Make Like a Tree
9/12/15 - 10/11/15
HOWARD ST - New York, NY
Nick Darmstaedter

Occasionally, something would go wrong with the machine and he’d have to pick up the pieces. He didn’t care about fixing the problem, though. He just re-loaded the machine and kept shooting.

He licked away the days and although his tongue was sore, it felt nice to know there was something waiting for him in the middle of it all. He’d get to the center soon enough.

“Keep licking,” Waldo told himself.

So Waldo would reload the machine, licking away and counting his coins. He tossed one of them into a fountain and wished for a girlfriend, a dirty one. Once he had her, Waldo wanted to surround himself with walls to insulate them through the coming winter. He was looking forward to the future and he’d look back on his colorful memories fondly, but there was still something missing.

To discover what he was looking for, a choice needed to be made. Waldo had come to a fork in the road, and he had to decide between the blue pill and the red pill. He knew he ought to swallow the red one, but in order to do that, he needed to leave everyone behind. That sounded weak to him. He figured that was something for people who were afraid and broken.

“A lone wolf though,” he thought to himself. That sounded cool. Yeah, he’d be a lone wolf.

“A cowboy,” he said, “on my own. They’ll call me the wanderer. Yeah, the wanderer. I’ll ride and I’ll ride. I’ll ride through the city’s backsides. I’ll roam around and around and around. Like a drifter, I was born to walk alone.”

So he left.

Gas, food, and lodging signs whizzed by as Waldo made his escape. These last reminders of his old existence were easy to let go of. He didn’t need hamburgers anymore — he’d hunt and trap his own meat. The Comfort Inn meant nothing now because he was going to build his own lodging with his bare fucking hands. He wouldn’t need to stop for gas ever again. He wouldn’t need to stop for anyone or anything.

“But,” he thought, what if they found me? Oh, how ashamed Waldo would feel to be caught with his pants down shitting in the jungle, caught by everyone and everything he tried to escape. He knew, though, that people only get found if they’re caught. Either that, or they get rescued.

He wasn’t going to get rescued, though, because he wasn’t stranded, and he wasn’t going to get caught either, cause he didn’t do anything wrong.

His plane didn’t crash on that island. He paid the tan fisherman who didn’t speak any English to take him there, and his disguise was good. He didn’t do it for the briefcase and he didn’t do it for the girl. He did it for himself. He could run. And he could hide.