Handlebars – Flash Fiction


I decided to use a random word generator just to exercise the brain muscles a little.  The word that came up was ‘Handlebars’.  This is what happened.  Enjoy!


“Really?” Jeff asked himself.  He was having a hell of a day.  The type of day that begins at 3 a.m. because the morning swallow can’t stop chirping a peppy tune in an attempt to get laid.  Then the thought of getting laid is enticing and one thinks about how long it’s been since he last saw his ex-wife.  That eventually turns into a brain catastrophe that reminds a certain someone of how much of a fuck up he’s been.  This was the type of day that when Jeff decided to get out of bed at 4 a.m. with an emotional headache he immediately stubbed his little toe on the corner of his dresser.  Of course he did.  Little toes are meant to find the edges of solid objects, it’s their God given purpose.

After some less than elegant profanity eased the pain Jeff used the bathroom.  And missed.  It was dark and he was tired.  Which was ironic he thought since he’d already been up for an hour wracking his brain about what he would do if he could go back in time.  A thought everyone has at some point in time he imagined.  They say that hindsight is 20/20.  Jeff’s sight was not.  He didn’t grab his glasses, which is probably why he stubbed his toe and missed the edge of the toilet.  He didn’t want to wear them at 4 a.m. when he knew damn well he should have been sleeping.  Putting on his glasses would give the world a little bit of clarity and clarity was the last thing he wanted.

He had to clean the pee off the floor, a thought that was unappealing.  Yet it was more unappealing to let it linger, dry, and smell.  Jeff being a divorcee with no kids was familiar with the stench of single spending day to day in a bachelor pad but pee was pushing it too far.  He had pride after all.  This was the type of day that when Jeff reached for the toilet paper it was only a roll.  Jeff closed his eyes, sighed, and knelt down to reach into his bathroom cabinet.  Which is when he struck his head.  Of course he struck his head.  Heads are made to find the edges of counters, it’s their God given purpose.

Maybe he should get a dog.  Which made absolutely no sense and all the sense in the world at that very moment.  Jeff wasn’t sure why banging his head on the edge of a bathroom counter would make him think about getting a dog, but it did.  Perhaps if he had a dog he could have went back to sleep?  Or maybe a cat.  The cat could have solved the problem by hunting and killing the goddamn swallow that started this in the first place.  Single guys with cats were weird though.  Something about it was off.  Jeff was well aware that if he walked into a bar and introduced himself to the classy broad just begging him to buy her a drink and he started his conversation with “Hi, I’m Jeff, I’m divorced and live with my cat Noodler,” would likely be a turn off.  Why would he name his cat Noodler?  Jeff was almost convinced he was concussed.  Reality swept back in with no dog and no Noodler, just a sore head and a hand full of pee.  Because he put it right in the pee didn’t he?  Of course he did.

“Really?” It wasn’t 5 a.m. yet and Jeff already had to ask the universe just what in the hell it was up to.  He washed his hands and looked at himself in the mirror.  He was thirty-four going on fifty-two.  Grey hair had already made its very unwelcome appearance on top of his head.  It then sent its scouts to go check out the rest of his face.  He hadn’t shaved in a few days.  Why bother?  Jeff wasn’t filthy, but he certainly didn’t keep up the same appearances he used to.

When his ex-wife lost the baby both of them went without shaving for quite some time.  So much time in fact that they eventually just stopped talking to one another altogether.  The house was void of emotion and full of detachment.  He still loved her, he thought.  Or maybe not.  Maybe she still loved him?  Or maybe they were just young fools in love that had one tragedy too many.  She was happy now anyway.  Or maybe not.

Jeff rubbed bloodshot eyes and grit his teeth.  Thanks brain he thought, which then made him think about how a brain thinking about itself has a sense of self-awareness.  Which lead him down a rabbit hole of humanity and the evolution of the mind to make itself aware.  A strange thing, the brain thinking about itself, other brains studying brains of others trying to figure out how the brain works.  The whole thing hurt his brain.  He needed coffee.  Or sleep.  Or both?

He pressed brew and when it was done it looked suspiciously like water.  Clear instead of black.  Because of course it was.  Jeff tried again.  This time he actually poured the grounds into the filter.  He poured the coffee into his mug and set it down to cool off.  Except he set it down on air because the table was still a few inches away.  A reminder that he still hadn’t put on his glasses.  The ceramic scattered and coffee splashed on the linoleum floor.  Which reminded him, he still didn’t clean up the pee.  Well part of it, the part that he picked up with his hand.

“Really?” Jeff asked the universe again.  He had to start over.  Jeff took a shower in an effort to wash the morning off of him.  The warm water helped to cool down his hot head.  He got out and looked at himself in the mirror again.  “Fuck it.” Jeff shaved his beard but kept his moustache and twirled the edges.  It was a solid handlebar.  Life was out of control.  Maybe it was handlebars he was missing the whole time.  Time to get a grip.


I hope you enjoyed Handlebars.  Tell me what you thought of it in the Comment’s below, and don’t forget to share!