Last Ten


Tag Archive: mark baumer

Doug was in the kitchen eating a salad. It was two a.m. I had gone in the kitchen to get a drink of water. When I asked Doug what he was doing. He looked at his salad and said, “Eating.” I had not seen Doug in almost two years. He had never been much of a salad eater. The last time I saw him was at our son’s funeral. I had almost forgotten one of my children was dead. Well, that’s not entirely true. A dead child will always be a memory. Doug was using a spoon to eat his salad. This made sense. It was the sort of thing Doug would do. I tried to remember if all the forks were dirty. It didn’t matter. Doug put a vegetable in his mouth, chewed, swallowed, and said something about drinking. I was thinking about something else so I don’t know if he said he had started or stopped drinking again. The salad bowl seemed larger than any of the bowls I owned. And it was yellow. I wouldn’t normally own a yellow salad bowl. I was going to ask Doug where he found the bowl but he began talking before I had a chance to talk. And as usual whenever Doug decided to talk instead of letting me talk, he talked about all things I didn’t want to talk about. Something about a war. I still was focused on the bowl so I didn’t quite catch whether we were starting a new war or not ending an old war. Doug seemed to notice I wasn’t paying attention because he stopped talking about war. It’s weird when two people have a lot to talk about, but they end up not talking. Maybe Doug only came back to eat salad and not talk. I thought about yelling. It made my insides feel good as I imagined breaking the salad bowl and saying something like, “You think you can just walk back into my life and eat salad.” Then Doug would say, “Fine I won’t eat salad ever again.” And that’s when I would scream, “It’s never been about salad!” A commercial break would follow. The commercial would either be advertising trucks or meat. When I finally stopped fantasizing about theoretical conversations, Doug and I were watching bad television. I was still thirsty. I had not done what I had gone to the kitchen to do. Most likely the salad bowl was half-eaten on the counter. I don’t quite understand how people can manage to only eat half a salad. As the bad television continued I thought of all the uneaten salad in the world. It seemed like there is a lot of it floating around. There’s probably enough uneaten salad out there right now to feed the entire universe for at least a month. In other news, bad television sure seems to take a long time. Everything about it feels very confusing. I don’t even remember turning on the television, but it seems fitting Doug would show up randomly one night and the evening would end with us watching bad television. As I continued to watch bad television I tried to figure out if I was a male or female. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t decided yet. Usually most people have decided by now. It seems okay I haven’t decided. Worrying about uneaten salad seems more important than deciding what gender I am. When the bad television ended, Doug and I went back into the kitchen. One of my holes was glowing, but Doug didn’t notice. I couldn’t tell if the glowing was good or bad, but maybe I’m not qualified to judge. Instead, maybe my only duty is to recognize my glowing hole. An unsubstantiated amount of time passed. At this point, my narration has been so unreliable it wouldn’t matter if I had given a specific length of time. All that matters is the glowing continued. I don’t know where Doug went. Another one of our children died. Maybe Doug was at the funeral. I decided not to attend because it’s not like anything matters once a hole on your body starts glowing. It was glowing so good I thought I might be able to make something to replace the new dead child, but when I tried to make a replacement child the hole just glowed more and more until it couldn’t glow anymore. So I returned to the kitchen for a drink of water. Doug was gone. He was really gone for maybe the last time. The extremely large yellow bowl was also gone. But the half eaten salad was not gone. It was half on the counter. Some was streaked down a cabinet. The rest was on the linoleum. I began to lick the salad off the cabinet. I wasn’t sure if it was safe to eat from the linoleum, but I did. Someone was watching bad television in the other room. I ignored the bad television and began working on the last of the salad on the countertop. Mostly, it tasted like old salad, but a little bit of it tasted like Doug.

I started smoking crack so I could write a memoir about the time I started smoking crack.

This seemed like as good an idea as any for a book.

After writing the first sentence I began contacting literary agents and telling them my idea. I was like, “Hey, you should give me a massive advance for this book I haven’t written yet so I can use all the money to buy crack and then after I’ve smoked all the crack I will be able to write a memoir about the time I smoked so much crack I became something I wasn’t before I started smoking crack.”

I am not sure what to write next. I like the first sentence I wrote for this book about smoking crack, but none of the other sentences I’ve written are any good.

It is much more difficult to write an entire book than it is to write one sentence.

I haven’t yet figured out how to turn a good sentence into a book.

On the way to work the day I decided to write a book about smoking crack, I saw a rock pile. I lay down on the rock pile and imagined it was entirely made of crack rocks.

I guess I’m just really jealous of everyone smoking crack and writing memoirs and getting famous.

The other day I was watching inspirational videos on the internet and this guy was like, “Oh man, this one time I smoked so much crack everyone in my family died and I was going to die too, but the doctors sewed a new heart into my chest and for a long time everything was really bad because I didn’t have anyone except god. Then one day god decided to make a movie about my life and I was like thank you god. So you probably shouldn’t smoke crack unless you know god is willing to make a movie about the time you smoked crack.”

People keep telling me I’m not allowed to write about smoking crack because I’ve never smoked crack.

One person said, “You should write about not smoking crack because you have spent your whole life not smoking crack.

Would people read a memoir about not smoking crack?

Actually, I think I really like the idea of writing a memoir about not smoking crack.

Okay, I created a new word document and I labeled it “not smoking crack.”

I think I’m going to write two memoirs at the same time.

One will be about smoking crack. And the other will be about not smoking crack.

I wonder what book will be more popular.

Oh holy crack god.

I am so excited right now. I can’t wait to write about smoking crack while also writing about not smoking crack.

Alright. So this book is about smoking crack. I guess I should buy some crack.

Can you go to jail for buying crack even if you’re only buying it so you can write a book about smoking crack?

This science was the forty-sixth volume of animal.

Each member of the science received an allowance of one handmade wooden crown.

An isolated element in the process of science looked at the process of science and thought, “Why?” The process of science looked at the isolated element and thought, “I don’t know.”

Animal diseases were found in several different farms.

Restrictions were required to form new operational methods but it’s important to remember science already knew the answer.

If the center of an animal was removed from a body, the center would continue to blink warmly until its love was no longer a burden.

Equations containing animals were difficult.

Science had very little patience for excess amounts of untrained movement.

A thirty-six-year-old science and a thirty-seven-year-old science tried to determine if their results were potentially useful.

During an investigation of the heart when the foot of an animal was removed the nerves remained excited and muscles contracted.

Pieces of this science were not always science.

It was unclear how to process the resolution of doubt.

Known voltages were partially a source of conditional existence.

Weather claimed it was the first science.

The television said an island was burning. I stood near a small piece of my father’s property and watched the sunset. Some of my friends were spitting in the family swimming pool. My parents were having dinner with Brenda. She was in charge of their investment portfolio and lived on the island. When the island on television stopped burning a lot of people invited themselves over for casual amounts of underage drinking. Someone stole my father’s fake deer legs. The day after the party my parents called and said their flight was delayed because of the island fire. I told my father that I drank all his protein shakes. He asked if I had touched his stereo. I told him the stereo got dry-humped. Something cried. I turned on the television and saw my parents standing on the island that had burned. Behind my parents I saw Brenda screaming into her cell phone.