My neighbor Kafir ended his obsession with Megan Fox two weeks ago.
He used to paint pictures of her in his all-white studio in his all-white house. These pictures were gaudy, roughly-textured portraits. Many of them were obscenely nude despite being based directly off of photographs he downloaded off of the Internet.
He showed those paintings to everyone. He even showed off the beaver-baring painting where he messed up the scale of Megan's taint. It was so bad that her vagina and anus appeared to be racing away from one another at maximum speed.
Kafir once told me proudly that, "Paperboy is big fan" in reference to our street's 13-year-old paperboy. I eventually got Kafir to agree to no more tours of his gallery for the neighborhood kids, but I don't think he understood why that needed to be the case.
"They love art," he protested, but gave up with a shrug. "Alright. From now on I tell them, 'Go to library, look up the Megan Fox. Work of art right there for you.' Satisfied?"
Kafir was never satisfied when it came to Megan Fox. Bigger and more elaborate was better. People used to get these wall-sized images of Hawaiian beach views and forest scenes and plaster them across their den or bedroom. Kafir's pride and joy was a homemade version of one of these images: a 12-foot wide and 8-foot tall painting of Megan Fox's face. It was just her face, looming up behind a tea table on the north wall, like the misshapen face of a giant peering into its dollhouse.
All of that is gone. Two weeks ago Kafir gave it all up at Windy Lanes bowling alley. He is on my bowling team with two guys from Spangler Heating (Ryan and Topher) and a DJ friend of one of the Spangler Heating guys. I don't know the DJ's name, but he has "TECHNO" sewn into the back of his bowling shirt so that's what I call him. Together we form the Spangler Scorpions, the second-lowest ranked bowling team in the history of the lane.
At one time the Spangler Scorpions were ranked third best at Windy Lanes. Unfortunately, some jobs were lost at Spangler Heating, certain people were blamed, and some things were said that couldn't be taken back. Now the Unlucky Strikes are the third best at Windy Lanes and I bowl for the Spangler Scorpions.
We were a few games and several beers into league night when my usual order of nachos arrived. I'm not sure what their delightful nacho recipe is at Windy Lanes, but each chip resembles a gelatinized pork rind topped with a button of jalapeno collected from beneath a refrigerator. This culinary pressure sore is then drenched in a smeggy ocean of orange-brown nacho cheese and lazily dusted with, of all things, black pepper. Half-drunk, losing, and sharing this plate of slop with my teammates was a recent tradition.
To be honest, the night was unremarkable for me, but that plate of nachos held a special significance for Kafir. The woman who brought the nachos out from the kitchen was Clowe, pronounced nothing like you'd think. She was a new employee, a robust 20-something with a rumor of facial hair and the desperate, wet-hair smell of girls at bowling alleys. Her features crowded into the center of her head afraid they might otherwise slip off the crust of her lumpy pie face.
She would never win a beauty contest, but those are for girls with extra Ys in their name and ladyboys on Maury. No, Clowe was no Megan Fox, but she had the one trait that Kafir values in women above all others: freakishly huge breasts.
It took one date for Kafir to lose interest in his Megan Fox artwork. By the third date Clowe had visited his house and the artwork was gone.
"I burn," he said, without a hint of sadness. "Everyone burn leaf. Hot cocoa, marshmallow. Fucking pumpkin patch. You know what I get? I tell you. Village fine me 200 dollar illegal burn. Should I take to court?"
I demurred. We left the pile of torched masterpieces in his yard and went inside the house for a cup of hot cocoa, marshmallow. Fucking pumpkin patch.
Clowe was visiting, wearing a fluffy robe that ill-concealed her cleavage. Her face was as small as ever. She was boiling a large pot of what might have been glue. Knowing her involvement in nachos past I did not inquire further, but it would not have surprised me if the pot full of goop was the result of rendering housecats. I waved hello and we thankfully adjourned to the den.
We sipped our hot chocolate and I pretended not to notice the fact that Megan Fox's giant head had been covered, poorly, with white paint. She still lurked beneath the surface, visible as a bluish discoloration on the white wall.
Kafir was raving about Clowe.
"Good cook, the best!" he exclaimed. "She make food every night. You know mac and cheese?"
I did know mac and cheese.
My family wasn't interested in memes or racial theory. No matter how hard I tried to connect with them, they proved extremely intolerant.
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