September 17th, 2004



Janie poked her head in Brutes room to find him moping on his double-king size mattress. He was hunched over, surrounded by the small army of stuffed animals that he had grown a nostalgic attachment to during his time of low intelligence.

“Brute, I’ve got dinner for you. Rice noodles in peanut sauce.” Brute shrugged, the metal of his shoulders creaking. He was cradling a stuffed cat with an oversized, wobbly head. Janie crawled onto the bed and leaned against the concrete wall. “Central to Brute? What’s wrong, big guy?”

“Janie, I want a girlfriend.” Janie froze, her throat dry.

“Brute, I really like you, you know that, I’m just not-” Brute looked up at her, his laser sight focusing on her forehead.

“I’m not talking about you, Janie. I’m just saying.” Janie smiled, relieved.

“Oh. Well, what about that school-teacher, what’s her name?”
Brute looked at her, exercising the new mechanics of his face to produce an excellent imitation of an ironic look. Janie rolled her eyes.

“Oh, Brute, she’s not that far out of your league.” Brute played with the tiny paws of his stuffed cat.

“Yes, yes she is.”

“You’re so down on yourself.”

“No, I’m not. If I were her, I wouldn’t be interested. Why should she be? She’s beautiful, young and intelligent. I’m a hideous walking tank, I don’t have a penis, and I was retarded for the past ten to twenty years.”

“Brute, you should ask her out. Take her someplace nice. Don knows people, he could get you booked at that new restaurant, the one with the blue lights, what’s it called?”

“Why? So that she can tell me she just wants to be friends? Spend a nice night getting my hopes up so that being turned down can be even more painful?”

“Brute, you’re being a dick.” Brute made a lewd gesture.

“I don’t have a dick.”

“Fine, you’re being a bastard.”

“I am a bastard!” Janie threw a toy puppy at Brute, enjoying the mechanical whimper as it slapped his steel chest. She picked up a stuffed bunny and shook it menacingly.

“Brute, fucking ask her out or I will bite the head off of Fluffy Muffins.”


“ I swear to god, do it or I will reprogram all of your toys to chant that bitches name while you sleep.”

“Fine. I’ll ask. But when I come home with my human eye hurting because I don’t have tear ducts, I’m going to blame you.”

“Come on, it’s dinner time.”


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