What Is Alive Will Fly Away


I work at Blockbuster. I'm 17 years old. One of the benefits to working at Blockbuster is the 5 free rentals you get once a week. Today I'm going to rent Mermaids starring Winona Ryder, who I love. I get of work at 4pm. I will buy a rotisserie chicken at Safeway and have an evening with the one I love. I will spread a blanket in front of the TV, watch the movie, and eat the chicken.


This movie is great. Winona Ryder plays a girl who is messed up in the head. She dies her hair black. Cher plays her mom. She moves around from town to town and it seems she does it with many men. As a result, Winona has issues. She doesn't want to act like her mom so she ends up being this weird catholic prude. Deep down inside though, she is tender and ready to bloom and I know it. I know it's just a movie and she's just an actress but if that girl in the movie were real, then I'd maybe go and try to find her.


I'm going to college this fall. My dad forced me to take this fancy SAT class because I got an 870, which is border line retarded. I'm not retarded; I just hang out by the special classrooms near the field during lunch and recess. There are toothbrushes lined up by the window. They must teach the retarded kids to brush their teeth. It seems that in highschool, all the places one would wish to hang out at are already taken. I hope college is different.


Here's proof why I'm not retarded: I'm reading Anna Karenina. My favorite character is the farmer Levin. He gets into how honest and real dirt is and I sort of know exactly what he means. I don't have good lighting in my room, so I read the book in the bathroom, where the lighting is more than adequate. I sit on the toilet cover so I don't get hemorrhoids. For those who don't know, hemorrhoids are varicose veins in or around the anus, caused by sitting on the toilet too long. I won't give it away, but all this crazy stuff happens with love and people start dying.

Doritos Cool Ranch

I'm addicted to Doritos Cool Ranch chips. When I eat them, I purposely get the seasoning on my fingers. Mixed with saliva, it becomes pasty. I enjoy this immensely. My parents are in Europe on vacation and with the money I'm making at Blockbuster, let's just say there's nothing to stop me from getting as much Doritos Cool Ranch as I want. It's a good life.


In the baseball field, at home plate, are seven bird heads. Carved into the benches are satanic symbols. The birds were sacrificed during a ritual. The heads are black because the birds were black. Once separated, the heads are no longer birds, but an idea, an idea about how wrong this world is. The heads have little black eyes that are still shiny. It scares me because the eyes are open and I can see the glow of the sky in them. I ask myself, if I were a Satanist, how would I catch a bird? Won't it fly away? When does a bird know that its head is being cut off? Does a bird's memory of its shortened life stay in its brain, even though there's no consciousness to receive it? Maybe there are invisible patches of memory everywhere, and everything that has died is angry. Bird hates man. Man hates God. God hates Satan. Does this mean Satan hates birds?


Apparently so.

About the author:

Jimmy Chen lives in San Francisco. He's been published in Muse Apprentice Guild, Wandering Army, and the Bullfight Review, among others. His fiction will appear in McSweeney's 15.