Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

Carl goes off to find the rum, and Sid goes back to playing with the pen. He succeeds in managing to cause it to explode all over his arm once again.

“Here’s the rum,” Carl says, and hands the bottle to Sid.

“Thanks. I think I’ll drink it later, though,” responds Sid, and holds onto the bottle loosely.

The phone rings quite loudly this time. Sid and Carl both look at it. It rings a second time. This time Carl picks up the phone.

“Hello?” says Carl.

“Hey, I got your message,” answers the voice.

“Who is this?” Carl asks. He has a vague idea of who it could be, but he wants to be absolutely sure that it isn’t another telemarketer.

“This is Jen, you called earlier,” she says.

“Oh, hello Jen!” Carl exclaims. “How are you? Have you heard from the lawyer?”

“I’m doing good. Work sucked, but that’s to be expected when you’re a professional drug dealer. Haven’t heard from the lawyer yet either. Hopefully he’ll call in a few days. If not, we do have his number, so we could always just pay him a little visit sometime,” the voice of Jen says. “So how are you guys doing?”

Carl passes Sid another phone, so the both can talk to Jen at the same time.

“We’re doing good, got some work done on a few things,” Carl says.

“My apartment burnt down,” Sid adds rather calmly, and acting like it is no big deal. To anyone else, the loss of their living accommodations would be a terrible pain. However, since the apartment Sid has been living in was roach infested and generally a piece of shit with walls and a roof, he is rather quite pleased since he no longer has to live there, and effectively got out of his lease early.

“That’s terrible!” Jen blurts. It sounds as though she is rather concerned and feels a great deal of sympathy toward Sid for losing his living space. “So where are you living now?”

“I’m here with Carl for a few days, until the insurance can find a new place for me to go,” Sid answers.

“Oh, speaking of Carl, and you too Sid, how come you never answered my email I sent you guys?”

Carl is the first to answer, “I never get around to checking my email. Ever.” He is quite proud of never having to check his mail. Since the majority of messages he receives are spam, and usually have subjects dealing with breast enlargement and getting a low-low mortgage on a house. Neither of which he is really interested in, so he set his inbox to delete all incoming messages. He never has had to deal with spam in his inbox ever again.