Jasper Hornigold, Jr.

 

“I don’t get it. What’s it for?”

“I guess it’s not really for anything in particular, Jasper. I just thought it would be fun. I like the idea of writing something new every day.”

“Yeah, but how’s anybody supposed to keep track of a book with hundreds of characters in it? Nobody’s gonna know what the hell is going on half the time.”

“It’s not a book exactly. It’s a blog that-”

“I hate that word.”

“Which one, ‘blog’?”

“Yuh.”

“Yeah, I think I kind of do too actually. But everyone has an idea what it means by now, and it kind of fits the format of what I’m doing, so I think I’m stuck using it for now.”

“Don’t change nothin’ though. I couldn’t keep track of hundreds of people in a blog either. You got a bunch of geniuses that want to read it or something?”

“I doubt it. But you’re missing the point, Jasper. You don’t keep track of all of them at once. It’s like reading a few pages from a different book every day, then moving on.”

“Why would I want to do that?”

“That’s- I don’t know. It’s a bad way to put it. Maybe it’s like meeting a new person every day. But you’re getting me off topic. I bought you that drink to talk about you, not me.”

“Who’d want that either? Most people suck.”

“That’s the spirit. Sucky people are still interesting, right? Maybe tell me about someone from your past that sucks.”

“Yeah, lemme see… Yeah, so one time at a bar I see this weaselly little fart of a guy that clearly don’t belong there. He’s tryin’ to act casual, but he ain’t dressed right, and he’s eyin’ up the regulars like he wants to get his ass beat. After a couple minutes of standin’ there tryin-a figure his ass from a hole in the ground, he comes up to me of all people, says he wants to talk or some shit. But he’s buyin’ a round, and I’m always thirsty. That story’s called ‘Five Minutes Ago’.”

“I probably had that coming. Fine, I suck too. But right now you kind of suck at talking about yourself, which is pretty much the only thing I wanted out of this.”

“Yup, I suck too.”

“All right, fine, then here’s a challenge for you. Tell me about something you did that was good, just once in your life where you didn’t suck.”

“Huh. Well I could tell you about when I socked my best friend in the nose.”

“Sure, that’s great tell me- Wait, what? Damn it, Jasper.”

“Booker. He was a drinker. I mean, everybody here’s a drinker, but you know what I mean. It got to the point you never saw him without a bottle of some sort. Gotta hand it to him, he had no shame about it. Show up piss-drunk at 8 in the morning, tell his own mother to fuck off if she were to say anything about it.

“But there’s always that lonesome point where they need someone else around, you know? Hammered and wanting someone else’s presence to give ’em the OK that this is happening and ain’t nothin’ wrong even though they’d never say it. I’d been that person to Booker for a long time, and I guess he was to me too, but something about that day just got in my head. He was off about something, riding to some shit town down the road when I couldn’t see how he hadn’t died just getting to where I was.

“I saw the two of us in a mirror and it was like I hadn’t looked in one for years. We looked like shit, and I let it happen. So as he’s runnin’ his mouth about gettin’ fucked up on something or other, I popped him in the nose. Heh. Wasn’t that hard, but it laid him out on the floor, only because he was already wasted. Told him we’re bad for each other, to get himself sorted and I’d do the same. I don’t know if it worked for him, but I’m gettin’ a handle on things I think.”

“That’s exactly the kind of thing I like to hear about. So you never talked to Booker after that?”

“Nope. You got to hear about my shining goddamn moment, so leave it alone, yeah?”

“Fair enough. How about kids. You have any kids, Jasper?”

“Fuckin’ probably. Hey I’m empty. See ya around, guy. Good luck with creative outlets or whatever.”