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Nick Ahmadi


'm a simple man with modest tastes. A criminal is someone who commits a crime, or takes more than they deserve. What a load of rubbish. I certainly partake in both of these definitions, but not a soul on this earth is clean; that's why we're all here. To get the folly out. And with regards to humanism, well, that's mere conjecture, a vague dovetailing of morality.

Do we feel obliged to hold this up? Why? Because we aren't secure or free inside, so we help others, before helping ourselves, to lose ourselves in other people? Well it seems ok.  Think about it.

People want to be heard, and to have their feelings fostered to validation, bolstered to mutual benefit. I continue to condemn those less independent than me. They hate when I start spouting the "be your own you" rhetoric. Some call me crazy, what with my regimented life of cooking books and not much else. I'm beyond the age where money, saving, etc., is a force in my life. I have money, sure, way too much of it. When I die, I don't know where it will go. The act of making it is enough for me. Gives me something to do, something to look at.

I like to look at my account balance every now and then. A quiet "Oh That's It, Yes" washes over me when I see all those seven figures and three commas. It makes the stomach cramps, the stinky office, and the spiteful secretary worth it. So, I'm living a squalid life. Granted, my office looks like a brothel, I love it. The way different shades of paper, old and new, collect and gather up and stack, how scrunched-up newspaper mounds in corners, silted élan like those Chinese terracotta soldiers, plexus of my life work. It's healthy to crave the palpable; something blunt as an iron sledge, eager to grab for its own good, in this life of numbers and takeaway food, of surface and plenty.

This job makes me sick, in my guts. I wonder how the hedonists do it. I eat a lot of fried food—if I had such a thing as a hobby, then Micky D's, KFC, Subbers and any Chinese near me are my past times. I'll also indulge in a slice of schadenfreude if I'm fortunate enough to come upon it. I pass time by taking substance and rubbernecking at glossy-lit menus. I transfigure numbers so the mirror reflects something else. I pass time by filling myself up to my gullet.

So I'll be sitting down typing away some data, but the food sloshes around in my stomach, my focus jitters like my fingers tapping at the keyboard. My stomach burns, it's trying to digest all the fat and cheap grease. I feel a cold sweat accumulate on my nose, from holding in flatulence (when I'm feeling charitable to dear Maria, I sit in my tangled-up fart-filled pain). I want to bathe, to be clean, and rest, but oh look, it's fifteen-oh-seven, which means my fifteen is late. I could have gone to the bathroom, to fart in the bowl, maybe push out a turd if I'm lucky. My stomach is burning something chthonic, but I stay firmly seated on my ass and remain tranquil within this horrible cardboard cutout interaction I'm about to have, like the good white-collar worker I am.  

I'm the cookbook man; I cook books. Some people call it money laundering, but I like to call myself a cooker of books. Creative accountancy is the formal expression. I cook books. I've come to terms with such a life. Things could be worse… But, I am the cookbook man, and THIS IS WHAT I DO. I'm unmarried, because I'm negligent of peoples, places, and things which do not align with my interests. When I was much younger, I wanted to become one with a special little lady. A simple, humble, noble goal. Nothing else mattered, as long as I had a 'she' to come back to. I gave it a shot, but I'm much too greedy with my time. I like cookin' books too much. Well, alright, it isn't that I like to cook books, it's simply what I do. Wake up in the morning, have a bite to eat,  then I'm in my kitchen. First thing I do is turn on the old fryer, get that oil nice and hot; now I can get cookin'.

Her not-so-silent judgement is the worst; I once overheard her talking to her friend on the phone. "…yeah and he eats in his office, it's disgusting. The place smells like Red Rooster. Yeah- yeah... Yeah I know but the pay is pretty good, and anyway, I'd like to have this experience on a resume. But sometimes I feel like his mother. He's a pig. He's nice, but sometimes he comes out with food around his mouth and it makes me gag."

I imagine her holding her palm against the receiver-end of the phone to actually gag. "It makes me painfully aware of my own body, where shit comes out from my asshole. And his sweat stockpiles in the room, like incense. I get flashes of thoughts about the bottom of his seat, what kind of hell that would be. That's my form of torture. You can do anything to me, but please, never duct-tape my head onto Vaughn's work chair."

But this time I hear a literal gag, and I laugh. I think she hears me, and I feel her profound embarrassment. My day has been made. Such verbose expression! Had I been five years younger hearing a woman talk of me like this, I would have gone red with embarrassment and anger, and be spurred to lose weight and change my ways. I laugh it off now. Living is much more tolerable when the cruise control of complacency does all the work for you.

You hated me, because I'm precipitous. This desk, my bed, your slit, the chair, crude cravings; plenty of them. My life of surfaces, the two dimensional. There's nothing three dimensional about this work, except for my gorgeous plexus of disorganization. The productivity-blog writers would love to take a photo of my office. What Happens When You Don't Get Your Life Together. Well, nothing happens. I gave up the fight against entropy, to gain more surface. My mess, with all its many surfaces, is the theory of my work; so when clients come into my office, their brow meets at the middle like a drawbridge, nonplussed, their lips pucker like a cat’s dusty catch. I gloat like the first bite, the final sigh.

Welcome to Malfeasance; please take a seat, yes you will need to move those manila folders, oh actually just put them over next to the- uh- oh just put them by the McDonalds bag over there, no, yes, thank you. Their face is fraught with worry, over the McDonalds bag. It's fingerlickin' work, you understand? I get a little greasy.  

God, I blame people a lot, cut them up into cut-out men, string them from one side of the room to the other, draw quizzical genitals on them. Rejoice, my corporeal little darlings. I put them in manila folders and title them by their characteristics; lazy, ugly, negligent, torpid, desultory, surreptitious, etc. It helps me deal with my misanthropy. I'm susceptible to spite and loath. The best way of dealing with people you don't like is to design clothes for them; he will wear chainmail, she will wear an art smock, he will wear some overalls, she some paper-thin thong, he a dress, she a he, he a she, and so on. Every person like a single shoe; you give them a second shoe, to make a pair.

I say, just live and let live. I say, to hell with glory and the related. I'm too deep in this profession to be doing my mid-twenties ambitious jettisons. I've no need to let cook-booking permeate into my personal life. Material acquisition is a nasty piece of work. The dark thing about this culture is when materialism works, and nourishes a person.

People resent grease. Heavens knows why, it's marvelous.

Yes, my job is all I have, so I must love it. I once had a daughter. I loved her. I have this vague sense of still loving her, even though she's not in my life anymore. Life moved, so I moved with it. No use standing in a river all the time; your feet will freeze, and you'll get hyperthermia. One can trickle into the inherent unrest of the self––I know this more than most, for whenever that tickle of food comes, I reach out and scratch it as quick as a frog-tongue––or they can load up their daily schedules, all-you-can-eat style, and keep on keepin' on.

Isn't that suspended… Hell?

Quite right. But what do you suggest I do? The essence of the question in account is: what do you want me to DO? A tap doesn't tap, it waters. It exists as a tap, so it can hold sway over the function of gushing water.

I'm greedy with my time. Cooking books is joy. I'm safe, content, more on the complacent side than the dramatic. I kiss numbers so they don't pronoun the booker. I'm a renouncer, an evisceration. I cook books, as I have said already; what do you do? You're looking for a result to my equation, and I'm doing my best to provide one. Buddy (you), it's black and white, very clear, most unequivocal: I COOK BOOKS.

Although I'm fat, old, and beyond fuckable, I rest easy knowing that this reality, is a rather darling one; one which I cannot take too seriously, one which I can change at any given point in time. I will die of a stroke soon, there's no doubt about that. You're looking for a long-winded answer, but you're not getting one. Black and white pal. The answer to your question is right here: I cook books. I'd like to address the issue of my existence: I exist, in the literal sense; I am real. I had breakfast this morning. Yes that's right, I'm fed. Fed–– I said this out loud, upon swallowing the last morsel of food. I used to get depressed when I said this—why on earth am I crowning such a mundane activity?—as if putting a full stop at the end of my action. But now I laugh at it. What a ridiculous life this is. I fret over medical issues, which are manifesting in my life like a new interest in a TV show.

I make my wealth cooking books, can you imagine? I imagine it difficult for most to see what cooking books is. I do not put books in a pot and then boil them. How absurd. Imagine if I gave a client back their paperwork to watch it crumble in their hands, the paper congealing like balls of snot. Even if you can't imagine what my processes are, you've no way of knowing, in an empirical sense; you can only picture it. Well, either way; this is what I do. A book cook, fry booker, cook booker. Sauté the financial statements. I like that one. I've no wife, just an ex-one (wife). Ultimate union ain't for me, for it is my job which I will part with at death. Well, I don't love it; it's all I have. That may as well be love.

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Issue 5


September 22, 2017

Hyperboss was written by Nick Ahmadi. He is an aspiring writer from Australia. We seem to get a lot of Australians in this journal. I wonder what's in the water over there.

i dont feel like fininishing this website right now and i am sorry

I just smile and nod

and say "I guess that's better

than factory farmed".

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Issue 5

This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the archives.
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