Monday, April 24, 2017

POLAROID by R. E. Hengsterman

On a day in day out basis, the universe does its damnedest to maximize good coincidence. And in opposition, unfortunate or tragic happenstance comes with a hefty price. Because of this invisible pursuit of balance, I find myself trapped, the byproduct of a cosmic mishap. Often, I end up on the wrong side of these equations. Today I'm in a Polaroid. And I'm not talking about being in a Polaroid - as in I've had my picture taken.

No, this is much, much more problematic - a circumstance of irrational proportions, if not inconceivable, absurd, crazy, or even improbable by any stretch of the imagination. My ability to even speak of these events is a minor miracle.

At the current moment, I'm floating in a bath Silver bromide (Ag Br), cyan, yellow, magenta, and dark blue pigments. How did this all come to be? It's simple. I broke one of the fundamental laws of the universe. And once you do such a thing there are consequences.

It all started three weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon. The house was empty, and I was on a mission to replace my worn-out copy of Hustler. I headed to the basement looking for something new to stimulate the expulsion of my youthful vigor. Our basement, dank and murky, was a treasure trove of goodies. You never know what you'll find. So, I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. There were boxes of old vinyl records, grade school photos, unmatched shoes, youth trophies, baby clothes, and the occasional Cosmo; the issue with the cover that screamed - "The Craziest Sex Tips We’ve Ever Tried," and
"How to Make Him Feel More Pleasure" in big block letters. A decent start, but the wow factor wasn't there. I needed more.

Forty minutes later I came across a stash of old Playboys; spines covered in black mold, centerfolds gummed together - downright nasty, a whole box of wasted potential if not outright carcinogenic material. I avoided those.

I rummage until a small metal box catches my eye. Gunmetal gray and a lock pickable with a standard paperclip. Inside, a 6x8 inch sealed Manilla envelope. On potential alone, my heart races. What I found were a dozen nude Polaroids. A brunette, vulnerable and beautiful.

With my stash in hand, I headed to my room and exercise a few demons. This exorcism goes on for a week or two, each day a different photo and each day a new fantasy. The celluloid edges peeling on the abused Polaroids. And then the unthinkable; please pay attention because this is where the story gets a little complicated.

It's midweek, and my Mom is shoveling the dirty clothes at the foot of my bed into the laundry. On this day, she finds the motivation to do a little additional digging (cleaning).

I come home from school and find my mother, crooked smile and hips cocked, perched at the front door. And I knew trouble was coming. Maybe she found my stash of weed or my calendar with all the blowjobs marked BJ in red.

But it's worse. She found the photos, hidden inside an empty Chuck Taylor shoe box.

What occurred next is impossible to describe - jaw-dropping, life-changing, laws of the universe psychological apocalypse that ripped in whole the cosmos and expelled me from my world. And that's how I ended up in a Polaroid three days ago. Not sure if anybody's looking for me, but I'm here, in the envelope, wedged between two naked Polaroids of my mother.

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