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Third day out, the oddest feeling overtook me. A hybrid of nostalgia and deja-vu, this fuzzy childhood sense-memory of melancholy bliss. I wanted to cry. Was it just the desert? Sand in my eyes? Dehydration? No matter. I unwrapped my fingers from the buzzard's neck; the gangly fucker was dead all right. I sank my teeth into its gullet and drank deep the freshets of hot, life-giving blood.

What was that damned, damned feeling, I wondered, crawling west for the fuck of it, my shirt hanging off my sunburnt back in one-panel-cartoon shreds. Some kind of sepia-toned lost innocence that had to be a fiction; my childhood was as anxious and overrated as the next guy's. But that wasn't really the point. The point was, I suddenly realized under that sadistic asshole-shaped sun, that I'd been subconsciously nurturing this delusional emotion all my life, hording it, and for what? Whom, more like. For some as-yet-unmet girl. I'd recognize something in her that'd unlock that happiness. Our shared suburban weltanschauung would be the twin keys to launch the ICBM of our boundless joy.

"You homo," I chided myself. Here I was, lambing it from a half-million in calls on the most vicious shark in Vegas, and I was still heavy-leveraged on the biggest sucker bet of them all.

***
The nauseating dryness had closed up my throat when I reached a truck stop that evening. I opened the glass door with my head, crawled across the cool tiles and pulled myself up on a stool at the lunch counter.

"What'll it be," the waitress asked without batting an eye at my condition.

My tongue was too swollen to work. I snatched the pen out of her orange beehive and grabbed a napkin.

"Coffee," I wrote. "Black."

Date Written: November 01, 2004
Author: qualcomm
Average Vote: 5

Comments:
11/8/2004 Ewan Snow: Pretty classy short. Am considering vote of 4 or 5.
11/8/2004 Will Disney: I think I'll wait to see what other people do and then bandwagon it.
11/8/2004 TREE (5): HOLY F***. This is sickening and demented. I never thought the word freshets would realy fit anywhere
11/8/2004 Mr. Pony: I liked it for totally different reasons! (But is our intrepid narrator aware that the high salinity of the blood only served to dehydrate him further??)
11/8/2004 Mr. Pony (5): And five stars, why not.
11/8/2004 scoop (5): You know what's nice after a crawl racked with post-consumerist self-reflection across a scorching desert baking in an unforgiving sun? A cigar.
11/8/2004 Ewan Snow (5): Despite TREE's vote, I'll give this a 5. Incidentally, I was quite thirsty this morning when I got to work and whetted my whistle with a piping hot cup of black coffee. Ahhhhhhhh. (One "whets", rather than "wets", ones whistle, doesn't one? Or not?)
11/8/2004 Mr. Pony: You know that coffee's net effect is also dehydration, right?
11/8/2004 scoop: Why do you have to ruin everything with science, Pony? Like that time you said it's silly to wish upon a star because the light from those stars takes a billion years to travel to earth, and many of the stars stopped burning long ago. Or that time you explained to me that my erection was just blood engorging my penis and that it had nothing to do with my feelings for you.
11/8/2004 Mr. Pony: I would submit that science was already there and your feelings and notions come pre-ruined out of the box. I think this has something to do with Original Sin.
11/8/2004 Streifenbeuteldachs (5): The weltanschauung line was tops.
11/8/2004 Ewan Snow: asshole-shaped sun
11/8/2004 The Rid (5): You know, I thought this short might be overwritten. But it's so goddamn good, who cares? I read it four times. You homo.
11/8/2004 Jon Matza: Author: was the narrator's "childhood sense-memory of melancholy bliss" anything like the end of A.I. (Haley Joel Osment at last getting to spend a blissful hour with his virtual mommy?)
11/8/2004 anonymous: it's sort of like the feeling robert plant gets when he looks to the west.
11/8/2004 Mr. Joshua: Snow: I believe one whets (i.e. sharpens) one's beak, but wets (i.e. moisturizes) one's whistle.
11/8/2004 Will Disney (5):
11/8/2004 Mr. Pony: Well played, Will!
11/8/2004 Will Disney: I fit in!
02/2/2006 scoop: Say, why isn't this one in Acme's "Most Bestest" or "Highest Rankest" or whatever it is is at the bottom and has five shorts in it? It's got all fives? Disney, how have you screwed up this time?
03/8/2006 Master Bates (5):