Francisco Pizarro

by dschapman

I sat in my chair with my face to the sun while the partygoers around me ate crawfish. They boil the crawfish alive in pots on giant Cajun burners, Bayou Classics, and pour the cooked bugs across wooden planks where people split their corpses and suck the flesh from the shell. I should eat some but I don’t like bottom dwellers. I am a very picky person and I’m ashamed of it, but I don’t eat crawfish.

I spent the rest of the day sitting in a paddle boat in the middle of the pond. An umbrella was overturned in the water next to me and snakes had congregated around it.


I miss the ocean. I never liked the ocean but I miss it now. Any ocean would do. It’s like I’ve never even seen the ocean. I could see it if I tried. Why don’t I try? I could drive. I could fly, if I wanted to. I have enough money. There is no better price. There will be no better time.

I walked through town at night and I saw a girl approaching. “There’s my girlfriend,” I joked to myself. And guess who it was? I stopped and I talked to her. I smiled and was kind and friendly. She told me she had a boyfriend now. I laughed at the very idea of it. It was impossible for me to imagine. I suddenly felt very close and affectionate towards her, and even a little jealous. It felt good to have emotional responses to things. It reminded me of the way people are in the movies.

I left town and decided to go to a movie.

I’ve heard it said that it’s strange to go to the movies alone. I do not think its true. It has also been said that it is sad to eat alone in a restaurant. That may be true, but I have my doubts. I do both of those things every week, every night it seems. I waste money and I consume what I can, by myself, and I do not feel alone.

It’s amazing the gifts we have all been given. I can’t even stand it some of the time. I love the animal kingdom and I love the human race. There is food as far as the eye can see and the valleys are full of water and wine. I am safe from my friends and my enemies. Society is real and civilization exists. I am a civilized monkey. I am a master consumer. It’s so stupidly lucky and I can’t even stand it. I even have my parents – imagine that! I even have my youth.

I had a lot of money once. I lost a lot of it, because I am a baboon. I have managed to earn some of it back. I do not like money anymore.

I should be an economist.

My friend is engaged with an accountant making $140,000 a year. Where do these jobs come from? What do all these people do, and how did they get there? Well, networking and nepotism, is the answer to that. I could have networked once! But its too late now. I’ll never earn an honest living. I could have been a bricklayer, once. Or a doctor. Now I am sorry for myself, because I do not earn any money, and everyone knows that money is how they measure the civilized man. And I very much want to be civilized.

I like civilization and I like the idea of animal magnetism. I like that when I am standing next to another monkey that monkey will not kill me. The monkey will not even hurt me. It is like we walk around with force fields around us. I like the Western World. I like Japan. I like Keynesian economics. I would like the world to do well. I would like to do the right thing. I would like to raise a family on a good wage. I would like to have children and teach them the things that I think about the world. I would like to perpetuate the cycle. I do am miserable, but I do not take my misery for granted. I am pleased to be part of it all, after all. It just takes getting used to.

I am a classicist because civilization is the most interesting thing in the universe.

Nothing different than a Greek god, after all. Just a few different words for things. After all – what is gravity? What is magnetism? It’s not as if anyone knows, it’s not as if these things are real – they are just forces, and we give them names. Forces shape us and our world and we in turn shape forces. Nothing remains untouched.

I better be careful what I say. I would hate to sound metaphysical.

Gin and tonic – I drink what I can. I can not drink much.