Saturday, November 19, 2005

"RELAPSED JOY" is an indubitably special fast fiction based on this painting by Geoff Keong, a Vancouver artist whose work is currently showing at the Wicked Cafe (1399 West 7th Ave). Wicked.


Waking up with a jolt from power-napped dreams of effortlessly fishing hundreds of fish off the Queen Charlottes, Josh looked for the lottery ticket which had been perched on top of his whale of a belly. With no small measure of relief, he scooped it off of the floor of his bachelor pad which was coated in an afternoon's worth of empty beer bottles. Lucky Lagers clustered around the sofa like little brown buoys holding the sofa afloat.

"Who woulda thunk it. A million dollars found in the dirt," he mumbled to himself.

"And the winning British Columbia lottery ticket numbers for the evening of November 19th, 1987 are..."

His groggy eyes focused on the television and then on the tiny numbers between his fat fingers. He was never going back to that stinking fishing boat again. He would never have to work for twenty hours straight in the cold, rainy waters off of British Columbia. He would buy the fishing boat. He would buy the waters. He would buy everything he wanted, including more lottery tickets if he so desired.

And the pairs of numbers matched in increasing improbability and excitement and Josh's brains whirred with the winning numbers until he reached the crescendo of joy that he'd been dreaming about his whole life: 13 !! He stood up on the soiled cushions of the sofa and jumped up and down like a ten year old being told the institution of school has been thrown out to make way for an eternity of weekends.

And that's when the brain aneurysm burst, leaving Josh Matinaux with an exotic form of amnesia. In the ensuing operation, therapy and recovery one thing became clear: Josh Matinaux would forever jump up and down with the belief that he'd just won the lottery. After anyone told him that - no, in fact he was mistaken - he would look crestfallen for a few minutes until his amnesia stole this fact from him, returning him to that eternal state of winning joy.

The number had actually been 30 and Josh Matinaux, in his groggy, drunken, hearing-impaired state mistook it for 13.

An honest mistake.


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