When I Told Harris

Harris has always been my biggest fan. Every stupid thing I’ve ever tried to publish has been met with, “Dude, this is suh-weet.” My first TPB, “The First Couple O’ Years” is awful; he says it’s one of the best things he ever read. Same with “Steel Fro.” Same with “l(a.” Same with “Jed Jr.” I think he believes that these are the best things ever because we think so much alike and each of these books reflect what I’m thinking at the time they were written. He reads my stick-figure picture-books and sees his complex thoughts simplified and concise.

A couple days before my second appointment, I called him from work. He’s a cop now, so a lot of his stories – instead of being about ideas – are about the cases he’s worked and how the people involved died in horrific ways. When he answered I did my usual, “Hey. What’s goin on?” He told me about some call he went on the night before where some guy locked himself in the bedroom and killed himself.

Toward the end of his story, when he got into “cop speak” (“I was toward the end of my Five and Fifty-Six when the Hairbag and known KGer told me all about the NEOTWY…”) I decided to interrupt him with my story about possibly having heart surgery sometime soon. He said, “Oh yeah?”

There was a beat, like he was trying to figure out if he was going to add something on to his story or respond to what I said, “Wait. What?”

I told him again and he started to do what I knew he would: he tried to argue with me. “Well you know you’re not going to get a free brake inspection without the break guy telling you you need new brakes.” “Did you ask him specifically?” “How come you’ve been fine all these years and then suddenly this?” “It’s just another business to them, dude.” He asked if I had tried to argue with the doctor. He knows that surgeons like to do surgery so he gave me a list of questions and arguments to try. He basically suggested everything I did.

Up until this point, I was unsure if my reactions to this news were appropriate. After seeing Harris’, I knew that they were.


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