Magic Realism

On his forty-second birthday his wife threw him a small party at their apartment. After dinner there was a cake covered with forty-two candles. Right as he was about to blow out the candles someone told him to make a wish. He closed his eyes and wished to be young again. He wanted to go back to a simpler time, when life was easy and he didn’t have to be so responsible for everything. He blew out the candles and when he woke up in the morning he was thirty-five again. No wife, no kids, and fifty pounds lighter. The first thing he did when he got up was look at himself in the mirror and smile because his wish had come true. He opened his closet and put on all the clothes he hadn’t been able to wear in seven years, like that cool blue windbreaker and those skinny black jeans. He was thirty-five and that meant he didn’t have to go to work because it was only when he decided to get married and have kids that his family cut him off financially, as they didn’t approve of his wife. He zipped up his windbreaker and drove to the last record store in town. He bought ten compact discs filled with the type of music his wife and kids could not stand, the kind with odd time signatures and wonky, expressive vocals. He drove and listened to his new music and smoked cigarettes and threw them out the window. Since he was skinny he saw no harm in stopping for some fast food. When he got back to his apartment he drew the drapes, locked the door, and turned on his computer. He immediately logged onto a site where he could chat and watch people have sex in real time. He opted to watch Kasey and Marcus. They said hello to him and he felt as if he was amongst friends. When he was done he thought about clearing the browser’s history and emptying the cache, but then he remembered that he didn’t have kids yet, so he didn’t have to worry about his daughters opening the computer and seeing something they shouldn’t see; and he wasn’t married yet, so he didn’t have to worry about his wife investigating his cyber-whereabouts and then lecturing him about how his patronization of certain websites made him partially responsible for all horrors of the global sex trade. He took a shower and walked around the apartment naked, which is something he hadn’t done in seven years. He air dried. He went to the convenience store at the corner and bought two packs of Twinkies. He ate one pack on the way back and the other in bed. He fell asleep while listening to the radio. When he woke up he was forty-two again. His wife told him he better hurry up or he was going to be late for work. His oldest daughter reminded him that after work he had to show up for her parent-teacher conference. His youngest daughter poopooed all his suggestions about what she should wear. He stood at the front door and zipped up his blue windbreaker, the front of which was straining against his belly. His wife looked at him and said, I don’t think so.


One thought on “Magic Realism

  1. Oooh, the tension was bearable until he mentioned Twinkies – then I felt dirty…

    …Until I opened another browser and discovered that a Twinkie is a candy bar.

    This, of course, is why the Wibbly-Wobbly-Web was invented.


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