Shallow Dance

by Matty Sullivan

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Here's what happened...

I don’t know whether it was terrible or wonderful, but here’s what happened.

I came home and opened the door. A bat flew out and hit me in the face. A big bat, with wings and feet. I turned and ran but it chased me. So I chopped it in half. Then it died. The bat. It died because I chopped it in half. Does this make sense? Have I explained the situation well? I chopped the bat in half and it died, and the reason it died is that I had chopped it in half. The two events are not unrelated.

It was not my hand which chopped the bat in half, it was the weapon in my hand. The weapon in my hand was a Japanese Bushido-style katana forged and sharpened in the 16th century by a Shinto monk living in the foothills of Mount Takatsuma. This is a dangerous weapon, even when wielded by an ignorant redneck such as myself. I chopped the bat in half, and it died.

I had purchased the sword at a pawn shop, using money from the sale of a diamond ring which I had brought in with me. The diamond ring wasn’t mine. I had gotten it from a dead woman at the laundromat. She was dead. I found her. Someone had chopped her in half. That’s what killed her.  The diamond ring was on her finger and I took it. That’s all.

When I sold the diamond ring to the pawnshop, I had not intended to buy the sword. All I wanted was the money. I was probably going to use it to buy drugs. That’s the truth. I wanted drugs, and that’s all. Bad drugs, if I could find them. I wanted to get run over by cars and not feel it. I wanted to chew on trees. I wanted to get naked and stand in the middle of the road, screaming.

But I saw the sword and decided to buy it instead. So I bought it. That’s what I did. I’m not lying about that. I’m not lying about anything, believe me. I’m a good person, even though I enjoy doing bad things. Big fucking deal.

Anyway, I bought the sword and I took it home and opened the door and the bat flew out at my face and chased me down the driveway and I used the sword to chop the motherfucker in half. It died. It was dead, just like the lady in the laundromat—whom I did not kill, by the way. She was just laying there and I found her. She was dead. She had a diamond ring on her hand and I took it.

Was that wrong?

I can’t remember. I sold it.

You may be wondering why I’ve told you this story.

Are you? Are you confused?