As he walked south along Lexington Avenue, he imagined he was at the front of a small stage, the spotlight making him squint so that he was unable to see past the front tables.  Thinking through the lines didn’t work well for Reggie, so he vocalized them as he envisioned his performance and gestured accordingly.  This made many people along his route think he was another one of New York’s mumbling crazies, but he didn’t care.  When they eventually saw him on late night TV they’d feel different about him!  And wish they had asked for his autograph way back when.
“The first line has to be a grabber, and it has to establish the comedian’s basic character.  So how should it go?” Reggie thought.  “How about the Everyman approach?  Get them to identify with you and then twist it around so they realize just how much they’re being screwed by life.”

He started his oral rehearsal.  “Isn’t human life a true miracle?  I mean a man and a woman in love join in sexual congress at a special time in her biological cycle and in less than a year they bring a self-created offspring into the world to share its bounty with them and be their joy.  Nature at her best!

“Now, you might not believe this, but my memory is extraordinary.  I remember way back.  WAY back.  I remember that marvelous moment of my conception, for instance.  I think the grunting is what made me such a fan of professional wrestling and some genres of African music.  I’m a little unsure as to which of them said, ‘Get me off’ and which said, ‘Get off me,’ but that sperm into the egg penetration thing sure stimulated my elemental consciousness.  From then on, I took in as much as I could from the outside world through my mother’s system…healthy nutrients, necessary growth hormones, samplings of maternal emotions…caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, illegal drugs.  I found the LSD most enjoyable.  To my rudimentary sense organs, the sounds and colors were fantastic, and since I hadn’t seen the outside world yet, I didn’t know how boring reality would be compared to those wonderful prenatal distortions. 

“So, anyway, there I was, immersed in a secret little sac of my own, just growing bigger and smarter by the minute.  I could have stayed there forever, addicted to it all.  But, there comes a time for all of us when it’s time to go.  Closing time, death, graduation, parole, eviction and, of course, birth.

AUTHOR: Chet Meyer
GENRE: Short Story
PUBLISHED: Jan 18, 2010


These are stories of some of the people who passed the "people you've passed." Whether taken as they are or considered sequels to the twelve tales in Short Stories of PEOPLE YOU’VE PASSED, this unique and mature collection presents some of our unusual neighbors, their struggles, their fantasies and their often creative powers to change their own lives and the lives of others. Life is a series of causes and effects, comings and goings, hits and misses. There are hardly ever any ends, just conclusions of phases. Well, here are continuations, sometimes unexpected, of those people’s stories. The moods are touching, disturbing, startling and even erotic. We all have continuing stories, whether we are real or fictional. Are you prepared to follow the lives of these intriguing characters in Short Stories of WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?