More Unsecret Dialogues of S and J – SURPRISES.

The creaking doors swished open and a silence permeated the waiting area as two figures seemed to eerily materialize from nowhere behind the frosted glass doors.
S’ eyes met with those of her partner in crime for the first time in days; this was the first time they’d met since the “incident” took place. As S’ newly deemed co-defendant, J knew she should not be there for the release of her friend from custody, but could not help herself. And, upon the swishing sound, J walked directly toward the figures of a cranky, uptight police officer and her best friend.

“Are you good?”

J whispered as she fumbled with the tangle of keys she nervously clung to. A jingling sound resounded in the vault-like building.

“I’m fucking lovely.”

The monotoned statement was followed by a tight shutting of S’ jaw. Then, S hastily added,

“I’m hungry.”

The officer irritatedly shuffled through a closely guarded stack of documents and handed S some paperwork before saying rather pompously:

“Here’s your court date and miscellaneous information regarding your bail bond, etcetera… don’t screw it up.”
S snatched the pages from the policeman with a sniff of disgust and rolled her eyes exaggeratedly.


And with that, the noisily chatting women exited the building into the dusky evening outside.

“Maybe we should have thought that through a lil’ better, huh?”

J shuffled through the paperwork as S sped the beat up old truck through the city towards the comfort of the outskirts.

“Give me a light.”

S muttered through the cigarette hanging between her lips. J sparked her lighter and S puffed and inhaled deeply, rolling down the crank window with her free hand.

“It was very well thought out.”

The shorter woman calmly lowered her voice as she inhaled and exhaled the cigarette smoke in her slow, calculated way.

“It’s just that someone went and ran his mouth about it.”

J whipped her head to the left in an attempt to glimpse a look at her friend’s face in the darkened cab. She saw immediately that S wasn’t in a joking mood, and, that she meant what she had just said with deadly seriousness.

“Someone?”

The taller woman’s voice held a tone of disbelief in it’s query. She held her gaze steadily across the front seat at the driver’s frowning profile.

“Yes, someone who wasn’t arrested, but who also, knew enough to sing on us like a canary.”

S tossed her cigarette butt out the window as the truck eased onto the freeway. The cab was silent for long moments as they headed for the reservoir.

“Where are we going?”

J had true curiosity in her voice as she lit her own cigarette and toyed with the lighter, sparking it unnecessarily in the darkness.

“Don’t you want to know who that someone is?”

Now, it was S’ voice that carried tones of leery disbelief in her question. The last two words of her sentence, the: “someone” and the “is”, seemed to echo in the truck cab for a long time after she re-focused on the road after speaking.

J quietly bit her lip and thought about the query for several moments before turning her face sharply toward S in the dark truck cab and saying finally,

“I really don’t know S…”

The truck speedily swerved up the misty, foggy mountain road, whipping its hefty bed around hairpin turns and bouncing over deep cracks and dips that littered the length of it. They eventually turned off onto a road known as Cannibal Creek that run adjacent to one of the many creeks running down into the reservoir.

“Why the hell are we turning here?” J’s voice was flat as she asked.

“We’re here because we need to be here.” S’ voice was flatter.

As they wound up even higher into the cloudy sky toward the summit of Razor Back Mountain, it began to drizzle lightly; suddenly, water drops were audible all over the forested areas surrounding them outside the truck. It became very quiet and cold as they reached the rickety shanty at the top of the road.

J shivered.
“Who’s in there, S?”

There was no answer. The truck rolled on slowly, pitching and rolling over the bumpy drive until coming to a barreling halt in front of the rain-slick shanty. S threw the truck into PARK and hurried out of the driver’s seat to go inside.

J was screaming after her when the door slammed closed with a loud ‘thwack’.

“Dude, you’ve been in jail for almost a week…how’d you pull this one off from behind bars?!”

She hesitantly pulled the handle that popped the passenger door open, exposing her arms to the cold raindrops that were now coming in a steady stream. Leading to the makeshift doorway of the dilapidated shack were rapidly spinning eddies of growing swirls of muddy foam; each mud puddle was full of pine needles and various sized pine cones awash within its pool. A large owl sat solemnly on a beam that ran across the ruins of what once had been a sun porch connected to the entrance of the tiny place. The bird of prey stared at the women hard; it watched S and J with grey/yellow speckled, quite dilated eyes that followed their’ positions as they approached without a sound.

J was obviously in the first stages of her quite notorious “frustration meltdowns”.

As S’ tiny tinkerbell hand wrapped around the rusty knob, she turned to J and said, almost in a whisper:
“Shhhhhhhh…it’s a surprise…”

J’s eyes rolled upwards with exasperation and her tongue clicked loudly in disgust. She practically growled at S in a low tone now,


“I fucking hate surprises, S…”

The door swung wide.

Like The Day Is Long.

If I could bottle my own motivations,
And drop that bottle into the open void,
If I could paint a scene of my own salvation,
And have it hand delivered by the one decoyed;

If I could wrap my severed hands in an icebox,
Mail them across the seas to my partner in crime,
If I could say blessings over freckles and dreadlocks,
If I could throw you a party with silent mimes;

If I could will myself to feel your presence now,
If my strength held up even halfway to your own,
If I I could let you lick my wounds somehow,
If I could warm my soul at your hearthstone;

If I could articulate the growing hole in my heart,
If I could lift the fog from the inky moors of my mind,
If I could capitulate to the the cold and dark,
If I could sift the bog for my lost days’ worth of time;

If I could bake you an edible birthday cake,
If I could share your laughter on the windswept shore,
If I could be enlightened by the time it’d take,
If I could swear not to care anymore;

If I could write down all the ways I adore you,
If I could stay on pitch and sing you a song,
If I could bite down on any hand that’s hurt you,
If I could, I would; like the day is long.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM
(The Bear Trainer)

https://amalijaamalie.wordpress.com/


❤ From your ever-faithful sidekick.

A Jewel Dealer.

The bellboy silently closed the heavy hotel door behind him as he left the cushy room. S swallowed hard and calmly shut her eyes. She let her head roll back against the wall and began to quietly count to herself in the dark closet. She heard J’s voice float to her in the darkness, boisterously speaking to the man who’s name was signed on the hotel paperwork scattered across the glass coffee table about 10 feet in front of the closet.

J was carrying on about pointless things, trifling topics that filled the empty space between herself and the jewel collector she was captivating with nonsense.

“75…76…77…”
S stealthily sat up on her haunches, readying herself to spring to her feet.
“85…86…87…”

“I hear it’s lovely there in the spring.”

She heard the sarcasm oozing from J’s low murmuring voice through the darkness.

“95…96…97…”

The footsteps were growing louder, getting nearer, the floor beneath S shook lightly as they approached the closet she was hidden it, lying in wait.

As the closet door opened, S registered the surprise in the face of the jewel dealer; he knew he had been gotten. The jacket he had intended to hang up in the closet was already wrapped tightly around his torso from behind, and J’s maniacal grin peeked at S through the darkness from over his left shoulder.

“Don’t make a sound.”

S was deftly binding his legs already and, rather gracefully, switching her position in the closet with the jewel dealer’s next to J. THUD. The man fell full on his weight like a sack of potatoes into a heap on the closet floor. Two wide eyes staring up at the calmly poised women from the floor of the closet.

“Give us the keys.” J thrust out her hand towards the panicked face in the inky darkness.

“I…I…”

The jewel dealers words stuttered pathetically through gasps and quiet sobs.

“You will be a ghost full of regrets if you don’t stop talking and hand me those keys.”

S was wearing her serious face as she said this. Nervous pocket shuffling in the closet; keys jingling, coins rattling, until finally a small ring with two tiny nondescript keys on it was tossed through the space between them. A groan of miserable defeat followed from the closet.

Crooked Finger.

I know you’ve made the effort,

to fish me out and throw me aloft,

you’ve been on belay for a decade,

awaiting the tension on my end to let off,

you typically would never bother with,

hand-holding of the incompetent,

you have no patience or tolerance,

with things that lean to your detriment,

yet somehow your open palmed hand,

remains out to me, wherever I am,

even if I don’t know where I stand,

the bear blazes trails to the lamb,

I probably disappoint your mind,

and let your spirit down all the time,

I probably don’t very well epitomize,

the things you stand for in my own eyes,

I guess I feel heavy against your soaring flight,

like a weight on your ankle without any right,

I want you to achieve the dreams in your life,

with both of your hands free to win the fight,

            you’ll need both hands to accept the trophies,

            to stab at the person breaking and entering,

            to sign checks, breaks necks with your badassery,

            keep your hands free from the mess known as me.

 

 

 

The Unsecret Dialogue of Gravediggers.

“You can’t just walk around using your hand as a testicle vice at will, S!”

J appeared drunk as she bobbed and wove in front of her friend’s face, sweat running down her forehead and into her eyes as she chucked another shovel-head of earth out and over her right shoulder.

“Are you even listening to me, S?”

S wasn’t listening; she was instead, absorbing the things that were coming out of J’s mouth.

“Fine, at least dig, then…it’s hot out here; the buzzards are coming.”

J pointed a pterodactyl-like finger past S’ head, aimed high on the horizon, whereupon a kettle of the grotesque, awkward carrion birds slowly descended through a clear, hot sky towards the spot where the girls dug. With her other hand, she handed S the shovel she’d been digging with and went to the trunk to get another one, so as to speed this undertaking along.

The Unsecret Dialogue of Testicle Injuries.

PART 1

 

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Fast forward about twenty(ish) years from the day on the wharf when J was labeled a “sexual deviant” for the simple and innocent act of trying to keep the inattentive and tom-boyishly uncouth S’ dress from blow up during a wind gust. In hindsight, the deep shade and electrocuted expression on the poor bastard’s face has become one of J’s most treasured memories; and the mere thought of that specific moment in time is the source of multiple stomach muscle injuries as a result of hardy laughter. But as all things are between S and J, the circumstance was rather damning and getting more difficult by the second for J to navigate a way for it to end peacefully (not that any chance of a peaceful resolution hadn’t been thrown out the window the instant S made the dude’s junk into a necktie, but hey – she had to try).

J pushed the milkshake back over to S and maneuvered the straw into her mouth, seeing as how she was rather “tied up” just then; S took a big drink and let out the proverbial “post-Kool-Aid Ahhhhhhh” but remained like a statue otherwise. The girls both fell to staring at the man next to S at the bar – the man who’s nuts she’d mistakenly manacled as Darth Trump’s;

“You know what, S?”

J suddenly shrieked over the bar;

“I totally see it…”

“Yeah…you do?”

S’ eyes shot like darts up at her friend’s endeared face as J examined the man’s visage with the intensity of scientist;

“You aren’t just saying that to make me feel better?”

J leaned closer to them;

“Tut Tut; I could’ve easily made the same mistake from behind, I mean look at that rodent carcass on his fat head!”

The man let out a short yelping sound as S and J broke out into maniacal laughter at the expression on his miserable face; and J gave him a exaggerated wink.

“What’s your poison, El Jeffe?”

She asked the question with a blatantly overdone Hispanic accent, juggling a few bottles in front of her cockily.

drank

Continental Story Books.

She wrote for me,
a book of recipes,
filled page upon page –
with the ingredients I’d need,
and, day after day –
it’s a book I still read;
detailing poisons –
in her own handwriting,
pressed in between –
old weathered binding,
soft leather skin,
full of soul, and divinity;
a handbook,
to guide through,
the dark days ahead –
written in a language,
spoken to and by the dead,
and it should be clear –
why I hold so dear,
the words that I have read;
she drew a picture-book,
and dedicated it me –
filled it with her paintings,
and photos of the beach,
chained it,
with a padlock,
beneath iron lock and key…
and the only person,
on this Earth,
who can open it –
is ME.

The (Un)Secret Childhood Dialogue Chronicles -Tap Shoes.

I remember once when we were only about 5 years old, and minutes away from our debut on stage in our first (and last) dance recital; I was so nervous I couldn’t see straight, but S could’ve cared less about the people or the lights or the crowds of strange little girls to compare ourselves with.I recall so vividly too, as we sat backstage finishing the touches on our stupid little outfits (which were, by the way, exceptionally glitzy and covered in sequins and glitter, complete with a huge feather we each had to pin in our hair), S was fidgety as usual and muttering to herself.

“What? I can’t hear you…” I shouted to her ear as I pulled the hairbrush through her dark, wild hair before attempting for the final time to get the obnoxiously huge feather pinned in.

“I just still don’t know how good of an idea this whole “dance recital” thing is, you know?”

S had both hands up to make the bunny ears around the words dance and recital. The feather floated from my hands once again and glided in rocking motion to the dusty floor. We both sighed; I looked her over and saw that she was messing with her tap shoes, struggling to get them and tie the puffy ribbon laces.

“I know you hate this…but we’re almost up, S…get your shoes on!” I leaned down to help her with shoes as I hollered, “We’ve been over this – I know I owe you big time for coming to dance class with me…”

“-…and especially for making me dress like this!…my feet are killing me and we haven’t even been on stage yet!”

S’ helium voice rose to a staccato above the music and clapping of the audience. She pulled and heaved at her little feet in vain to finish getting her shoes on as I searched desperately for my left shoe. It only took me a second to see that S had it and was trying like Hell to make it fit on her right foot.

“Well, no wonder your feet hurt, that’s my shoe…”

Needless to include, our debut was hideous and we dropped out of dance class immediately following the police inquiry.

The “Whyer” (An Un-Secret Chronicle).

Toilet Seats and Vaseline.

 

In spite of the obvious answer to such wonderment, the young S was always genuinely shocked by the amount of time that she and her best friend spent in the dreary realm of “consequence” that one must visit upon being caught and deemed guilty of a thing; and her honest queries regarding this topic had J in regular meditation surrounding the (now, un-secret) adventures of she and her playmate.
S was a “why-er”; she was never satisfied with the answers that adults gave her on any subject, having been born deeply embedded with the distrust of the world’s top Conspiracy Theorists.
While daydreaming in after-school-detention (an almost daily trifle in their juvenile lives, Monday through Friday), S had the tendency to ponder she and J’s being there on the deepest of levels, following up the thinking spell by writing a four-page summary of her opinions on the scenario, crumpling the two sheets of paper into a hopelessly ink-smeared ball; and then, proceeding to chuck it at a professional baseball pitcher’s speed from across the room to J.
Once, upon being given an unsatisfactory answer (about the original scout of Mount Rainier) from an adult at a holiday party thrown by J’s somewhat uppity grandmother, S took a poll among the rest of the guests present, and had calculated and announced its results (which were, I should add, NOT in the favor of the original adult answer-giver, after all) before the party’s conclusion. S didn’t gloat, however.
It was times such as these that J wondered to herself in earnest:
How old will S and I be when we land ourselves in the slammer?
So it went, that through the childhood years of these two uniquely blended souls, and without fail, each and every time that the two of the youngsters found themselves in trouble, and subsequently paying the consequences or making amends for said trouble, J would find herself under a barrage of verbal bullets in the form of inquiries surrounding the miserable circumstances. It isn’t as if the S’ huge arsenal of ever-replenished appendages to the bottom line question of “why” bothered J; in fact, without the company of her best friend during her younger years of Life, J most certainly would have grown up to be much different in character and disposition, as S’ perpetually running interrogations undoubtedly molded J into the opinionated and exacting person she is, ever stimulated by the tickling in her young brain by S in this way.
It worked both ways, too; as S spent her time feeling an innate sense of alarm and impending danger at all times, as a direct result of the friendship shared between them. Hyper-vigilante S was always a little over-protective of dreamy J, and continues to be to this day; but during the days of their youth, the one always harbored a compelling notion of security towards the other. From the outside looking in on the girls’ connection, it certainly appeared a strange combination of traits that held the two girls so closely bound to one another, being as night and day different as they were.
For instance, S has the personality of a chucker, and resorted almost instantly to fist fighting (or worse) on the playground when she was faced with opposition of any kind (withstanding that of her beloved J); plotted hideously diabolical schemes, and launched the most elaborate of hoaxes and pranks against their natural childhood enemies when called to action. J, on the other hand, was much more apt to being soft and tended to shy away from confrontation, preferring to logically figure out the root cause of any differences that arose between her and others. There had been many times that after walking away from a situation that J was certain she had successfully hashed-out with a peer on the playground, only to be informed that the very same student had come by some horrible “accident” in the aftermath. A tell-tale sign of S’ inevitable involvement was the fact that during these particular instances, not a single “why?” was muttered to J in the whispered conversations that came in their wake.
The result of such variances in personality and behavior between the girls became the rough outline of the solid bond that can be observed today. Where many young children who foster un-becoming friendships during the years in Life when one is still uncertain of one’s own preferences, tend to grow out of such a role by high school, J and S honestly seemed to not notice the blaring contrast between them. The years passed by with only the pains and struggles of the Outside World touching the girls; and the cushion between the two of them, an element that allowed them to just “be” with each other, never softened or faded or burned out. If anything, the enchanted web woven throughout the days lived by them only served to strengthen and protect them from the Outside World and its never-ending stream of hardships.
In summary, the terrifyingly alert and disturbingly cool S that currently walks around scaring the Hell of people and totally lacking any verbal or mental filter, whatever, actually has a much more calm and nurturing side than most might suspect. J smiles to herself even now; to think of the handfuls of times that little S looked up at her so curiously and asked,

Why?”

Propinquity.

It is all born
of a unique fact
the long-gone act
of the way we tie
closely together
through space and time;
the closeness defined
stronger than steel
your back against mine;
knowledge of Life
given to us by;
the archaically blessed
and most ancient of divine;
passed along down
a dried-out bloodline;
the circumstance
concocted like potion
of happenstance;
that tickling, vague notion
rolling and bending
like the tides in the ocean;
but never broken
beneath such crushing mass
a written word –
not anything spoken;
the act of
being based upon;
a kindred spiritual root
that grows deep and ever-long;
they tried to bury
something so incredibly strong
a truth they’ve kept in secrecy
and in the midst
of their stupidity,
the feebleness makes them forget
a scary variant
the element
of our propinquity.

Pinky Fingers in a Champagne Tub.

They took my finger,
it was the right-hand runt;
they chopped it clean off
and cauterized the stump;
I couldn’t believe it,
even as I sweat and bled;
while they closed my wound
I  brooded on my pinky, instead;
And when the shock wore off,
and they dumped me down the block;
I came with my remaining four,
pounding on your secret door;
Where did they take your finger?”
you demanded to find out;
hell-bent on reconnoitering,
racked your rounds and bombed out;
You returned with twenty seven;
pinky fingers in a champagne tub,
you held it out in front of you;
an offering of my murderous Coconut;
I crushed through pink ice cubes and fingers,
but not one of them was mine;
I stared at my heavily bandaged hand,
and you said, “We’ll get it next time…

Min Ven.

night horse

A Toast
from one dead soldier,
to another –
cheers
from one dawning sun,
to the moonlight –
let’s get fucked up tonight;
this life’s been hard,
hard as fuck to survive,
skål
let the tears fall,
my friend –
we’ve been
through it all;
fighting back to back,
through the fires
of living Hell…
seën
to all of our times alive,
to our many defeated
victories stacked up high;
velsigne dig
a key that we found
in the enemy’s pocket,
a while back –
we both knew what it unlocked,
and so it was tossed
into a well as we passed;
min ven:
Moenie bang wees nie,
this too, shall pass us by –
like the many storms weathered
between you and I,
you will keep walking,
right here at my side,
and I shall abide.

day horse

Half-Bred Beast.

Through the vastness,
of Human eternity,
scatter all roads,
ever taken by me,
the archaic line,
of woven patches,
sewn intricately,
into man-made time,
indefinitely;
Never in so long,
did I ever meet,
another earthly creature,
one part: Woman,
and, one part: Beast,
muscular-skeletal control,
over walking legs,
that naturally,
upright stand,
very deeply,
mindful,
steeped by,
self-control:
this creature…
‘Sam I am’;
Try traveling again,
without,
the face,
of this friend,
try carrying on,
as if it’s:
all just fine again,
nothing between,
the hearts,
of just me,
and, specifically –
this companion,
has ever been,
happy at the end;
Indemnified,
for she and I,
there’s no limit,
to the blue,
that ever-paints the sky,
no limit to the shading,
of green streaks,
spreading far and wide,
my friend, it’s true:
shooting stars,
are just the glue,
that keeps the twinkle,
alive to our eyes.

Honnør.

An assault rifled salute to past days of bright rays…
to the ice-cream truck and sweetened pink lemonade…
to the clouds spooned into the skies like mayonnaise…

to the people we’d naively hoped to grow into someday;
– Honnør.

A headstone held up by string and a busted spade…
from a ceremony held back in the good ol’ days…
when a priestess poured blessings inside the grave…

to the bridges we’ve buried here over the years, along the way;
– Honnør.

 

A wooden box that our four hands built from trees…
the treasures placed inside by both you and by me…
it was the fate of that box that haunts me now, you see?…

the darkness we anchored to it by burying it so deeply;
– Honnør.

 

A marksman’s dot on both of our foreheads again…
one must offer the other a last shot at another salvation…
but in spite of everything, there’s not a second’s hesitation…

the thought of “better me it be than my spirit’s dearest friend”;
– Honnør.

Q and A.

Q: If you could be any character in the cast of ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ who would it be? Why?
A: Oh c’mon now…this is a no-brainer – as I would surely be the Chief (Bromden), hands down; I suppose my reason for choosing the Chief would be simply based on his vision and perception in regard to the world and how he believes it to operate (the Combine)…his character is uniquely insane, his tactics are admirable, and indeed, my own genetic Heinz is even similar to his.

Q: What is the definition of a ‘Lightning fast’ reply?
A: OMFG! You are such a bitch for this question, because, you know as well as I do how I want to respond to this!!! I DID actually find the screenshot you sent me early last year that was an excellent summary the answer to this particular query…hmmmmmmm…I plead the 5th.

Q: Name three Pirate Weapons suitable for wall art?
A: Are we talking generalized Pirate Weapons or “African Tools of Death”? Because in that arena, you have a fine selection displayed in your living room…as for my own wall art (if we’re talking about the Scurvy Ridden Sailor Pirates), I’d go with
a) the good ol’ Cutlass blade for its unfailing aesthetic pleasure
b) the twin pair of wheel-lock pistols
c) that long wood (and sometimes iron-tipped) stake that was used on deck whatever it was called, I don’t know but they look cool

Q: If you could choose only one Dan Simmons quote to put on a sticker to be made in bulk to stick on the windscreens on the cars of whoever you chose, which would it be?
A: Uuuuggghh! This is so not fair of you! How can I choose just one? Okay, either:
“Better to die on your feet than your knees.” – Ilium
OR
“Stupidity has a price; and it always gets paid.” – Hyperion

Q: What part of pop culture do you wish would just go away?
A: Ummm…can I say all of it, and it would count as an answer?

Q: If you could name a racehorse, what would you name it?
A: Chongo Machismo; or something.

Q: If you could have a drink with someone from history who would it be?
A: Abe Lincoln; Cutty Sark.

Q: If you HAD to sing karaoke, what song would you sing?
A: No Sleep til Brooklyn.

Q: If you were allowed to have Serge for two whole days, what would you do?
A: Omg, the possibilities…hmmmm…definitely take him somewhere local on the Light Rail because he obviously has a fondness for trains – he might enjoy a baseball game or the beach…we could go to the zoo but not go inside and he could take selfies in front of the sign or whatever…I wonder if he swims….

serge the llama
Q; I set you up on a blind date. 10 minutes in you decide the bloke is totally not floating your boat. How do you escape?
A: First of all, you would NEVER set me up on a blind date with anyone dude, c’mon geez… and, I guess you’d have my escape route all mapped out for me already if you ever did.

Q: Weapon of choice for ‘interviewing’?
A: Does my tongue count?

Q: You could inhabit the body of another human being – still living – for 3 hours. For any reason, and you could do anything you wanted. What would you do?
A: I’m thinking I’d become a teller at the bank for a few hours; and you know damned well what I’d do. 😉

Q: Where does your love of words come from?
A: My Dad’s father, my Papa Joe; he was a wordsmith from the old school.

Q: What meal do you make best?
A: Lasagna from scratch; or my French Toast is pretty good, too.

Q: If you could master any skill / trade – what would it be?
A: Taxidermy

Q; What was the last thing you laughed at?
A: This questionnaire. My fucking sides hurt now…

Q: Have you ever shoplifted, and if you have what did you lift?
A: Yes. Once when I was super young I was in Mervyn’s with my Dad and I popped open the plastic covering on a bath set in a basket in order to take a single bath oil bead, because the curiosity was eating me alive and I had to know what it felt like.

Fill in the blanks: (In bold-italic)
You won’t believe! She said “fuck“ and then I said ”oh fuck” and then the whole place just exploded because he had tried to be a fucking Magician. It was crazy. Did you see my eyebrows? Because, seriously, they’re like…gone, dude.
Q: Miss me yet?
A: Always.