My Friend Shelby

My Friend Shelby

A Story by cole

A depiction of an ideal companionship.


I see my friend Shelby about 3 times a week. Usually, we’ll just pass the time with discussions or television, and maybe get some takeout as well. If we’re spending the evening watching TV, we’ll probably choose Chinese. We don’t know why, but Chinese food and television just go together. A couple of our Chinese friends have told us that the Chinese food here isn’t really an accurate representation of true Chinese cuisine. Although it is based on the traditional food, it’s been really quite tainted here in the west. I guess I figure that it’s about 50% real Chinese food, and when we watch TV, only about half of the material seems to be of any real substance, so maybe the fact that they both have such a similar bullshit ratio is what leads them to complement each other so well. 

             We usually get Lebanese food when we decide to watch a movie. I suppose Lebanese is a bit more of a treat for us. It’s healthy, rich, flavourful, and more authentic than Chinese. Sometimes I even wonder if I’m eating it correctly. It’s the sort of food that makes me want to sit up straighter. It’s a food that humbles us and makes us feel respectful and optimistic towards a film which will consume around 2 hours of our lives, and which we usually know nothing about prior to viewing. Lebanese food gifts us with a dose of culture and vividness that smoothly augments the evening when we decide to just sit down and enjoy a film.

             On nights when we get drunk, it always seems like a logical choice to order pizza. Pizza and booze both just strike me as prepackaged ingredients to fun. I guess isn’t exactly prepackaged, but it still seems like more of a product to me than a dish. The whole process of enjoying pizza and beers works a little differently than Chinese or Lebanese nights, where we simply seat ourselves down and proceed to bask in stimuli while we vegetate. The thing about the Chinese and Lebanese nights is that we’re enjoying the art of other people, and so that becomes our focus. We appreciate and enjoy it without producing anything ourselves and there’s a certain amount of culture and craft that we are experiencing and being a part of. There’s a particular beauty that is manifested on those nights through the things that we choose to enjoy that we don’t get on pizza and beer nights.

The thing about beer and pizza is that it’s instant and lazy. I think it would be asinine of us to get Dominoes and Budweiser and then spend the following hours reinforcing the repulsiveness of our gastronomical selection of the evening by being indolent pieces of s**t. These pizza and beer nights are the nights that we tend to be most active. It’s on these nights when we are left responsible for creating our own diversion,

There is no formula that exists to direct the course of our evening, but there are patterns. As we eat and drink, we’ll usually engage ourselves in an invisible wrestling match, trying to tackle one another deeper and deeper into the abyss of discussion, each one of us passively struggling to maintain the upper hand, but at the same time, staying aware of when it’s necessary to loosen our grip. If either one of us finds something down there that strikes us as being something notable then we’ll jot it down because we know we won’t remember. We usually manage to clamber out of the abyss within about two hours, at which point we nearly always feel rejuvenated and cleansed. By now we’ll have cleared out the boxes of pizza and beer, and we’ll probably start to feel a bit stuffed up inside the apartment, so we grab my camera and some water, and go outside.

We feel ready in these times to experiment with our environment; to toy with it and to taste it. We talk to as many people as we can, and we do it in our own way. We ask people the first questions that come into our heads. If we like what they say then we’ll listen to them, and if we don’t like it all, then we’ll probably cut them off with something really offensive to try and make them mad just for the fun of it. We take pictures of everybody we talk to, unless they don’t want us to and we happen to like them at the same time.

About once a month or so, usually late at night, we’ll go out and get some McDonalds. The McDonalds in our neighborhood locks its doors after midnight, but it keeps the drive thru open 24/7. Neither of us have a car, but fortunately, they’re nice enough to let us walk through. After we get our food, we’ll walk over to the nearby freight yard to eat. It’s not one of those huge freight yards that you could get lost in, but it’s still a fairly sizable place to hang out, and the freights get moved around quite a bit during the day, so it’s always a little different whenever we go there. Sometimes we climb up on the freights or, if we’re feeling adventurous, up a big tower that’s always been there. We don’t know what the tower’s purpose is, but there’s a little platform at the top where we can get a great view and throw rocks down on the freights, listening to the nice, resonant clanging sounds that they make.

As we eat our McDonalds, we yell at each other. I scream out any of my hatreds, my perverse desires, my frustrations, my obsessions, and my troubles; anything that I want. In response, Shelby does the exact same thing. We don’t ever give each other advice or consultation during these sessions. In fact, neither of us really ever says anything to acknowledge what the other has expressed. I think that we want to sometimes, but we don’t. We just b***h and wail louder and louder.


© 2016 cole

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Author's Note

I tried to upload this before, but I accidentally just uploaded nothing, so take another look :)

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My birth name is Shelby! I love how you describe everything and it's clear you're fond of this woman.

Posted 2 Years Ago

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I love food so I really loved how you matched the different foods with the characters' situations. This was really different and I thought the eating McDonald's and suddenly wanting to yell at each other was funny!

Posted 2 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on December 19, 2016
Last Updated on December 19, 2016