The Ship has Sailed

An experimental work of fiction

Benjamin

Benjamin Scott never had milk in his coffee.

There was just too much out there about the health hazards of milk straight from the cow’s udder these days. Mucus and stuff he heard on the news the other morning. They never had any important information anymore. And soymilk too. Benjamin Scott knew the impending dangers of increased estrogen levels. Benjamin Scott did not want breasts.

Well, he did. Just not on his own chest.

Well, yes, on his chest, but someone else’s breasts on his chest.

Now he was thinking about breasts.

Oh god, she had the nicest breasts he had ever seen. Not too large, not too small. Perfectly perky but not like a twelve year old.

Who says breasts anyway? What am I, an eighty year old obstetrician?
She had the nicest tits he had ever seen. Tits tits tits.

 

“Sir?” The unhappy barista droned across the counter. “Large black coffee, dark roast, right?”

Oh god, oh god I’m a regular.

Benjamin Scott’s mind started racing again. It was his typical weekday morning. Without a lethal dose of Xanax, he was normally a sweaty-palmed, manic, thought- racing mess. His morning walk to work was bearable, however. He could easily tune out the hum of the morning commute with his day’s newest anxieties and the unintentional blindness that came alongside caffeine withdrawal. The coffee shop was his newest phobia, however. It was almost always filled to the brim with busy, angry people waiting to whittle away their lives in a useless, pointless job that supported an existence worth nothing, to no one but their little, hungry families who didn’t even love them.

Oh god, people love other people.

Love.

“You want the soy latte too, right? Two splendas?”

They know I get her drink too. She’s a regular. We’re a regular…together.

When it came to romance, Benjamin Scott was not thirty years old. He was seven. Or five. Or an infant suckling at his mother’s breast.

Mother’s tits.

The morning air hit his perfectly coiffed light brown hair as he exited the coffee shop .It was raining too. Great. He thought. Another beautiful day. His hands were dripping with sweat from the innermost turmoil he had suffered being surrounded by the general public in their despair. He asked specifically for a carrier that morning, as spilling his life elixir, and the concoction of his muse and imaginary lover, seemed a feat deemed worthy for only the lowest of the low, the lickers of the gum off satan’s shoe.

Benjamin Scott was terrible at metaphors.

It was smooth sailing for the rest of the day. The sidewalk was clear.The pitter patter of rain soothed his nerves, despite ruining his hair, and Benjamin started to feel the cool breeze bouncing off his evaporating sweat.  Everyone thought he had a glandular problem. Ha. Glandular problem. Benjamin Scott knew more about the world then everyone else, that was all. If they knew the dangers of milk and the mucous membranes found in it, they would swe-

It was mid misanthropy that some snot nosed, tear stained, rain soaked hoodlum ran head first into his stomach, knocking the coffee to the sidewalk. The kid didn’t even notice. He had no idea that he had just ruined his entire day. He potentially just ruined the one chance Benjamin Scott had of woo-ing the love of his life. He also ruined his newest argyle sweater vest.

However, Benjamin Scott was a perpetually nice guy.

“Whoa buddy. Where’s your mom and dad?”

The kid looked as if his entire world had been taken out from underneath him. It was as if  the child had realized what Benjamin Scott always knew: The world was a horrible, dangerous place. Milk had mucous membranes and smart, beautiful, women with nice breasts never liked men with crippling anxiety and sweater vests.

And with such a startling realization, the boy ran back the way he had come. Still letting the remnants of the soy latte go unnoticed to dry on Benjamin Scott’s newest article of attire.

The soy latte.

The soy latte.

Benjamin Scott never had milk in his coffee.

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Prologue

The pitter patter of rain sounded softly from the rooftop.

Danny listened to it with the utmost concentration. It was far easier to listen to the sweet lull of rain than the screaming that was going on downstairs. He hid inconspicuously in his bedroom closet; surrounded by the clothes he went to school in, played in, hid in. His old toys lined the shelf above. It was dark in the closet and he wished he had brought his sketchpad and pencil. They were outside of his safe haven now. There they would stay.

For his seven years of life, he had been haunted by the times his parents argued downstairs. He was constantly on edge; waiting for something to break, a bill to come that couldn’t be paid, the name Maria, a mysterious character who unknowingly played such a significant part in Danny’s young life. He wasn’t sure what had set off the fight this time. His mother had found something. It didn’t matter. Danny had had enough this time.

 

“That’s not a fucking excuse.” His mother shrieked as the fight moved directly underneath Danny’s safe spot. “You know damn well what you said. I thought this was over.”

“It was an accident. I can’t control what I say when I’m sleeping.” His father retorted, Danny could hear a hint of a laugh in his father’s voice. A mirthless laugh. Never a laugh that the couple shared.

“Oh, and now you’re laughing.” The usual response from his mother.

“I can’t stand this anymore.” Yelled her husband. “You’re unbearable.”

“Then leave.”

The simplicity of the fragment Danny’s mother uttered caused him to take his little hands down from his ears. He could feel a burning silence in the kitchen below him. This had been something new, something that had never happened before. It was as if Danny could sense the scrutinizing gaze his father was giving his mother over his thick rimmed glasses.

“Okay.” His father responded evenly, almost calmly.

Silence.

Danny hugged his knees into his chest. He could feel his heart beating rapidly. Everything seemed so clear.

“Okay.” Danny whispered, more to himself than anyone else.

***

The rain pounded on the pavement as Danny ran through the streets of the city. He had brought nothing with him For years he had imagined how he would run away from home. It would be just like the old movies, he imagined. Just hop on a bus with a bandana tied to a stick, filled with clothing and toys and everything he would need. He would live in a big city, maybe become a famous artist, and sail far far away where no one, especially his parents, could find him. There would be no yelling.

Instead he had left empty handed in an adrenaline fueled stupor. He ran and ran, not noticing his clothing was soaked through, not noticing how tired and thirsty and cold he was. It didn’t matter. He was free. A million pounds had been lifted from him. He was a sail in the wind, soaring away.

Soaring abruptly into a man walking swiftly through the street, daydreaming, seemingly.

“Whoa buddy!” The man said, looking down at Danny; a slight boy with deep green eyes and dark auburn hair. Danny met the man’s eyes, and took momentary solace under his umbrella.

“Where’s your mom and dad?” The man said He was tall and lanky, a pointed, friendly. face with a mess of mousy brown hair.

Danny froze.

How stupid could be be? He thought No one would believe a kid like him could survive on his own. His parents were probably already looking for him right now.

All he could do was shrug.

Without a word he turned around and walked back home, imagining how happy his parents would be to see he was alive and safe.
***

The front door was open. Danny relished the sweet sound of silence. “Mom?” He shouted through the house. “Dad?”

His father walked casually towards the front door, staring blankly at his son.

“Danny, you know you’re not supposed to be walking in the house with wet shoes. ” And with that his father was gone.

They hadn’t even noticed he was gone.

 

He decided then and there that not a single word be uttered form his lips again.

 

 

The pitter patter of rain sounded softly from the rooftop.