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Testing The Hypothesis That Stories Are Nicer When They End With Tea
by James Adler

Jimmy was quite an attractive young boy. Look at our young boy, his parents would modestly brag, asking: is he not attractive? Quite attractive, was the usual reply.

While still a boy, but not as young, Jimmy developed a love of sniffing gasoline — one he shared with a neighborhood friend. One day Jimmy and his friend were floating happily around Jimmy's garage. Without thinking, his friend lit a cigarette while Jimmy was leaning over the gas can. A stray spark caught, and Jimmy's face was enveloped in flames. The severe burns horribly disfigured Jimmy who lost the majority of his nose as a result of the accident.

Even after extensive reconstructive surgery, he was still an unpleasant sight— a far cry from his formerly attractive self. He lost nearly all of his friends and never had a long term or successful relationship. Perhaps saddest of all was that his previously proud parents wanted little to do with him, unable to overcome their own revulsion at the sight of their formerly attractive son. Perhaps even sadder was that Jimmy did not live to see the movie The Man Without A Face starring, and directed by, Mel Gibson, which, had he seen it, would doubtless have been of some comfort to him. However, many times before his death Jimmy would take a little comfort in a nice cup of herbal tea.

* * *

In a small, poor village, far away from here, there lived a woman, named Alice, with seven kids to care for. Her husband had been killed in the war, and she herself was unable to work because of a debilitating injury. It was very difficult for her to care for her young family—every day was a struggle. The family might not have been so badly off, except that in addition to her injury the woman also had a severe addiction to gambling.

Things became truly desperate when the government threatened to repossess the land upon which the family home sat, as Alice had not paid her taxes in many years. Not insensitive to her pleading, the government granted her four months to find the money she needed, so Alice vowed not to spend another penny on gambling and, with the exception a small lapse now and then, she managed to follow her plan.

Despite her perseverance, on the night before the government was to take ownership of her land, Alice still did not have the money required to pay the taxes she owed. When she woke the next morning she was fraught with fear for her families' future. As she prepared what little breakfast they were to have during what was to be their last morning in their home, Alice listened to the lottery numbers being drawn on the radio, as she did every morning. Amazed and astounded, she realized she had won! All the families' problems were solved! They could now pay their taxes and move into a nicer home in a better neighborhood! Money would never again be a concern. As Alice brewed herself a nice pot of strong, dark tea to celebrate her good fortune, she suddenly realized that the last number on her ticket was 13, not 15.

* * *

Reading in bed one night I decided that the overhead light was much too bright. I rose from bed to rectify the situation. Upon switching off the overhead light, which was located by the door, the room was blanketed (more like enveloped really) by darkness. Not being able to see, I had to walk slowly towards the desk upon which my lamp rested, feeling in front of me for said lamp. Normally my desk is situated at a level somewhat below the midsection. Being more or less immobile, and certainly not able to move of its own accord this was true at the time at which the story took place and is likely true even as you read this. However, in searching for the lamp in the dark I was leaning and sightly crouched. Thus is came about that my groin met with he corner of the desk. Met with he corner of the desk somewhat forcefully. The desk did not give. I crumpled to the floor clutching myself and writhing in some amount of agony, crying like a small child. The next day I would recount the story to an uninterested and unsympathetic friend over a lukewarm mug of tea.

James Adler wishes he was as cool as me.

* * * * *

Notes I Made on the Notes I Found on the Table Named Notes I Found on East 29th, by Matthew Dorrell and Other Matters of Varying Concern
by Kent Bruyneel

We have a house now. It is higher than any of the others in our area. There are three bedrooms and Matthew's probably has the best view. But mine is bigger. And neither of us have very many things on our walls. Not nearly so much so that you might walk into either of our rooms—say Matthew's for instance—and say "Man, there are a lot of things on your walls." It is a good house all by itself.

We are in the process of trying to make a book—which we would like you to buy some day please—out of the material currently and futurely appointed part of Forget. We are doing all this talking about books, and not a little about websites, in this great house that has windows taller than fences. And it's not just the sun that punches through, and further bleaches that dining room table a sort of brown white.

Last night while walking toward the 29th Ave. Skytrain station, on East 29th actually, Matthew found a stack of note pad pages all charted and written on by, we are guessing, a 17 year old boy.

The last page has only a few words— in sharp contrast to the rest of the stack which is cleverly filled with grades and notes and plans and dreams and all things one should write down on notepads that get lost as you run for the train or maybe the bus and you are screaming: "wait, Jesus I am right here, can you not see me? Please wait for me because I will make good company and I am a good student of people not just books. Jesus could you just please wait for me!"

It says only:

"Tues. 3am July 9 02
EVERYTHING I do, or have done
has been wrong"

Well. I should like to meet this person—17 year old or not—if for no other reason than to take the strongest possible issue with this last proclamation.

From our gleaning you are not only a good student but a fine writer of notes and graphs. And, man you are welcome here on Saturday with us when all our friends will be here or at least most of them and we will put our arms around each other—you and I—but we won't force it, don't worry. And I'll ask you about the week of Canada Day. Actually every day before the ninth. Tell you about mine.


Kent Bruyneel would like all of you to know that there is actual change going on at this publication. Soon I will no longer be the only one, or even the main one, updating this site with its content. And we will shortly be returning to a somewhat daily schedule (note: somewhat). We are also moving servers, establishing a proper submission procedure (note: sorry to all who have not heard back. shit is wrong and we are working on it.), getting new email addresses (note: you can now reach the editor, the creative director and all three senior editors by sending an email to "insert first name of chosen party"@forgetmagazine.com) ending our subhosting arrangement and growing all the way up.



* * * * *


Drunk Tank
by Nick Thran

Stampede Weekend. Ferris Wheels. Tie Downs.
Right now you’re sure the most beautiful woman
in town is giving her cordial half
wave out the top of a polished red Firebird.
The celebratory sounds of brass
winds and snare
drums seep through the air vent- Music
to accompany the slow march
to sobriety, to self loathing. Lace-less,
it’s the small things, when taken away,
that hurt. Beaded necklace and belt
are gone. You’re staring hard at the white
cell walls, the way
that beautiful woman might stare
at her bare chest, after
her final obligation, and the Ms Something,
her name, has been lifted. Peering
closer at the flecks of paint, you wonder
if maybe that is your reflection there- if intoxication
could smear the features of a face
that much. Under the halogen cell lights
anything’s possible: so picture cotton candy,
ten gallons, and all of the poorly constructed
floats with their flower arrangements
in your mind. C’mon, whether it’s only
an eight hour stint, or life,
who hasn’t felt
sequestered, cut-off, prohibited
from just watching, let alone
being a part of the parade?


Nick Thran does not now. He knows us.

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