Tag Archives: narcisism

Instagram Epigram: This Is Not A Test

Before dining, we snap not-quite-candid shots of our entree, making sure to highlight the jalapeno-pineapple compote. We caps lock and conclude: Yum.

At the beach, we prop up lathered knees and snap photos in front of the salt water backdrop before we dare dive in. We call this one: Mental Health Day.

Last night, I photographed a dead guy.[1] As of an hour ago, seventy-two people had “liked” it on Instagram.

I don’t like to make excuses, but I will. It’s important to understand there were certain factors at play: youth, narcissism, Attention Deficit Disorder. There was something going on with the moon. It was especially bright. There was some science behind it, but I didn’t want to get involved. With the science that is; the moon on the other hand…

Predictably and unremarkably, I got involved with the moon. But eventually, I had to walk home.

On my walk I saw the words, “This Is Not A Test” scrawled on a concrete wall. Beneath the words, a man lay parallel to the sidewalk. I spun around expecting to see an administrator or an audience. I found neither.

The man was wrapped in carpet from the waist up. I couldn’t see his face. Like so many of my peers, there is an unbridgeable chasm between my sense of self and reality. Because of this I decided to take a picture. It would be a memento. It would be construed as deep and conceptual. Teenagers and tastemakers would champion it. Art industry philanthropists—particularly Berliners—would fete me.

After much fame and fortune I would move to academia. I would pontificate about the importance of Shakespeare’s Sonnets[2] and I would eventually renounce the picture that led to the career that bought my home in the Palisades—now that it was paid for in full.

My canvas: A dead man under a freeway overpass. Someone else’s thought “This is not a test.” My announced confirmation.

I walked into the exhibit that I had hoped to simulate. It was not a test, but I still managed to fail. I snapped a picture of a dead man then walked home. I whistled as I walked.

This morning at the coffee shop, I learned a body had been discovered under a nearby freeway overpass. After half a cup of coffee, I thought I better head back to the underpass. Fame and fortune and Instagram followers beckoned. If there was a crime scene—specifically a chalk outline of the corpse—that would make a hell of a picture.

-The Neapolitan Mastiff

[1] The characters and events in this are fictitious. Any similarities to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended.

[2] Shall I compare thee to June Gloom?

Leave a comment

Filed under De La Moda, Staring Into A Cobalt Pool

The Argentine Sends Word

There are mornings when you catch yourself in the mirror. From maybe three or four meters away, just the slightest glimpse. You stop and stare. You’re probably wearing something stark — simple, you’re probably dressed in black. You notice a tan that’s snuck up with spring. The mirror is small and you’re far enough away that you can’t help, but turn your entire profile towards the 12×17 inch frame. In this light, with this backdrop, you can’t help but say to yourself, “shiiiiiiiiit.” Under these circumstances, you are flawless.

But this morning was not that morning. This morning the only thing the mirror did was mock me unabashedly and at close range. It pointed out the most miniscule bit of toothpaste residue sitting on the outlands of my lip. Flawless was not the word that came to mind.

A telegram arrived this morning. That’s what I was doing up, walking around, catching myself in the mirror. Jack Arranda, the concierge, tried to delicately slip the note under my door where he hoped it would skate across my obsidian floors and rest in plain sight.

What Jack Arranda forgot: I employ a mat on both sides of my front door. This is for sanitary purposes. I awoke out of a momentary slumber to Jack plunging my telegram into the secondary carpet. Jack is a gentle man, two words; he’s also a social leper.

I jumped out of the hammock and slid a la T. Cruise in Risky Business across the obsidian in my birthday suit. Upon arriving at the door, some thirty-seven meters away, I plucked the telegram from Jack’s well-manicured digits.

“Thank you, Jack.” He whistled something that sounded like the opening to Ravel’s “Bolero” in response. In fact, I was my favorite part, if I heard correctly. Holding the telegram, I slunk to the floor.

The telegram was alarming in itself. Aesthetically, it was obvious the envelope  came from some high-end paperie. The kind of place, you find  buried deep in the city’s Flower District when you’re looking for answers; answers about why the Saritaea that was supposed to cloak the bridge of your moat keeps dying. The pigmentation pattern of the envelope was frighteningly similar to that of olive loaf.

The envelope was titled: The Neapolitan Mastiff, Esq. There was an official looking seal that read B.A. and had faintest trace of a woman who was either Hayden Panettiere, Jane Lynch or Eva Perron. Evita, that Nazi hoarding, misandrist who once pulled the nails from my Grandfather’s big toes for selling imitation amphetamines, in bulk, to child dock workers in Tierra Del Fuego.

I inhaled the envelope; it smelled of fennel. I tried to rise up from the floor but my gluteus maximus seemed to have adhered itself to the obsidian. With another effort I was able to rise up. I made a mental note to call Dolores about changing whatever product she cleans the floors with to something less abrasive.

With the note in hand I headed to my desk. There I pulled out a machete I had once traded a cowboy hat for in Van Nuys, Ca.

WHACK! In one fell swoop I sliced off the top. I extracted an alarmingly wet piece of facsimile paper. I had an inclination, as to whom this was from, but when I saw the paper I knew it could have only come from one man, Jay Mapelle, The Argentine…

Jay Mapelle, is by trade, an optometrist and contact lens expert, who deals exclusively with Catalan Pyrenean sheep dogs with two different colored eyes, but I knew Jay in his youth. I met J. Mapelle, when I was just a young  dove trainer in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. And Jay? Jay was running a remote campaign from  Honduras for Prime Minister of Canada.

I held the folded up paper and let it collapse open. A watery substance dripped on my bare thigh. I took the sheet by its corners and shook it out like a sandy beach towel before letting it drop opening on the floor.

The text was microscopic. It was one word, which was shaded in all eight colors of the original box of Crayola crayons.


My heart skipped a beat, then another. Jay Mapelle was back! I crawled on my elbows and knees, dragging myself to the kitchen. I was careful not to dismember myself on the raised entryway. Still half-collapsed, I opened the refrigerator door and showered myself in Orangina. My blood sugar was dropping.

I climbed up the SubZero’s door. If the Argentine was back, there was no time to waste. I needed a disguise, a polio shot and a traveling semi-automatic toothbrush. The Argentine may have found me, but I had yet to find him. TBC.

-The Neapolitan Mastiff

Leave a comment

Filed under Red Cups, Staring Into A Cobalt Pool