Sam Pink – Person

by Horror Sleaze Trash on June 8, 2011


We got a little bit lucky today, and by lucky i mean Sam Pink lucky. Below is the first chapter of Sam Pinks new novel “Person” which i have had the absolute pleasure to read and i cannot personally recommend a book any more. Read the first chapter and try to call me a liar.

Buy the fucking thing, do your self a favor.

Chapter 1

I’m walking around Chicago, feeling like a piece of shit.

It’s winter.

There are many people out.

I pass an older homeless man and he is dressed almost exactly like me.

Almost exactly.

I want to stop him and grab his shoulders and say, “So I make it past 30 then?”

But he walks by me.

Eye contact is bad I think.

I don’t make eye contact with any girls because I don’t want to ruin their night and make them feel bad.

I make eye contact with some guys because sometimes I just feel angry.

Eye contact is bad I think.

At a stoplight, I wait to cross and there are two men next to me.

They’re holding hands.

I imagine myself as one of them, standing next to me, this dipshit with an ugly face.

Later on, will one say to the other, “Hey did you see that asshole at the stoplight. Why does he live on the same earth as us, with his dipshit-ass ugly face.”

And then the other man will agree in some way, if only in quiet.

Christmas music plays from someone’s car at the stoplight and I can hear it through the closed windows.

Will I get run over tonight.

Is tonight the night of magic.

It’s totally possible that something will suddenly kill me.

And I accept that.

I always think about getting randomly hurt and how awesome it would be to just immediately be changed and removed from my situation.

To have something direct to worry about, like a broken leg or a really big cut.

I’d no longer be a person blending in.

When the stoplight signals to cross I wait to take a step until the other men walk away.

I don’t want to walk next to them.

It is horrible for me to be walking at the same pace next to someone on the sidewalk.

And like all others, these men pass me.

Now knowing that in infinite space there is a pure negative, shaped exactly like me.

With no intentions of making friends.

Insecure enough not to make friends so as not to lose them.

There’s ice on the sidewalk.

Will I fall.

If I fall, and just stay there, will someone eventually help me.

Will a police officer walk by and say, “Stay there,” motioning with his/her hand to stay still.

Will I just roll into the gutter and disappear.

I don’t know where I’m walking.

This is Chicago.

On a street with a lot of bars and people yelling.

Earlier I walked to Lake Michigan and I stared at it.

It remained where it was, and I stared.

No one else was there.

It seems like there and here are just as loud somehow.

It’s cold and I hate everyone I can see.

All of my strength is required to hate this many people but I manage and I am proud of my effort.

I expect the same of everyone else.

No, I don’t know.

I wonder what my roommate is doing right now.

Last night he knocked on my door and asked me to check the back of his neck for pen marks.

He said, “So, I think there’s a pen loose in my bed and, I think I slept on it.”

There were no pen marks.

I made sure not to touch his body while checking.

It seems likely that if I were to give form to what I believe is my roommate’s abstraction of me, it would be some parts of a pencil eraser that someone blew to the floor after erasing something theydidn’t want someone else to see.

I walk by a group of people standing outside a bar and someone almost bumps into me.

I imagine myself pulling this person apart with my hands.

Just pulling off pieces of face and neck and upper-chest.

Just ripping an arm off with a single pull.

Could I accomplish that.

What would this person think of himself if I were to do that.

Would he fight it, or accept it as inevitable.

What would the people watching think.

I walk by them all and smell perfume and I am no different.

It feels like practice.

I concentrate on my heartbeat and worry it is never going to stop.

Then I worry that I will have a heartattack, and that the heartattack will hurt.

For a very small amount of time I can fully understand the pain that would accompany a heartattack, a heartattack so bad it rips my heart into more than one piece.

And I can see either accepting everything that happens, or accepting none, but in between I lose hope.

I can accept the heartattack of caring that much or that not-enough.

What if I have a heartattack tonight and say something really dumb when it happens, like, “oh jeez” and then make a dumb face when I fall.

What if that happens to me right now.

People would laugh.

I would laugh.

Oh my.

Once past the area with all the bars, there is an outdoor ice rink to my left.

People are skating there together.

None invited me.

No, I don’t know, I mean that’s how I want it.

And the light inside the rink is what these people use to skate.

And that light is the same that gives them to me, not me to them, because I am outside its area on the sidewalk.

My nose is cold and my nose is also dripping.

Oh my.

Nobody at the ice rink looks at me.

In passing.

They don’t because it would be weird to be looking at someone this far away.

Arranged relationships with other people that technically never happen.

It feels like practice.


Not quite a piece of shit myself, but the streak for sure.

For sure the area the shit passes over and leaves behind parts of itself.

At the streetcorner just beyond the sound of the ice rink, there is a long patch of ice on the sidewalk that I have to slide over in very small glides.

Like, I use maybe two inches per glide to be safe.

As I’m doing this, I hear my cat meowing and it sounds like he is in my coat somewhere behind me.

My cat is not there when I check.

He died a while ago I think.

This makes sense.

It sounded so real when I heard him meow, but it didn’t happen.

Just the thought of my cat’s ghost is enough to make me feel like there’s like, a sour feeling in my head area.

I want to itch my back until I feel pain.
No, I don’t know.

I see a billboard with a young girl on it.

The young girl is bald.

The billboard is for cancer research.

I feel bad about people with cancer.

I think that if I discovered I had cancer I would immediately say the word, “Phew.”


On the sidewalk in the cold weather, the word “phew” scrolls through my head in big block neon letters.


I watch it scroll, and I approve.

It’s like everyone I see now has a haircut.

Having a haircut seems like something important.

It seems defining.

I’ve noticed my thinking towards another person is immediately altered if that person has clearly had a recent haircut, still shaped.

Maybe that’s my problem.

Cutting my own hair for years has maybe contributed to me feeling different from other people in a fundamental way.

Could that happen.

I just need to get haircuts.

Maybe that’s my main problem.

I need to get haircuts from now on.

Across the street there’s a bookstore and I walk to it.

I think maybe I’ve read here before (read in front of people on purpose not like randomly out loud among other people who just happen to be shopping).

Will they remember me there if I go in—the employees and the people there.

They will not.

Will one of them shoot me with a water pistol full of some dangerous chemical.

They will not.

I realize it’s not the same bookstore.

I go into the bookstore.

Inside there is a girl walking around and she is pretty to me.

She has a pretty face and a pretty body and it feels nice to be close to her.

She fixes her glasses and walks past me, looking at the books.

I wonder if she is thinking about having sex with me.

Am I standing naked before her in her thoughts.

What is she imagining.

Am I at least present in her imagination at all.

I want to watch the imagination.

What do I look like to her.

Do I have coins taped to my stomach.

If I do, why do I have coins taped to my stomach.

That seems wrong.

I check my stomach with my hand and there is nothing there but some hair.

I say nothing to the girl as she passes.

She just passes.

And I’m intentionally looking away.

She looks at the books and I am roughly equivalent to any other inessential part of the room to her, like a corner or a tile.

I buy a low-priced copy of a book written by Karl Jaspers and then I leave the store.

When I leave I act like I am looking at something on the wall, just beyond the register.

I don’t know why I act like I’m looking at something, but I know it’s intentional.

I can feel that it is intentional.

A lot of times my behavior is the reaction to what I think other people are observing about me, and so yes, I am uncomfortable a lot (haha).

Outside the store on the building next door there is an advertisement for clothing.

A girl lies on a bed looking like she is dying or has some kind of sickness but still wants to fuck and the name of the brand of clothing is on the bottom of the advertisement.

I think, “So what.”

I see a candybar wrapper on the ground.

I think, “So what.”

Then I walk in the same direction as before.

It feels like practice.

I only cry like once a year now.

If I had a bar graph, I’m confident it would confirm this.

The right-now me only cries once a year I mean.

And it’s hard to tell if I ever cry specifically about the thing happening or just because it is needed at that time.

It’s insane.

I take an alleyway between two buildings.

Alleyways between buildings are some of my favorite places to be walking.

There seem to be no spiderwebs now.

And I remember that’s because it’s winter and some things go away and/or die.

What happens to the spiders in the winter.

I have the urge to drop from the sky and scream, “What happens to the spiders in the winter.”

There’s a crown spraypainted on the side of a building, and there are numbers over each spike of the crown.

And as I pass by a dumpster, I realize every specific thing I worry about is nothing compared to the main worry I have which never has an object.

The idea of haha goes into my headhole and I almost laugh but I don’t because at the other end of the alley there are people smoking cigarettes outside a bar.

And it feels like everyone is looking at me, even people in cars at stoplights.

I only laugh like once a year now.

And I realize that there is nothing to worry about without first wanting to be alive a certain way.

That is somewhat relaxing to think.

If I accept whatever I get, exerting no energy for its arrival and none for its refusal, I will be happy or at least ok.

So weak.

It occurs to me I might never laugh again.

It seems possible, and also likely.

That could happen.

I accept that.

Both of my feet are cold through the shitty boots I’m wearing and I like the way the snow is coming down more now; there is maybe a few inches on the sidewalk area.

I imagine a man coming out of an alley and stabbing me a number
of times until I die.

Face-down, mouth-open in the snow.

What would that change about me.

Would I love it.

Would I think that the stabbing was painful and that I didn’t like it.

Does it actually hurt or is it great.

I see my killer being given a wreath and a box of candy by the mayor of Chicago at some kind of ceremony (a ceremony for killing me, you see).

And people are cheering for him.

I see myself stab-holed and crawling out of an alley to join the periphery of the celebration.

Then I hold one hand over the stab wounds and with the other hand I give the thumbs-up sign to my killer as he accepts the wreath from the mayor.

I pass more people who are out walking.

I’m on Ashland Avenue.

A lot of times when I encounter someone else out walking or running past me, it feels like we should be more united than we end up acting.

We’re both outside at the same time together.

Why doesn’t that mean anything to anyone.


No, I don’t think I actually care about that.

I thought I cared about it just now.

The word “phew” scrolls through my head in neon letters.

I feel like my eyes look really wild right now.

It’s possible I have a fever.

On my side of the street there’s a cop wagon with two cops inside.

Chicago Police.

The Chicago Police Department.

And I just barely resist the urge to jump and scream at the window of the cop wagon.

That would be funny and I don’t think I would get arrested (not sure though).

In resisting the urge I feel something like a rush of energy through my heart-area.

Man Arrested for Surprising Chicago Police Then Slipping on Ice and Dying—Cries Wildly.

I consider walking to Lake Michigan again, this time taking my clothes off and getting in until I die.

That would work (almost sure).

I would die from that.

I’d be completely invisible in the snow and gray water and I

would die from freezing.

That would work.

Plus I don’t think it would be a bad way to die actually.

I don’t think that would be bad.

There are usually a lot of ducks (?) geese (?) by Lake Michigan and I think it would be nice to slowly lose consciousness while they stared at me.

What would that change about their lives.

Would it cause anything new in their lives.

Maybe it wouldn’t matter.

Why can’t I just walk up to some people and say, “Can I spend time with you, I’m really—” and then stop.

I think about people I used to know and I wonder if any one of them is thinking about me at this moment.

That is possible.

That could be happening.

What happens when you are thinking about a person at the same time he or she is thinking about you.

I see myself before all the people I used to know, them forming a line.

I see myself greeting them each, one by one, and saying, “I really am a good person. Are we good, are me and you good.”

Wrigley Field Baseball Park comes up on my right side now.

I look at the l/e/d sign out front and I expect scrolling letters to write, “Nobody likes you and you don’t have a home—people just tolerate you.”

For some reason then I imagine an old newscaster in front of a big microphone going, “This just in, nobody likes you. They just tolerate you.”

I don’t think I would react in a shocked way if I saw that.

I would accept it.

Right now I’m hungry.

I feel hunger.

A weird noise happens in my stomach and I feel bad.

The noise my stomach just made is (probably) the same like a young dinosaur telling its mother it needs food.

I consider starving to death on purpose.

Maybe I should do that.

Starving to death on purpose seems awesome to do in North America.

It would be something that people would remember.

I would be remembered as the man who purposely starved to death in North America.

The man whose stomach made those bad baby dinosaur sounds until death.

Man Found Starved, Believed Relative of a Baby Dinosaur.

I pass by a liquor store and go inside.

It smells like my closet inside.

I like it.

No one’s in the store.

Then an old man comes out of the backroom, wiping his mouth with a napkin.

I ask if they sell pens.

He’s confused.

The store.

Does the store sell pens.

I make a motion with my hand like I am writing and I say, “Pens, pencils.”

He says no.

I walk more and come to a 7-11 store.

I go inside and ask the man if they have pens or pencils.

He says some things I don’t understand and he points to an aisle.

There are a lot of people at the register and he keeps yelling at me to go different ways.

I go to walk down an aisle and he yells at me and motions a different way.

I can’t seem to select the right way.

The way he wants.


He yells more at me and the people in line are now looking and I can only make out a blurry monster around their general area.

For some reason I smile, feeling awesome for a few seconds.

Like, I smile really hard, just watching a man yell directions at me.

This is amazing.

I laugh.

The pencils are by the back near the drink-cooler area.

I find the pencils.

There are people by the drink-cooler and one says, “Yeah, that fucking juice is fucking awesome man. It fucks you up and shit, like, the flavor.”

I take a pencil to the register and wait in line.

In line I notice the pencil is the brand that is the store’s name.

It is a 7-11 mechanical pencil.

When my history is written on the face of my gravestone, the gravestone that is the entire plate of stone moving beneath the earth’s surface, this part will say, “Buys a 7-11 mechanical pencil after being yelled at in front of many people.”

The woman in line before me is paying.

As she pays, the man at the register (the man who yelled at me) holds up a container of juice from the counter.

He says, “Go get another.”

The woman just stands there.

The man at the register shakes the juice and says it again, really mad.

The woman goes and gets another.

Approaching the register again, she says, “Is it buy-one get-one free.”

“Yes yes buy-one get-one.”

I look at my pencil to be distracted, and I think about how the woman just blankly did what an angry man working a register told her to do, without first knowing why.

Someone yelled at her, and she did what was being yelled.

This redeems something.

No, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I pay for my pencil and the man behind the register tells me to have a good night.

I wonder what a good night is to him and then I wonder the same about myself.

It occurs to me that in order for that communication to work, myself and the man would have to come to an agreement about what it meant.

I’m too scared.

It feels like practice.

I walk nextdoor to a restaurant.

Inside the restaurant I see some people who were just in the 7-11 with me, so I walk away, and go to a different restaurant nearby.

I order food and eat my order at a table meant for four, in the corner of the place, keeping my hooded sweatshirt and my coat on, worrying the whole time that a worker will walk up to me and say, “Why don’t you take your coat off.”

I decide if that happens, I will say, “Because I’m undercover.”

It doesn’t happen.

My history is the history of things imagined and not-happened.

I eat my food without looking up and I write all this down in the white space inside the book I bought, and I try to think about an idea of the not-happened and it seems like I can do it at first but then it becomes unclear and I am not bothered at all.

And exit the restaurant.

My hood is on and it’s cold outside, and I make the mistake of breathing in at the same time a long wind goes into my mouth.

Then walk home, thinking paranoid thoughts about how people are trying to fuck with me somehow and I haven’t figured it out yet.

Shit is getting bad.

No I don’t know.

I live in Chicago and I don’t get along with a lot of people and the reasons are always new and wonderful.

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