by Nic Olson

A man who works long hours has a wife. The man is at work one night and the wife leaves the house to go adulterate with another man across the river. On her way to the river a crazy man tells her that if she crosses the river she will die. She takes a boat-taxi across the river and once she arrived on the other side she realized she forgot money. She went to her man-mistress’s place to get some cash, but he denied and told her to leave. The boatman told her she couldn’t get a ride back, so she took the bridge to go home. On the other side of the bridge the crazy man stabs her and she dies. Whose fault is the death?
Obviously the woman for being a slut.

A restless boy moves to a new city expecting to find new hope and inspiration for creativity. Once arriving he is warned by a crazy man that if he stays past six months he will go lose his mind again and not find what he was searching for, although he didn’t know what that was when he left. The government gives him money. The boy didn’t understand the crazy man because the crazy man only spoke French. Whose fault is it?
Same logic applies, except the slut part. Maybe.

I spend hours playing Scrabble, or a version of Scrabble on my iPod. (If you have an iPod or iPhone and are interested in beating me at Scrabble, let me know.) Spelling words like ’DYKEY’ and trying to spell words like ’REFOP’ or ’QUJAZ’ on a Triple Word/Triple Letter span. Lately I have been playing as much as possible during class in the afternoons. When a language teacher doesn’t like answering language related questions it gets pretty discouraging pretty fast. Like a blind optometrist or a toothless dentist or a penisless gigolo. Teachers who shouldn’t be teachers are like that.

We sit and discuss the merits of marriage or who is in the wrong in old tales of attempted adultery or which abomination is worst on a scale of one to ten, rape or exterminating a species of whale (we actually do this), listening to militant European women students tout their undoubtedly correct points of view.

A year ago tomorrow I bought my computer. Today it is in the shop. My one year of free warranty ends tomorrow, so I figured I might as well get a free screen while I still can. I bought said computer in anticipation of moving here and writing books and essays and short stories and poems and Pulitzer Prize winning novels. It has done me well in the movie watching department but not so well in its purpose of being: a recipient of new words and phrases.

I have been riddled pretty hard. Nearly a year has gone by and I have made very little progress mentally, literally, physically, lingually, or socially and the reason for that always lands upon my own matted, greasy, hat-haired head. The answer to the riddle lands no further than the slut who decided to leave.

And this slut accepts that.