Atalan: did you watch the Big Game?
Kenyatta: of course, my parents came over to watch the game and then realized it was the wrong football. hadn't seen them in seven years. it's so weird Super Bowl Sunday, all i can think of is the game, the entire day is devoted to the game, i'm consumed, watching every snap, watching every commercial, and then when the entire seven-hour routine is finally completed and i can take a breath and finally go to the bathroom and finally have dinner, i see my folks in the kitchen preparing a light snack for themselves only and dying of boredom and drudgery. seven-year itch. same house, two completely different experiences.
Cotard: i've been here the whole time. the tv was on the fritz or i got distracted that day with the big game of life.
Lacey: stroopwafel anyone?
Yayray: what the fuck is that? sounds like a Nazi air force.
Kenyatta: expand your horizons, kid. nobody likes an ignoramus.
Yayray: looks good, i mean sounds good, thanks for the advice. smells good. where's the syrup? i want to douse them with syrupy slobber.
Kenyatta: there's already goo inside them. and don't say that's what she said.
Yayray: what's that? i'm younger than i look.
Atalan continues nodding at this conversation as he turns to his cell, youtube-commenting a few lost-soul internet friends with angry replies after seeing their comments on a youtube video about winterization insulation.
friend 1: wait, so God doesn't exist? life is meaningless?
friend 2: yeah.
friend 1: damn.
Wolf Spritzer: and now for tech news. the word "fun" on instagram gets more hits than the word "god" or the word "life". isn't that interesting, Anderson?
Anderson: u mad people think i'm more of a silver fox than you?
Cotard: i thought the tv was on the fritz.
Ata: it still is, well on the spritz. this whole world sucks. not the people per se but the system. i mean come on. can't we do something about this? we don't stand a chance the moment we're born.
Kenyatta: people are asleep, they've fallen into comfortable stupors, they need to be arisen and imbued with a new way of thinking.
Cotard is in a stupor.
Cotard (wakes up): i've woken up and i've awakened. religious stupors are the only good ones, the ones where you close your eyes by keeping them open and drool falls from your mouth for weeks. that's when you get real insight about comfortableness in the Vatican and out. my two folks...
Lacey and Yayray mumble an indignant "hey!" as they eat from the same plate but it's mumbled and not heard.
Kenyatta (waves at them): hi.
Cotard:...it's not about a new way of thinking, it's about a new way of doing. you have to think it, see the image in your head, the crazy concept, if you can believe it, you can achieve it, it all starts with a thought.
Ata: i've been accused of thinking too much, overthinking my situation.
Cotard: yes, by me. there's overthinking and then there's overanalyzing. don't overanalyze like the media, be like me, my job description is to think about things for long stretches in my stalker shrine, just alone mulling things over, it's healthy.
Lacey: if you don't like something that's going on in the world, you have to get your ass off the couch, jump on it like Tom Cruise, and do it yourself, nobody's ever gonna do it for you. i learned this the hard way when i still had an ass.
Kenyatta: lookin' good my tall drink of cashew milk. working out?
Lacey: working tons of things out in the head, yes, thank you. i'm thinking...that i should exercise more to get more tone to my butt. for when i trip and fall again.
Ata: i'm tired of living in this shit town, no offense. i want to get out and explore the world.
Yayray: that's selfish. bring me along.
Cotard: think of others. bring me along.
Lacey: you think you're better than us? you're just like the media.
Kenyatta: you know, you kinda resemble Anderson Cooper.
Lacey: omg thank you! he is my idol!
Ata: in order to help people, i must decide what kind of person i am within different groups of people. i have to travel around the world and see where i fit in. if i don't fit in anywhere, it's a sign that i was meant to help the whole world from a distance. or i'm a loser. the village girl will beg me to stay but i am a loner. if i fit into a particular village, you'll never see me again, i'll settle down, 2.5 kids with the village girl. won't miss technology, i'll keep you updated on insta. either way, i must take this hero's journey alone, i must play solitary with gin, when others are playing gin, i must find myself, and define myself, clearly, whether i find that i'm a stupid prat or a visionary. come along and document my journey. i'm coming up with this on the spot, i'm dribbling, it's all spontaneous, organic, the concept is forming in my mind just now: basketball, that's the universal sport, right? Father, explain the rest.
Cotard: i dribble when i pray...........oh, i thought you were speaking to your father. yes, well, basketball, wait, what?
Ata: remember? we talked about this. i've had this plan in the works for some time now. i spilled my guts to you, all of them, week after week in confession instead of enumerating my sins.
Cotard: vomit is disgusting, don't know how dogs eat it, that's why i care for Brother Wax's cats after i stole them from him. ah yes, you are going to...
Ata: ...i'm going to travel the globe and land in certain primitive spots that house a basketball hoop. the more primitive, the better, meaning the more green, lush nature unspoilt by man. we're talking jungles, waterfalls, snowcapped mountains, lakes, tall grass, cliffs by sunset, canopies of leaves, dirt roads, dirt roads that lead to nowhere, ancient villages that still keep everything inhouse and don't plaster everything online. no shining, waxed, pristine, NBA-regulation hardwood courts. park the parquetry elsewhere. it's an effort to get back to the roots of humanity.
Cotard: watch out, those untamed jungles have a lot of huge knotty tree roots splayed everywhere. don't want you getting tangled. better take your hacksaw.
Ata: that's just it, i want to get tangled up.
Yayray: those places sound like they smell.
Kenyatta: that's impossible what you just said. learn some science 'n' manners. learn the human body. learn humanity. have some dignity and basic human decency. don't just learn manners from the internet. don't learn anything from the internet. grow up, son.
Yayray: i tried to tell you.
Cotard: i read about a place that worships the male penis above all else, huge tall monuments of the penis are built and everyone to a man and woman gather round and bow their heads to the statues, the cock, the ultimate life-bringer. the giver of life. of course only Christ is the Life, He'll save us from the doom-bringer. this is an instance where the phallic imagery in the art is intentional.
Ata: don't be a dick. respect. respect is the name of the game of life. and of life. Ali G. allegory. all good. all God. i'll attempt one free throw from each basketball-net location, regulation-NBA free-throw line, gotta keep it NBA-legal, they are what matters, doesn't count otherwise. if i make the basket, i move on to the next location. if i don't, i stay and help whatever problem is ailing the village at the moment, the biggest made-for-tv one. i'm not trying to be a shining white-knight, just trying to build the shining-white city on the hill. learn from other cultures, don't try to change them, don't whitewash them. i want the whole world to come together as one, one in a billion different ones.
Cotard: free throws, huh? i have Shaq on speed-dial if you need pointers.
Yayray: really? everyone, young and old, loves Shaq.
Cotard: you think if i really had Shaq on speed-dial i'd hang round this dump? i'm seeing your smile as you explain this, Ata.
Ata: that's creepy.
Kenyatta: still need jaw surgery, hon.
Cotard: it's not the usual forced smile, smirk, grimace, or wince. it's just a genuine smile. one of purpose.
Ata: I WANT AT THE END OF THIS TO HAVE A JUST SMILE, AJS, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
Kenyatta: good works breed good works. each one teach one. a lightning rod of compassion and hope will ignite a village on fire. not literally, spiritually.
Cotard: the coldest fires are spiritual ones, so they can be put out quickly. go forth, young man, and seek your fortune, which shouldn't include any monetary gain. no doubloons. though if you happen to stub your toe on a pirate chest, squeeze it for all she's worth.
Yayray: that's what she said. i at least know about buried treasure. man was that treasure buried on my last date. dinner and a show and everything. but she said she had to go home early to wash her hair.
Ata: i'll be back. not for a long time. follow my journey on insta. i'm all backed up and ready to go, where's the bathroom? my backpack is here and...not as bulky as before.
Lacey: i ate all your granola bars in there. on the plus side, my ass is bulky.
with that, Atalan disappears into thin air leaving the group with a worried expression on his face. only his chair remains.
Cotard strokes his long flowing beard and mumbles: hey! but the hey gets tangled in his beard.
Codrus remains in the lotus position for the second week, his muscles twitching sporadically, his face wearing a worried expression and large sweat, eyes opened and exasperated, brow furrowed, mouth in a wince as he keeps gathering energy into his raised fists. his tall fingers are rods for channeling.
Yayray: i have this bitch.
Kenyatta: excuse me?
Yayray: young woman on insta and i don't know what to do. she's talking about getting a slingshot tattoo. that's so cool! i want to tell her as much. i also want to know where exactly on her body she's getting this slingshot. i'm hesitating cos it's kinda a creepy thing to ask for.
Lacey: so you're not a lost cause. will you be paying?
Yayray: buddy you ate more of it than me. so i'm thinking i'll just leave things alone and wait the two months till she gets the tat to comment after i find out where it is with everyone else. but i can't wait two months! that's torture! i need to know where it's gonna be now! this is killing me! indecision is a slow death by a thousand cuts.
Kenyatta: 1461 hours to be precise. you don't always have to comment on every little thing, silence is golden, for a while. this is very compulsive behavior you're demonstrating. women aren't your playthings, this isn't the 1400s, they're not your dogs to command. i hate what the internet has become. it's consuming you. it's more about likes and not about lives. the media infiltrates the lives of celebrities, their sons and daughters, creates their sons and daughters, then laments when the children fall, they wonder what happened, they feign ignorance. if they had just left them alone. leave Britney alone. fame is a slow death, fast sudden instant shocking death sometimes. instadeath by insta. the world's troubles are troubling and impossible to fix.