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The sickmaking man is home. He is by himself. He stands over the stove, frying pan gripped ever so tightly in his paw, cooking some dogs for his dinner.

Boy, that sounded better before you started cooking 'em up, didn't it? Not so tasty now. Throw them out. Find something else to eat.

That green, leafy salad you got the other day from Arby's by mistake is still in the refrigerator. Might as well try that.

"Place sure would be better with a woman's touch. Got to go out and nab me a broad or two tonight, heh heh."

You have begun to think like that. It is how you think. Can't be changed. Can't be altered in any way. Live with your mind the way it is.

Your situation will never change, no matter how many mentally unbalanced television celebrities you vote for in the general election. That is the way that it is. Live with it.

The sickmaking man sees the pizza menu stuck to the refrigerator with magnets he won in a raffle at the local bar where he hangs out every other day (more often on weekends). That sounds good. Throw the salad away. Had red things in it. Order pizza from Joe's.

Maybe just go down to Joe's. They play beer pong on the outdoor tables, and there is always a poker game in the back room where the really sweaty men hang out. So much moisture just coming through their shirts. All the time. They can really play poker.

That's no good. There is that whole virus hoax thing out there killing people and there is a Benihana near there. That might be the nexus. Those Chinese people, you know.

You can't help that you think this way. Brain no good. Hasn't worked since secondary school. Maybe earlier. Took a lot of falls on the sidewalk when you were a kid. Most of them while being held by people who had your best interests at heart. They did. They really, really did. And they did a number on you, didn't they.

Your arithmetic teacher didn't keep you after class for extra tutoring. You were too thick headed for anyone to help. She gave you a bath with her tongue. Then she took you outside and slammed your head repeatedly against the pavement while taking long drags off her Lucky Strikes and saying, "You too thick. Ain't gone learn nothing. You gone clean turlets your whole life."

And now that is what you do. She really did have your best interests at heart. You are satisfied with this career. It fulfills you.

Most of the stories you tell at the bar, or at Joe's, involve things you've found in the public toilets that you clean. Some of them end with what you believe to be your catchphrase, "I can't believe anything human coulda shit that out." People don't often sit near you. Anywhere.

You always pay for sex. Once, you picked up a hooker downtown. She was half-asleep in an alley. You thought she was your friend. You let her handcuff you to a radiator. It was seventy-two hours before anyone came looking for you. It was your boss. There were three clogged toilets at the library. Some kids got in there with pinecones.

This is your life. You find it vaguely dissatisfying. You don't know why. You don't ask those kinds of questions. You're a tough guy. You look under the hood of your car in front of people. Often for no reason.

Maybe you can get something at the drive-thru burger joint. They have pretty good fries there.