the water of his kettle to a boil. He yawned and stretched his limbs. It was another day, just like the last and as things would happen, things would slowly come to pass. There hadn’t been much happening for Leonard of recent. He had taken a walk down the street to buy himself some milk and a disgruntled stranger had called him a ‘shithead’. He couldn’t recall what he had done to offend the stranger. The stranger dressed in a white shirt, with black pants and black shoes. He didn’t know exactly what offence that he had given to that woman. But nevertheless Leonard had been called a shithead by that woman. That woman who didn’t appear to be homeless, who just had an urge to share with the rest of the world what she thought of Leonard. And Leonard was a shithead, it was quite clear to this woman, upon a glance that Leonard was a shithead.

Nevertheless, Leonard had carried on with his day. That day that was yesterday. He had bought the milk that he had been running out of and then went home. At home that day, the previous one to the day that came after it, he thought about what a shithead he was. There was, quite clearly, so much more that he could be doing to make the world a better place. He could be volunteering to help and assist his local community in their various needs. He could be reading more. He could be working harder. For this woman, what Leonard was doing was quite clearly not enough. Not that she knew Leonard, but to this woman, Leonard was a shithead.

And as Leonard the shithead waited for the kettle to boil, he made himself toast and buttered both sides of the toast with a knife. He used margarine and not butter for the simple fact that margarine spread easier. After he applied the margarine he thought of the dream that he had had last night.  The use of margarine acted as a catalyst. It was of a co-worker and it was a nightmare. In the nightmare his co-worker held a giant tub of margarine. One of those industrial tubs that would be used in kitchens in restaurants across the country. One of those big five kilogram tubs. His co-worker was holding the tub and then he dipped two fingers into the tub of margarine and said something along the lines of, “What do we use this for? Oh, I know!” Leonard shook himself of the horrible memories and visions of the dream that had occurred. He didn’t want to remember the rest of the dream so he shook his head and the rest of the vision that had occurred faded off and into the back of his mind. He shook his head hard and even though the memory wanted to creep up and entangle his mind, he was free from it.

The kettle had boiled and Leonard made himself a cup of coffee. He added a sugar with the crystalline freeze dried coffee beans. Then added hot water and finally the milk that he had bought the previous day. The same milk that he had received his role in society from a disgruntled female stranger. The role of being a shithead. As he stirred the coffee, he thought to himself, now, as a shithead what is it that I have to do? What is it that I must do to fulfill my role as shithead within society? As he stirred the coffee, he became absent minded and stirred the coffee with a teaspoon a little too hard. The mug that held the coffee tipped over and onto the carpet.

“Fark!” Leonard called out, “Farkin’ hell!” Leonard grabbed a tea towel and went to soak up the coffee that had spilled out and onto the floor. He was fulfilling his role as shithead in the world perfectly. For the first act of the day, he was making way for shitheads everywhere.

He cleaned up the coffee and with a wet towel soaked up the spilt liquid that had fallen to the floor. He made himself another cup of coffee, this time paying careful attention as to not spill the coffee again.

The coffee was made and then Leonard settled in to drink his coffee on the couch of his lounge room. He rolled himself a cigarette. He rolled the cigarette paper with two hands, putting enough tobacco into the paper to match the width of the cigarette filter within it. He was so quick and apt at this act that it took him a matter of seconds to complete the task. He lit the cigarette and stared at the wall. Taking careful sips out of his cup of coffee, he fell at ease with his surroundings. He ashed his cigarette in the ashtray and discounted such thoughts of being a shithead or of the horrible nightmare that he had of his co-worker the previous night with the industrial tub of margarine.

That’s when he noticed it. Slight movement coming from beneath the carpet of his lounge room floor. Slight movement, ever so slight. It was like a tub of jelly had been hit with a spoon. The carpet floor literally rippled and there was this soft scratching sound coming from the carpet. He stopped drinking his coffee and stubbed out his cigarette. Then he went over and located the source of movement from beneath the carpet floor. Yes; there was definitely movement there, yes; there was definitely a rustling sound. He located the source and as soon as he located the source the carpet literally broke open and thousands, if not millions, of insects of all different varieties came rushing through the hole in the carpet.

The march of a million different little beasts was occurring. Leonard didn’t know what to do. All he managed to think was, ‘I am a shithead.’ And that was all he could do.

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