or, we’re all just stories

there was once a man called Archibald Benjamin Crawford

but he thought of himself as archie

born six pounds

sex male

born of benjamin crawford and Marilyn Monroe

or so old benjy liked to say

blood type AB, he said to a Japanese RPG

on september 17th 2014 archie didn’t exist

but no one cares about what happened when archie didn’t exist

not archie

not me

blue eyes

sandy hair

a big forehead

looked just like his mother’s maternal grandmother’s pet poodle

the name of the poodle was starfreeze

or little shit, if you asked benjy

when he was six years old archie found a book

but not knowing how to read just stared at the cover instead

when he was six archie fell in love

with a portrait of Anne Frank

he had a scar on his chest about which

archie made a thousand stories

one for every time he said the story, he’d say

there are one thousand archies

after a lot of rum on summer mornings

once when he was playing football with samuel oswald brooksfield down the road

and stephanie mendoza was playing on the seesaw right there

and up she went and up went archie

his pale face red

sweat dripdrop-ing down his large forehead

his hair in all directions

down went steph and down went archie

sam’s brand new black shoes that his mum had stolen while coming back from church

sam’s brand new black shoes embedded in his chest

and the blood on the football

and the blood on his face

and the blood on sam’s brand new black shoes

all the blood crept slowly down the park

and up went steph again

that’s how archie got a scar in the shape of a trident on his chest

his first girlfriend was actually a half girlfriend

everybody knew that except archie

he was kinda a dick to his second girlfriend

after the third he realised his mistake

and started dating guys

archie was studying to be a doctor

ruth miller taught archie grammar, manners and how to wield a ruler with maximum efficiency

that’s about when archie quit studying

marks and continious comprehensive assessment

and exams and multiplication tables

washing all over each other

blurs, brief memories

like the one of the candle that benjy had used in the powercuts of the

nineties and touched archies face with


archie was studying to be a doctor

he could never quite explain how he became a postman

he said it just happened though of course that was not the case

poor eustace fotheringay-baxter was seeing clowns in the air

and clowns in the water

and clowns in his wife

and when he retired to a jail cell after one memorable night (to all but chuck the grocery store)

galahad the pimp mentioned to arthur the mill worker who told lancelot the tea shop

who told morgan the postman that

old benjy crawford of elementary school

of that time they threw toilet paper at Leticia together in elementary school

ol’ benjy had a boy somewhere lookin’ for a job

that was how archie got a job sending letters between friends who met everyday

when he was forty two archie retired

after deleting all his accounts on social networking sites

he’d read some french dude who’d said that all man does is live

and that the meaning of life is to live

so archie sold his house and spent his money on an icecream truck and a wife

and then on children

and then on a house

the town was sad because william kent the new postman drank wine

and never lost at poker

when archie turned seventy he realised he was no longer sixty nine

so he sold his icecream truck to some actor

and he took a midnight train going anywhere

he was pretty happy with anywhere but never quite figured how he ended up in Mexico

where all the people spoke gibberish

and where one of his forty thousand bucks was actually thirteen bucks

he passed time searching for god and Stephanie Mendoza

but found only a country road a tree evening

so he slept in a ditch and forever hummed

the Beatles wailing that all you need is love

he grew a beard and started telling people their future for 50 pesos a story

love is all you need

one day he stopped predicting death for beautiful young men and

started walking with a stray dog he called jughead

and lived with his rats and his bowl and his stories

all man does is live and the meaning of life is to live

love is all you need

his mugshot contained a lot of hair

a desert halo for a deserted man

sex male

identifying mark scar on chest

name Archibald ‘Archie’ Crawford

and then he died


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