Mark always had this amazing ability to find fantastic things in mundane situation. My ability was always finding the thing to complain about — the perfect acerbic or hateful remark to deflate any tense situation. Okay, so I made them more tense. Admit it: it was funny until you got annoyed with it.

Anyway, Mark. Even years after I'd been indoctrinated in The Ways of The Otter, Mark continued to amaze me with his bizarre behavior. Once, during our time together in Pennsylvania, he rushed into the apartment, panting. "I need a big stick, or something I can use as a weapon!" he cried, rummaging in his bedroom. He was never a violent man, so this was quite an unusual thing for him to say. Before I could ask, he was out the door again. This was also especially unusual, because Mark was usually crippled by some horrid stage of the Mystery Disease that plagues him to this day.

So I go back to playing computer games or masturbating or whatever it is I was doing... and Mark returns about 10 minutes later, carrying a medium-sized table, which I found him proudly setting up in our living room.

"Where'd that come from?" I asked, presumably having the courtesy to grab a Kleenex and zip up first.

Still out of breath, Mark explained to me how he'd just hunted down some furniture. Literally. He said something about a herd of tables and chairs leaping across the plains like gazelles, and about him clubbing one senseless to drag it home to suit our placing-objects-above-the-floor needs.

Thing is, there are no plains in the suburbs of Philly — at least, none that I ever saw. It was all overdeveloped, run-down settlements that had peaked during the Industrial Revolution and were now in serious need of a good cleansing thermonuclear explosion. Somehow, though, Mark found plains, and anthropomorphic furniture scurrying across them. And this is why he was so cool.

Well, that, and being the next best thing to living with an actual woman.



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