Rewind three years. He is watching someone, a strange man-child who can lead a conversation from wookiee martial arts through to the Terminator movies without drawing breath. The stranger is currently recounting, word for word and action for action, scenes from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This odd creature will later be known for his performance at the local comics store, stalking up the stairs like he was Tarantino’s Bride. He’s short, slightly round and Taiwanese. He makes Star Wars fan films, and one day he may actually kill everyone who’s ever laughed at him. Downstairs, co-workers poke each other’s nipples with pens and listen to Rammstein. The room smells like sweat, soy sauce and lonely men’s bungalows.
Rewind five years. He’s meeting a girl who likes anime. She doesn’t know it yet but there’s a whole lot of evil in her stomach, wrapping thick black weeds through her choked insides. It’ll be enough to make her scream and stumble through the morphine. For now though, that scar-tissue kudzu is far away.
Rewind nine years. He’s a boy, now, talking to a girl who might be interesting or cool or tragically sad but she doesn’t know whether that’s just the chemicals talking. They’re peeling chocolate icing from the top of school cafeteria doughnuts, talking about horse tranquilizers and the significance of the lily. He’s addicted to nicotine but has never smoked.