Regarding the Suckage of Adulthood

@theo

Ernie blinks at me, his hand frozen halfway between his mouth and his popcorn bag. “Wow. That is some seriously fucked up shit, Hung Lee.”

“Could we stop with the nicknames?”

“Just one more?”

“No.”

Please?

I sigh. “Fine.”

“Wang Ten.”

“Happy?”

Ernie smiles, proud of himself. “My fancy’s been tickled. But seriously, what does it matter? Thanks to the Fundoshi Mandate, we’re all three-quarters naked these days.”

“Except where it counts,” I say.

“Still, your dream’s not so bad. Change a few things, and it’s pretty rad, actually.”

“How could it possibly be rad?”

“Ditch Mr. Barchetta. Make the teacher female and stacked, and deflower her at the end while the whole class watches and cheers you on.”

“You’re a fount of wisdom.”

“Well, what do you think the dream means, then, Inches For Days?”

I think hard for a moment. “That I don’t like being naked in front of people.”

“No, no—I’m talking subconscious. Inner workings and all that crud.”

I think harder. “I guess, then, I just don’t like…attention. People looking at me, judging me. Why do you think I do Web design work sitting behind a computer screen all day?”

“I always assumed you had a doomscrolling addiction.”

“It’s so I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything. I can just work and get paid from home, then spend the rest of my time doing the things I want to do.”

“Geez. Introverts, unite.”

“I’m not an introvert.”

“Yeah? You sure sound like one.”

“I don’t know what you’d call it. Growing up scares me. Kissing, girls, school dances, sex, learning to drive, shaving, registering for the military draft, paying taxes…it all kind of terrifies me, Ernie.”

He nods. “Ever wonder why kids are so fucked up once they enter their teens? It’s because they know they’re going to spend their entire lives working for the Man. So, they drink, fuck, and kill as much as possible before finally surrendering to the suckage of adulthood.”

I bite my lip. “What if I’m not good at any of it?”

“Judging by the shitty adults I’ve met in my lifetime, I don’t think anyone’s good at any of it.”

That’s oddly comforting. “I just want to be graduated already. Go from right now to my diploma without any of the awkwardness in between.”

“That would require a cheat code.” Ernie sets a buttery hand on my arm. “You’re not a cheater, are you?”

I glance down at his scorched eyes, his bloody nose and ears. “What the heck happened to your face?”

“Bruh, I looked your baby-maker square in the eye this morning. I’m lucky my head didn’t explode.”

Vaguely I recall Mom suffering similar injuries after accidentally walking in on me summoning my spunk in our bathroom (Vangelis’ Mythodea was involved, it was a whole thing—don’t ask), and I wonder, will it always be this way whenever anyone sees my junk? “You know, I think I get it now. I get why you’re so uptight about El Cassetto. It’s one last fling, one last flight of fancy before you have to get down to puberty along with the rest of us.”

Ernie blinks. “Is that your professional opinion?”

“Yeah.”

El Cassetto’s real, Theo.”

Wow, he called me by my actual name.

“It’s fucking real, it’s fucking out there, and it’s fucking coming for us.” He lets me go, swivels around in his chair, facing his computer. Swivels back to pay me a pensive glance. “Do you lose partial consciousness whenever your dick gets hard? Like, does the blood have to leave the rest of your body in order for your wang to achieve full shaftal magnificence—”

“I’m leaving, Ernie.”

“Seriously, how dizzy do you get when sprouting wood?”

I reach past him, grab the mouse, and double-click myself back to 3 Hags’.

Eva and Jan look up at me expectantly.

Taking my seat, I say, “Ernie thinks he’s pregnant.”

Stunned silence.

Mini calmly folds his mitts and asks, “Would it be impolite for me to puke in that flower pot over there?”

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El Cassetto: a SuperMegaNet novel by Jesse Gordon

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Dookie, a cheesy horror novel by Jesse Gordon

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Jesse Gordon

Geek. Writer. Supreme overlord of the SUPERMEGANET pseudoverse. Author of THE OATMEAL MAN, DOOKIE, and other such wasteful nonsense.