Graham and Drew, Part 2

         “Imagine Alaska in the winter. You have the vast open tundra covered in snow, maybe a few pines here and there. Oh, and don’t forget you’re a Neanderthal.”
         “I don’t think you’re getting this straight,” interrupts Graham.
         “Quiet! Jackass, let me finish.” I stop for a moment and gather my thoughts, picturing us two standing in a great open plain of fresh snow. I allow myself to feel the cold wind blowing about and try to hear the sounds of a prehistoric America.
         “All you have on your back are some crude furs,” I continue. “And in your hands you have a spear. No, two spears because you’re smart enough to know that a wooly mammoth doesn’t go down with one. And guess what?”
         “What.” Graham sounds immensely bored but maintains eye contact.
         “Well, you’re the leader. You have three other Neanderthal dudes at your back, each with two spears. You see, you guys are a hunting party and you have women to feed.”
         “Sounds miserable.”
         “Jesus will you shut up for a second? This won’t work if you keep interrupting me with your bullshit comments.”
         “Buddy if I really want to relive prehistoric man’s adventures I’ll watch the Discovery Channel. Then I can SEE it, and see a fairly accurate depiction of what it was like, not some imbeciles imagining of it.”
         Imbecile. Why does he insist on demeaning me like this? Graham is so cut and dry. For all his stoicism and confidence I can’t help but despise him at times. But he is my only escape from the humdrum of my own ineptitude.
         “Hold on a second and let me finish, ok? I’ll try and make this quick if it really grates you.”
         “Yes, make it quick. I still have to get back and work, you know? Or did you forget?”
         “I haven’t forgotten,” I say sullenly. “But we’re here so let me get through with this.”
         He shifts his gaze slightly and looks up at the mammoth but just gives it a disinterested examination.
         “So you guys are standing there like pros, surveying the great expanses of white nothingness, smelling the air and grunting to each other. They’re there, you all know it, it’s just a matter of figuring out where exactly.”
         I stop momentarily, and then with a grand, sweeping gesture of my hands I continue.
         “You have all of this great land to explore. It’s exciting, the hunt that is. The tracking and the dodging of monster bears.”
         “What the fuck are you talking about?”
         “There are bears, man. Massive, gargantuan bears that can eat your torso in one bite. You have to keep an eye out or they’ll come tearing through your hunting party, scattering you guys like bowling pins.”
         “We can’t defend ourselves with our spears? I think that our spears would be enough to kill a bear if we can use them to kill a mammoth. At least if we’re adhering to your logic.”
         “Yeah, but the mammoth doesn’t want to eat you. Will you shut up for second? Really, just let me finish this. Anyway, so you guys are standing there and then all the sudden, way, way off in the distance you see a few lumbering specks. You can’t tell how many yet, but you’re sure that it’s a mammoth herd. So you grunt excitedly and wave your spear above your head like a retard. Then everyone is grunting behind you and waving their spears around and you all do this little retarded tribal dance and start running.”
         Graham grins. “So we proceed to expend all of our energy dancing with each other and then running to them?”
         “Well you have to close the gap some how, and let’s say their walking away from you guys. So you guys run. And you run fast. Or at least as fast as you can hunched over like a Neanderthal.”
         “While holding our spears in our hands.”
         “What? That won’t affect anything.”
         “Nevermind, go on.”
         “Ok, so you guys slowly close the distance and head to some high ground. As you get closer you get down on your hands and knees and slow to a four-legged crawl.”
         “Nice.” Graham interjects.
         “But they smell you. All four of them. They all turn trumpeting and stomp the ground heavily, making it shake with the fury of a Grecian god. It’s a spectacular sensation, the earth shivering with each mighty pounding of a ton or more of pure muscle.”
         “I bet it is spectacular.”
         “At first you and your hunting party are thrown to the ground,” I continue, ignoring his remarks. “But you rally your boys and you guys start stomping and yelling back. You thrust your spears forward in a gesture of intimidation, almost like you’re trying to tell the mammoths, ‘Watch it you fuckers, we’re here and we’re hungry!'”
         “Oh, yes, yaas!” It almost sounds like Graham is moaning. He rubs his chest in an exaggerated display of excitement and smiles eerily at me.
         “Now you begin to advance, forming a semicircle in an attempt to separate one of the mammoths. The largest mammoth, probably the alpha male, meets your challenge and moves forward. ‘He’s the one,’ you think to yourself, and gesture to your boys to encircle him. So they spread out around the big bastard and ready their spears. It’s not going to be easy,”
         “It never is…”
         “But with one final shout you all let loose, your spears racing through the air and piercing the tough hide of the massive mammoth. He rears back in shock and lets out a sharp whining sound, followed by the guttural sound of an animal that knows it’s about to die. Then you all release another volley, yours aimed carefully for the throat of the rearing mammoth. You all step back and watch as it shivers and the swoons, falling face first into the snow. There is a whoop from all of your Neanderthal friends and you all begin dancing again. There will be plenty of food for your people to eat.”
         There’s a moment of silence between Graham and I as we stare at each other. He has his stupid grin again but his eyes are alive and wide.
         “Well, did I take you back?”
         “You made me want to fuck.”
         “What the fuck are you talking about? I just told you a story about prehistoric America.”
         “Sounds like I was getting all the fucking, bud.”
         We stop momentarily as a few kids tear by us, giddy with childhood fantasies. As they disappear into the next exhibit Graham perks up and looks me dead in the eye.
         “Ever thought of writing bestiality stories?”
         “Are you fucking serious Graham?” I’m really not sure what to make of that last comment.
         “Actually, just write children’s stories about animals. That’ll serve the same purpose.”

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For the Intermittent Writer


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