I like huffing permanent markers about as much as Chris Brown loves boxing, so it really came as no surprise to me when my doctor told me that I was suffering massive kidney damage due to my awesome and totally safe pastime. He told me that I needed a kidney transplant or else I would die. I told him that he should mind his own business and that he wasn’t my real dad and that I didn’t have to listen to him. Before I stole all the whiteout from his desk he asked if I had any relatives that could be tested to see if they were suitable kidney donors. I drank all of the whiteout down like an absolute champion and answered that, yes, I did in fact have relatives and that I would begin the task of tracking them down right away. I stole a pad of Post-It notes as well before running out the door. To find my family I would need to find a library.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a library in a big city? Holy crap is it difficult. If you ask every person you run into, and I run into a LOT of people all the damn time, they just tell you to get off them and that they don’t have any change. Sure, I don’t shave all that often, and washing is something that happens to other people, but the point still stands that people shouldn’t be so rude. Someone eventually gave me directions after I bailed them up outside a Starbucks. I’ve found that that works really well – if you can get to someone before they get their morning caffeine hit, then they’ll do pretty much anything to satiate their cravings for coffee. I mean it, too. Some people will do anything for coffee. Anything. The caffeine-addict gave me directions between the sobs which I was struggling to stifle with my jacket, before escaping down the street, screaming for help. I set off at a brisk pace in the direction of the library and asked everyone on the way there if they were related to me. They all answered somewhere along the lines of, ‘I sure as shit hope not!’ because the world hates me. When I got to the library I walked straight up to the front of the Disabled Persons line and demanded to know where my family was. Using the Disabled lines at government buildings, or disabled toilets and car parks everywhere else, is a great way to get stuff done quickly and conveniently; disabled people are also terrible at fighting back. The woman at the counter, obviously impressed by my confidence, told me that the genealogy section was at the back of the library and that security would be along shortly to help me out. She was a nice lady and she totally wanted me. She had this look in her eye which said that she was into bad boys, so I knocked over a blind man to show her how bad I was. When I asked her for her number she reached into her bag and pulled out a can of pepper spray by mistake and threatened me with it. It’s a really weird way to give someone your details, but women try it on me all the damn time. When I’d finished eating her can of pepper spray I wandered to the back of the library in search of my family tree.
For as long as I could remember I’d had a weeping wound on my right side, and I've seen enough House to know that that was surefire way to know that I was separated at birth. I don’t look Asian, but whatever. I figured that the best way to track down my brother with the matching kidney was to use my family tree to track down my parents, and then use them to track down my brother. I’d then drug him, cut out his kidney and get a vet I knew to install it into me. It was as fool-proof, harmless and ethically-sound a plan as I could develop in the space of five seconds. I tried using the cataloguing system to find the book on family trees, but since my reading isn’t that good at the best of times, and given that I’d been drinking WhiteOut all morning, I wasn’t having any luck. I instead used the Exploring Method and started climbing the shelves, looking for the book I wanted. I swear it took three hours to find what I was looking for, but I found it eventually on the bottom shelf next to Fox in Socks. My brother’s location would in there somewhere, so I started to read out loud and at the top of my voice. It helps me concentrate. After ten minutes I was only a few pages through Are You my Mother? And I was frustrated beyond all belief. Was it too much to ask that my long lost brother whom I had never seen before would just walk into the library that very second? It turns out not because at that very second I saw my brother walking towards me from down a long corridor. I ran towards him holding the hastily-made shiv I had constructed out of a biro and lunged it at his side as we met halfway down the hallway. This is the point where I blacked out and went back in time. I don’t remember any of the trip’s details, but I know it happened because going back in time is what happens when I black out.
When I woke up I was lying in the gutter surrounded by ambulance officers, my doctor and his secretary who was very kindly pointing two cans of pepper spray at my face. She wanted to give me her number badly. My mouth tasted like blue and I asked the doctor why that was.
‘Do you remember anything at all?’ he asked.
I nodded. ‘I remember talking to you in your office, then running to the library to find a book about my brother. I found him but he must’ve knocked me out. That’s when I went back in time.’
The paramedics looked at each other. One of them shone a light in my eyes. ‘One of his pupils is dilated, but there’s no response from the other one,’ he said.
‘Oh that’s perfectly normal,’ I said, ‘that happens all the time.’
The paramedics gave each other more strange looks and said to the doctor, ‘You’d better tell him what happened.’
The doctor cleared his throat. ‘This morning you came into my office because you were complaining of abdominal pains. I told you that it was because you were suffering from massive kidney damage from huffing textas and paint thinner. You then shouted at me, drank all of my WhiteOut and proceeded to threaten all of the patients in the waiting room with hot coffee. From there you ran into the filing room, ate a can of my secretary’s pepper spray, climbed the filing cabinet and fell off onto a chair, tearing a fairly nasty gash in your side. You then yelled something about wanting to kill your brother and attacked a mirror with a ballpoint pen before bursting into tears and collapsing in the corner.’
‘Ah,’ I said. ‘So does this mean I’m cured?’
‘No,’ said the doctor. ‘It means your kidney damage is a lot worse because WhiteOut is not a health tonic.’
‘Damn,’ I said. ‘I could’ve sworn it was.’