I heard it was my turn to be shot from the cannon. At first
I didn’t believe it. People are always joking about these things.
My friends told me it was serious this time though. Apparently
there was a whole meeting about it, and people were divided
on the issue. At the meeting, an old man took the microphone.
No one had seen him in years, but he showed up to this meeting
because he felt strongly that I should be shot from the cannon.
His argument was so graceful, apparently, everyone in the audience
was crying. His conclusion was about how hard the times
were becoming, how the cannon stood for human resilience,
and how I stood for all humans. In a sense, by shooting me
from the cannon they were shooting themselves up too.
I was simply the spokesperson. And what an honor it was
to be the spokesperson, to carry the weight of the whole human
family on my skinny shoulders. Fuck, I thought to myself. I always
knew metaphors would be my downfall. “I am flattered,” I said
to my friend Amy. “I understand this is quite an honor. But
why do I have to be shot from the cannon? I would rather
do some community service, or maybe give a speech.”
I am quite anxious about public speaking, so you can tell
how serious this was to me. I was not looking forward to being
shot from the cannon at all. For one thing, no one who had been
shot from the cannon had come back to say how it went.
I couldn’t help but assume the worst about them, and now,
about myself. “Don’t worry,” Amy said. “There is probably
a place over the hill that’s better than this shitty city. That’s probably
where you’re going. Plus,” she said,” I hear the air is like
a warm blanket when you’re in it. People are so afraid of falling
that they don’t enjoy flying, but the truth is, they’re the same.”
“Wow,” I said. I was slightly offended that Amy had used my
impending doom as a way to generalize about human fear
and happiness. I didn’t have time for that. But still, she made me
feel better about the whole thing. Especially the part about
this shitty city. It was, after all, not the best place to be and the
cannon was a fast way out. So I started walking, and every time
I passed a car, I thought to myself, I love you car, this is the end. Then
I approached the receptionist at the government building. She was
licking her lips, seductively I thought, but she could have been
just chapped. I cleared my throat and said, “I am ready.” She
looked up at me and suddenly I regretted everything. I grabbed
her face and kissed her. “Oh,” she said. “Thank you,” she said.
“I will tell my boss to build a cannon. We didn’t think you’d come.”
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