By David Gales

Dear Binston Swongo, 

As of late, I can’t tell if I’m having strange feelings for a cheery checker or if she’s having strange feelings for me. I’m confused and aroused and I don’t know what to do. Please help me! 

Signed, 

Scared but Curious 

Dear Scared but Curious, 

Ah, I remember the first time I fell in love, too. It was 1878, and I was at the Woodstock festival. I had just been through a bad breakup the week before, the Reagan presidency was hard on us all, so I texted my buddy Rich to meet me at the bowling alley. He told me his horse was sick, so he’d have to walk or catch a carriage. I told him to Uber. 

 I should mention I was on acid for most of this. It was my first year. Alice was crazy. 

 Anyway, when I got to the bowling alley, Rich was already there with a few of our friends. The Triplets, we called them. We called them The Triplets because they were triplets. Really good stuff. Their names were Tom, Jake, and Calvin, and each one was gayer and wiser than the last. Great guys. I hear one of them became an airline attendant and fell in love with the black box on the plane recently. Is that fucked up or what? 

 I got six strikes, by the way, not that it matters. I remember the moment I saw him: tall, dark, handsome. He was wearing far too many layers for a springtime bowling alley tryst, but I wanted him anyway. He had these piercing blue eyes that almost looked like marbles. When he turned to look at me, I felt my knees turn to jelly, and I dropped the bowling ball on my foot. If I hadn’t already lost my real one in a freak jet ski accident when I was nine, it probably would have hurt like hell. Instead, I was on the moon, and all from some eye contact. Can you believe that? I bet you can. I bet that’s how you feel, too, when you look at the cheery checker. I bet that when you hear her say “thank you,” those two words carry a sort of cosmic significance that I couldn’t begin to understand. The weight of your monosyllabic dialogue with the one who guards what gives you the basic sustenance of life is something that I could not possibly grasp, for it is beyond me, just as it is beyond you to fathom the cataclysmic, world-shaking, foundation-removing feelings of pure wanton need that embraced my heart, my soul, and my stomach in the moment I met that stranger in the bowling alley and got so anxious that I projectile vomited every mozz stick in my system onto the floor at once. 

 It worked, though. We’re married with eleven kids now. Maybe next time you see the cheery checker you should puke on her. 

Faithfully yours, 

Binston Swongo 

Love guru and state-licensed aromatherapist 

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