Free Range Humans by Sebouh Gemdjian

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SUMMARY: Sebastian, a writer who never wrote, has cracked the mystery of death. He uncovered it in Tibet, huffing laughing gas by a Starbucks in Lhasa. He discovered the meaning of life shoplifting free-range chickens. His drummer passes it on here.

Before I forget, listen: Sebastian Briglia was the guy who said, "Our last breath stretches on forever, and all our thoughts become reality, therefore a last breath is all there is."

Sebastian never wrote anything down except for his stories, and he didn't let anybody read them. No reminder notes, no to-do-lists, nothing. He usually ended his shopping arguing with his fiancée Edith over what he forgot. She won that war, though, when out of nowhere he decided to stop writing and burn all of his manuscripts, and he'd only let himself write grocery lists. After all, shoplifting without a plan was dangerous, you know. Before then he would sometimes "capture" the beef, right, as he used to say, in the supermarket, and then he'd remember the rice, and then he'd hunt it down with blood dripping down his leg...

Sebastian wrote his grocery lists in order of what he was most likely to pay for, right. Stuff we would most definitely steal was last. The first lists started with eggs, corned beef hash, and bacon: Cheap things we could eat for all meals. They finished off with expensive cold cuts – fancy roast beef, prosciutto, salami, things we could stick under our jackets.

Once, when we were watching a documentary on buffalo all fucked up in our crumbling cabin in Honesdale, I asked Sebastian why he likes meat so much, especially since he was Buddhist and all.

"I love animals, Chris," he said from the blue lazy-boy. I was sitting on the floor. "I think they perceive just like us, and I think they dream just like us. Much like us, they think they think, therefore they think they are, as Descartes said, I think. Some may not think much, but all they have are their perceptions.

"Also like us, they will never know death, because they will be dead at the time... Like our own last moment before death, theirs must stretch on to infinity, because we can never get past it and know it..."

A man sighed in the other room. The door was scratched up, and there was a hole where the handle was supposed to be. I heard pages shuffling and a girl giggling too, sounded like a book club meeting, you know.

"So hold on," I said, "uh, so you think we're never going to die..?"

"We're never actually dead as far as we know, is what I'm saying, because we're not there to feel it. We do feel the process of dying, but that's what we're doing now, dying, approaching death..." he said.

"Hey guys, hold on, you're doing the death lecture, ha?" Edith shouted from next door. She peeked her head in while she was pulling a black Joy Division shirt on top of her pillow-head hair. She was all dizzy in her underwear. "I've got a customer here, honey, he's got to hear that, okay?"

A young man with crazy red hair, no shirt on and freckles all over his body came out and sat on a spiral-like stain on the busted folding couch next to Sebastian. He had one of them paranoid clown smiles all frozen on his face, and his blue eyes were all self-conscious, like, as if he was secretly from another planet or something. He said: "Mhm..."

Edith put her glasses on and sat on the arm of the couch by the dude, and crossed her thick sexy thighs.

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