The world changes at night.

Everything becomes two dimensional. The world fades into different shades of black and all of a sudden, objects become layers that sit in front of or behind each other. In a line. Waiting their turn to envelope me. 

It’s like that art style where you copy the shadow of someone’s side profile. I can’t remember what it’s called. It was in that one episode of The Simpsons where Agnes Skinner is supposed to do one for Seymour, but Seymour cancels on her to spend time with Edna Krabappel. You know what, maybe I’ll just look it up. 

It’s called a silhouette. I probably should have known that one.

I’m sitting outside and I’m thinking about how I’m going to write a book. I’ve always been really good with words. The tricky question is what am I going to write about. I could write about myself. My life. My experiences. But reality is boring. I like to live inside my own head. (I would like to make it clear that my life isn’t actually boring. Sometimes there’s too much going on. But once again, I think that’s boring to talk about.)

As well as that, I hate stories where people talk about a dream they had. In fact, I genuinely hate them with a passion. It’s never interesting, and I couldn’t care less. Like I seriously could not fucking care less. However, yes, I am going to tell you about a dream I had once where Justin Bieber was trying to kill me. So hypocritical, but this one makes for a great narrative. Almost like a fan fiction. In fact, forget that this was a dream I had, this is now a fan fiction. 

Now, my memory isn’t amazing so bear with me here. I’m probably just going to start making shit up.

I’m pretty sure I started it with a tweet. I think I called him gay or something. Or a little bitch. No. That was it. I literally called him a little bitch. Not sure where the immense dislike of Bieber came from, but, hey, there isn’t always reasoning behind my actions. We begin arguing over Twitter. He tells me to keep his name out of my mouth and I tell him that I’ve already spat it out like it’s poison. Then he says I have three days left. I retort back with, “you seem scared. don’t shit your diaper.” Felt like that was a pretty good burn. I was 17. 

I kept going on with my daily life. I go to the fruit market and struggle to not inhale the fruit flies. But I can’t help it. Like, there’s very little I can do about that. So I fill myself up with fruit flies and buy nothing because I am no longer hungry. After that, I walk to the house of the boy I have a crush on at the moment. He’s so hot. He has black hair and a beard. A beard while still in high school. He’s so mature I could die. You can’t help but glance during gym class. He’s not really fit or anything but he’s hairy and I’ve come to learn I really like hairy guys. It’s love. I know it is. He’s ethnically ambiguous and so am I. We would have beautiful kids and he would be such a great father because he has a beard at 17 which means he’s super mature. 

He lets me in and asks me where lunch is. I tell him I forgot. We sit in silence for a bit. He also sits in mild hunger. We decide to start planning our road trip. This is because, after high school, we know we can’t stay together. We’ll probably go to different universities. And we’re young too. We should probably explore what the world has to offer. It just makes sense. I want to stay with him though, but at the same time, I don’t trust him if we’re apart. I bet he talks to other guys. Or he talks to girls. Or he talks to the ceiling when he could be talking to me. 

Anyway, the road trip. 

What we’re going to do is we’re going to rent one of those shit-as-fuck camper vans and go along the coast down south. We’re just going to follow the road and see where it goes. We should be fine because I have a really great sense of direction and he has a beard at 17 which means he’s super mature. I’m going to put fairy lights across the top and we’ll take turns driving, but he doesn’t have his license at the moment so I’ll probably end up doing all the driving. But I would happily do that for him. I’m going to pick him up at 7 in the morning so we can have the maximum amount of time together and we’ll leave town as fast as we can. Now, we’re not adults yet, so we’re not going to have a lot of money. He has a beard at 17 which means he’s super mature, but that doesn’t mean he has a lot of money. Well, maybe his family does, I don’t know. Anyway, we’re gonna save up a bit and buy some cheap groceries for the week. Oh yeah, we’ll be gone for a week. We don’t really need to worry about things like that. All we need is each other because we’re in love and we’re 17 years old. 

We’ll park the caravan wherever we can find. Why pay for a camping spot? All we need is each other. He has a beard at 17 which means he’s super mature, so we’ll be fine. We can build a little fire and sit on the back of the van with the doors open. We can hold hands and lay next to each other. There’s so many things we can do. When we come across a deserted beach on our journey, we’ll pull over and skinny dip in the water. Race each other to the shore. And when the trip is over, I’ll drop him home and we’ll kiss for the last time. And I’ll drive home with tears in my eyes. 

So that’s the plan. He seems keen. I’m pretty keen. His dad’s car pulls up in the driveway so I get up and say goodbye. I start walking back home in the most disgusting heat I’ve ever experienced. I am a turkey with two legs and my neck jiggles to the rhythm of Mambo No. 5. 

Sitting on the couch with a leftover dinner I’ve microwaved, I turn on the TV. There’s an awards show on. A music one. I watch with my legs crossed on the couch. Justin Bieber receives an award. No clue what one it is. I’m not really paying attention. I just like looking at the moving images and colours. He begins his speech with a wow and an I’m so thankful and I love my fans and a my manager is the greatest and a stain on his trousers. Gross, I know. Then he says something interesting. He looks directly at the TV and says in such crystal clarity that it makes my ears hurt, “Tien Cortez, I am going to kill you tomorrow.” 

I completely forgot about that. 


I change the channel and start watching some alternate universe Simpsons knock off. 

The next day, Monday, I leave for school at two in the afternoon. My tote bag only has lip balm, a framed photo of The Ghandi and four bananas. I fucking hate bananas. I get interrupted halfway there. A big black car rocks up in front of me and out steps P. Diddy. He tells me that I need to get in the car, quick, before Justin finds me. I keep forgetting about the Bieber situation. I slide into the back seat and the car is so clean that I feel like if I was to throw up right now, it would just slide out the door like oil. 

He drives me three hours away to some brick motel in the desert. This is the safest motel in the entire world, he says. I don’t care, I’m too busy staring out the window and thinking about how the boy I love has a beard at 17 which means he’s super mature. He pulls me from the car and walks me into a suite that’s been preserved from the 70s. It’s quite nice. He locks the door behind himself and says I don’t have to worry about paying for the room. I speak to Diddy while staring at the wall, “I thought I had three days. Maybe he forgot. I’m sure Bieber is a very busy bee… ber.” He doesn’t laugh. He just keeps peeking out the window with sweat dripping down his forehead. I lay on the bed and recite all the capital cities on Earth. 

Two hours later, Diddy jumps from the window and whispers, “Shit!” I jump up and look out the window and alas, here is Bieber wielding an axe that’s bigger than him. It’s a funny sight. I start to chuckle and Diddy pulls me by the shoulders away from the window. “Hide!,” he shout-whispers and shoves me under the bed. This is fun. It’s like hide and seek. I can hear what’s happening. Justin is breaking down every door with this axe and screaming “I’m going to kill you!” He’s such a little bitch. 

Naturally, he gets to the room Diddy and I have been living in for the past two hours. Diddy runs out the door screaming. Bieber shrugs his shoulders and walks out of the room. This is very fun. I get out from under the bed and peek out the window to see what’s happening next. He moves to the room next door. I decide to amp it up a little bit. I go outside and as Bieber leaves my neighbour and moves to the next room, I throw a green feeble plastic chair at him. He stumbles and I start laughing and yell out, “little bitch!” He growls like a dog and starts to chase me. I keep yelling out “little bitch!” as I run away. He can’t run very fast it seems. Such a little bitch. 

Eventually, I get away. Not like I was trying that hard. It appears I’ve been running for so long that it’s now the next morning and I’m back at the same spot where I was abducted by Diddy. What do I do now? Well, it’s almost time for school, and I’m halfway there, so I guess I’ll go to school. Maybe today I’ll get to talk to my crush who has a beard at 17 which means he’s super mature. 

Then I wake up. It’s probably not going to become more interesting from there, so the dream’s over. 

So that’s my story to share. I’ve decided I’m not going to write any more stories about my dreams though. Because I fucking hate stories about dreams. And that’s the only funny one I have. I still don’t know what I’m going to write about, though.

However, now you should be able to understand the point that I’m making here.

The world changes at night.

© 2023 Tien Cortez