Keep On Shulgin’



Myers, Isabel Briggs & Myers, Peter B. (Davies-Black Publishing, 1980; ISBN 089106074X)

The clock showed three when the speeding person made his move. He’d stalked me since two, prowling around the edge of the conversation, waiting to detach me from the herd. The need to verbalise his jumbled thoughts to some listener beat like a fever behind his eyes.

I knew a carnivore when I saw one, but the room’s shadows made him almost invisible. I think the Goths who decorated the place must’ve concocted them on purpose. Draped in costume-shop gloom for the occasion, their apartment looked like a Tim Burton exhibit realised in eight dollars of black and purple crepe paper. When I looked away for a twinkling moment, he pounced out of the shadows.

Forty five seconds later I knew that,

  • his starch allergy had improved since he started eating organic foods,
  • that a Myers-Briggs personality questionnaire had categorised him as a Feeling Judging Sensing person, but that he considered himself a Thinking Intuiting Perceiving person instead,
  • that he deserved to get a new desktop at work and would talk to Robin about it on Monday, and,
  • that a goldfish, Logan, whom he’d kept as an adolescent, had taught him a lot about responsibility and real respect for other living creatures.

Pinned in place by the speeding person at three in the morning, listening to them play that Cure song about the love cats for the fifteenth time I decided to see whether, next time she wanted to stay late, I might not just drive home by myself and get her to telephone when she needed me to pick her up.


At the next party, I left at midnight – or, to speak in more salient terms, half an hour after they started taking pills. She stayed behind. When I phoned back four hours later, a man I’d never met answered the phone. I asked if I could speak to her. He said he didn’t mind and then stayed on the line.

“Quick!” someone cried in the background, “Chad has the phone again.”

A few moments later I heard them wrenching the handset away from him. A friend of mine came on the line, out of breath, and apologised about Chad. He went to find her, but as soon as he left Chad came back on. I’d become prey again.

“Can I play you Mary Had a Little Lamb on the phone numbers?” he said.

“Ah,” I said, “Could that disconnect th-”

“Beep bloooooop bleeeeeep beep bloooooop beep bloooooo-”

“Ok,” I said, “I-”

“Hang on,” he said, “I got it wrong.”

“Look,” I said, “it doesn’t mat-”

“Beeeeeeeep blooooop bleeeeep bleeep blooooo-”

“Wait,” he said.

“Hold up!” I said, “It jus-”

“Beep bloop bleep beep bloop beep beep bloop bloop bloop blooop bleep blee-”

“One sec,” he said.

I had about a second to plead with him.

“Stop!” I said, “Why don’t-”

“Beep bloop bee-”

“Wait,” he said.

“Beep bloop bleep beep bloop beep beep bloop bloop bloop bleep beep beep bloop bee-”

“I know I can do it,” he said.

“Stop! Wait!” I pled.

“Beeeep blooooooop bleeeep beeep bloooop beeeeeeep beeeeep beeeeeep beee-”

“Wait,” he said, “just one more try.”

“Stop this! Stop this! Stop this!” I chanted.

“Beep bloop bleep beep bloop beep beep bloop bloop bloop bleep beep beep beep bloop bleep beep bloop beep beep bloop bloop beep bloop bleep”

I think he’d done it.

“Perfect!” I said, “If I could just talk to-”

“Now,” he said, “let’s play a duet.”

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