When he was learning to talk, he said this.
He meant to say this.
When he was eight, he learned how to say this. He was told never to say it again.
When he struck out with the bases loaded, he said this. No one heard him.
He suspects that he wasn't truly forgiven for saying this when he was 14.
He used to enjoy saying this. Until he heard someone respond with this.
When he started dating a girl who said this, he said it, too. Until a few months after they broke up.
While drunk at a bar, he said this. The girl responded with the drink-in-face thing. Then, a guy punched him.
This, this, and this are things he learned to say in a conference room.
This, this, and this are things he learned never to say in front of the boss.
At one point, he felt there was no place where he could say what he truly felt -- especially this.
Then, he wondered if he really was the type to say this, or if it merely tempted him because he knew he shouldn't say it. Maybe he was just masking his own insecurities with that kind of talk?
So, every time he felt the urge to say this, he said this instead. People gave him strange looks.
When he said this, they asked him if he was serious.
So, he settled on saying this, which wasn't too this or that.
When he met her, the first thing he said to her was this.
He soon said this.
During that big argument, he never should have said this.
He felt like such a heel, he said this, over and over again.
When he got married, he said this, and his parents wept and his new wife kissed him.
While visiting France, he said this, which was not on the menu.
This is what he often says upon tasting his favorite foods or beer.
This is what he often says when he hears a favorite song.
This is what he says during those dark moments, like when he hasn't had enough caffeine. (He always regrets it.)
This is what he said on the days his kids were born.
This is what he said when his father passed away. This is what he never said to his father. This is what he said to his mother that day.
This is what he thinks he'll tell his daughter when she asks about guys.
This is what he plans on telling his son when he asks about girls.
This is what he'll say to his wife after each occasion.
This is what he'll say when his kids move out. That'll be a hard thing to say.
This is the career advice he'll give them.
This is what he'll say if his daughter gets married.
This is what he'll say if his son gets married.
This is what he'll say if they don't (Note: It's the same as this.).
This is what he'll say to his wife when the house is too quiet.
This is what he'll say to her in the darkened movie theater later that day.
This is what he'll say to her when he realizes time is running out.
This is what he'll say if he gets a chance to tell his family a final goodbye.
This is what he'll want said at the memorial.
This is what it will say in the private notes to his wife, son and daughter.
Until then, he's going to say things like this, this, and this.
This, too. As strange as it might sound.
[Jamie Allen does this.]
[Forever after at http://eyeshot.net/allenthis.html]
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WELCOME TO THE EXTRA-SPECIAL LOW-DOWN EXPLAINER SECTION
ACCOMPANYING TODAY'S POSTING, PRESENTED IN THE FORM OF AN E-MAIL CORRESPONDENCE
BETWEEN THE AUTHOR HIMSELF, JAMIE ALLEN, FORMER PITCHER WHO IN HIGH SCHOOL ONCE
STRUCK OUT FUTURE YANKEE GREAT TINO MARTINEZ, & THE EYESHOT EDITOR,
LESTER HAYES, CORNERBACK OF THE OAKLAND RAIDERS EMERITUS, #37,
WIDELY KNOWN FOR HIS GRATUITOUS USE OF THE NOW-ILLEGAL
FOOTBALL-ADHERING SUBSTANCE KNOWN AS "STICK-UM."
[BOTH MR. J. ALLEN & MR. L. HAYES WILL BE APPEARING AT THE TRITONE IN
PHILADELPHIA ON THE NIGHT OF OCTOBER 10TH, 2003 -
come to philadelphia this coming weekend]
From: Eyeshot's Hindenburg Complex of Infidels & Crusaders
Date: Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:43:32 PM US/Eastern
To: Jamie Allen
Subject: Re: want 'This?'
I like this. And thought it interesting. But I'm not sure I quite know what to make of it. I guess I might have liked if there were something else to it, not sure what, but some more of a hint as to the intention. Maybe I just didn't quite get it. It's interesting, as I said, and sort of elegant (not complicated etc), but I guess I'd prefer to have a hint about what you're getting at. So, therefore, thusly, I guess I won't accept it right now but would maybe like to know what you were trying to do and then maybe offer suggestions for revising it a little. Again, I like it, but I'm not convinced just yet. Usually when I read your stuff I know pretty early on what I want to do, but not so with this. Let me know . . .
From: Jamie Allen
Date: Tue Sep 17, 2003 2:32:27 PM US/Eastern
To: Eyeshot's Hindenburg Complex of Infidels & Crusaders
Subject: Re: want 'This?'
Hey, so I never got back on my purpose behind "this." Actually, I typed up an email, longish, and sent it, but the fucking thing never went. So here's a condensed version, I'm hoping:
You know how on blogs people do the links to say what they mean?
"For an inside look at how much Bush sucks ass, check out this article over at ..."
The result, for me anyway, is that when you visit these sites it's all promise of other stuff, out there, floating around. It's about the possibility of the link. Also, it's a really lazy way to write. You don't actually write, you just steal opinions. The New York Times had something recently on how we're all a bunch of copycats, from music piracy to movies based on comic books. And they mentioned the blog thing, too (and I went, 'hey, see, I'm not the only one.').
So, I tried to tackle that idea with "this." The guy's life in it is pretty normal. But I was hoping that because I left out the links, it would lead readers to use their own imagination and probably come up with something better. The fact that the things this person said are missing makes them more interesting, in my mind. What did he not say to his father? What did he say at 14? Each person who reads it will come up with something slightly different, so the story will be slightly different to everyone, a whatchamacallit picture with different interpretations all around. A mad libs. A funny sad thing!
Also, I think all blogs should do this for one day. The world will not collapse. But it might be a little more interesting.