A Hermit’s Dilemma

Today was an alright day. Got some groceries. They can stay on my floor for a while. Talked to a person. Made a fool out of myself, drove home in a cold sweat. It’s a step forward, I guess. Her name tag said ‘June.’ Latin origin? All calendar names are. Funny, she didn’t look Latin. Pretty excited to try HEB brand rising crust pizza. It had better be a step up from Kroger’s for the 75 cents extra.


What is that? The smoke alarm? I have a smoke alarm? If I were worried about burning to death, I’d have stopped smoking in bed after that one episode of Law and Order. The battery must be dying. Damn. I’ll have to leave the house tomorrow. I don’t know, maybe I’ll just live with it. Two days in a row seems excessive.


I wonder if Amazon sells batteries. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve surprised me. Remember when I realized they sell books? Who would buy books and have the internet at the same time? Dumb move, Amazon. Let’s see… D- B-A-T-T-E-R-


Yes, I get it. New battery required. So loud. I think my ears are bleeding. What an asshole. Maybe if I turn the TV up really loud. That dick next door can deal with it. How often does he have people over? Where or why does he meet them? I can’t imagine keeping a place ready to not induce vomiting in a stranger all the time. People are weird.


Should I tape a shirt or something over it? Oh, this is a good episode. The husband did it. I wonder why Dad left. I vaguely remember them going to counseling once in a while. I would have liked to sit in on a session or two. Would answer a lot of questions. Plus, it would help to have the cause of everything there, I think. Got ’em! Jack McCoy is such a good detective.


I wonder if Dad had killed Mom instead of just leaving, how he’d have done it. Probably run her over with a car. Like in the intro to The Simpsons. He sure did love cars.


These seem to be getting closer together. Don’t censor me, alarm. Just because I think about something that makes you uncomfortable doesn’t mean that I don’t have the right to think it. Okay? I don’t need you, you’ve never had a fire to alert me of. Why do you exist if you aren’t going to do the one thing you were made to do?


Maybe he’d have just knocked her out and left her in the gara-


This noise is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

I guess I understand, fire alarm: to wonder if anyone would notice if you just disappeared, to question whether you’ll ever be given the chance to prove that you deserve to exist. I’d want someone to come along and make me matter, if I were you, fire alarm. In fact-






Library Raider no. 1- Sara Reins’ Handbook of Etiquette


I am writing to you from the basement of the Leftwich County Memorial Library with torn trousers and singed sport coat from the number of sprung booby traps that now lay behind me. Notebook in lap, I my back is against a false bookshelf that once hid a real, far more spectacular bookshelf.

Upon this bookshelf sits a collection of some of the most dazzling and gaudy books these old eyes (transplants- I am quite young, for my age.) have ever seen. First hand accounts of wars, renaissance, and, in one case, the Renaissance Wars between Il Bloods and Il Crips sit as far as the (transplanted) eye can see.

Neither this discovery, nor my recent discovery of Snapchat, are the reason I am writing you tonight (Though, I cannot resist the urge to enclose several meaningless photos of myself.). I write to you now, because, on this shelf, lies the most perplexing work of literature I have ever come across.

In all appearances, Sara Reins’ Handbook of Etiquette and Appropriate Behaviour is just like any nineteenth century book of courtesy, available at any deceased robber-baron’s estate sale. However, upon closer examination; it appears that the rules found within apply to, and only to modern day western culture. Even more unsettling, is the fact that it references objects and ideas unheard of outside of the author’s lifetime (including Snapchat).

My great fear is that no one may believe me upon hearing this tale, and my greater fear is that this is all just a hallucinatory response to the noxious gas that was released in death chamber number six of my quest. For this reason, I have decided to transcribe and share an excerpt from this book to serve as either proof of this marvelous relic of a mysterious life, or of a record of this absolutely fantastic acid-like trip.


           On the subject of the dap:

In a situation in where a handshake is appropriate; one may choose to offer a closed fist, to be met with another closed fist as a substitute. By these means, a person acknowledges the friendly circumstances of the meeting, and exhibits his or her knowledge of current youth culture. This process is commonly referred to as the dap.

A gentleman’s dap should be firm, as to not convey weakness, yet not too tight, as to emulate a punch (which is a decidedly more aggressive maneuver).

A lady’s dap is treated with the same rules as a gentleman’s. A concept that should feel more foreign to me, as I am a nineteenth century woman.

When offering a dap, do not begin with a flat hand and close it on the way to the point of contact. This will confuse your dapping partner, creating a situation in which one person is offering a dap, while the other is accepting a handshake. In this situation, it is incumbent upon the respondent to alter his or her hand position to synchronise the proceedings. A hackneyed comment about one of the participant’s whiteness will usually follow, but shouldn’t.


 As you can see, this is something of an odd revelation, to say the least. I simply must collect more information about this Sara Reins character at once. Perhaps, I will even discover the strange origins of her insight. Or whatever happy active ingredient lay in death chamber six’s fun fumes. I will keep you updated at every turn.

                 Your dear uncle,

                                 John H. Brokaw- Library Raider