Sitting neck deep in the vomit of his own hated existence he occasionally dredged up a seemingly gourmet chunk, which he declared delectable, and re-ingested it as if it truly was. It wasn’t actual vomit just one of those incidents in his past that he liked to re-live in his fantasies. Usually it was people who had received the full brunt of the emotional. and more than once physical and occasional financial abuse he subjected them to. Of course in the tales he was the hero and they were the ‘stoopid’.

That those stories were invariably at variance with reality didn’t bother him one single bit. Reality was incredibly elastic as far as he was concerned. However, in between these “meals” of dredged up fantasies of how he had been wronged, and then made it right, a nagging omega remnant of conscience  troubled him. But he was adept at  rationalizations and simply re-wrote the incident in his mind. It was a fine display of mental gymnastics and back flips. Perfect tens by his judgement.

Those re-written scripts were of immense comfort to him, and became even more scrumptious every time he re-lived them.

The downhill slide and the truly egregious decision making skills he had exercised for damn near his entire life, were made as immaterial as his profuse use of drugs  and alcohol could possibly make them.

But it wasn’t his fault, he was a victim, always had been, and always would be.

His best friend Alphonso, currently debating loudly and vociferously with the lamp post across the street while urinating at it’s base understood him best.

During Alphonso’s more lucid moments, which were becoming increasingly rare, they shared the blue tarp that kept out the sun, but wasn’t worth a damn in the rain. That little portion of side walk was their turf, and the others who lived in their “neighborhood” feared the hugely muscled Alphonso enough to make it ‘sacred ground’.

But he had an alternate ‘squat’ since Alphonso was more often, more unpredictable when he was lucid, than when he wasn’t. Even without the constant drug ingestion, in copious amounts, he could be described as troubled. On the good side he was generous with his meds, and he had the most powerful ones available, in quantity.

In Alphonso’s lucid moments they commiserated, but that wasn’t really the correct term. Luxuriated was more correct as they both re-lived and re-wrote the terrible things society had done to victimize them.

Together they dredged up some, more or less, mostly less, choice morsels of their past, injecting ‘flavor enhancers’ into the putrid ambrosia of their memories to each others amusement.

In this manner,  figuratively of course, they fed off each others victim-ology narrative and licked each others fingers clean.

Life was good…

They had it figured, sooner or later society would recognize their true value, fish them out of the puddle of the detritus of their past decisions and elevate them to the status they deserved.

Society had done them wrong at every turn, but they were patient and magnanimous and forgiving towards society.

They had never betrayed their principles, whatever those were, neither was exactly sure, but it was as plain as the running noses on their faces…

They existed, therefore they deserved.

Nirvana was due …any day now…

Submitted: August 02, 2022

© Copyright 2023 HOUDINI. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Alexander Byrne

Interesting short story, don't know how this is an essay, though.

Wed, August 3rd, 2022 5:32am


It started life as a poem and somewhere got lost...I agree it is a short story.

Wed, August 3rd, 2022 10:21am

ChloéAnna Sheets-Ortiz

I actually truly liked that. It was raw-raw-raw, I’ve had some encounters with homeless people often in each Church we attended in every state. It was my mission to show them that God still loves them and we as people still care. Thank Mr. Houdini…it was a very special piece.
ChloèAnna O.

Thu, August 4th, 2022 1:37am


you are quite welcome. It is sad that so many people suffer more from self inflicted misery rather than anyone victimizing them. Until they admit that there isn't much hope of escaping. True prisoners of themselves.

Thu, August 4th, 2022 5:20am

moa rider

A lot of truth there Houdini, it's easy to blame someone else when things go wrong... I had visions of politicians in the essay too. Usianguke

Thu, August 4th, 2022 11:20pm


Politicians are the primary parasite society is afflicted with...

Thu, August 4th, 2022 4:34pm

Facebook Comments

Other Content by HOUDINI

Short Story / Historical Fiction

Short Story / Literary Fiction

Short Story / Science Fiction