Author: Philip G Hostetler
I set my guitar down in it’s stand, I went to take a piss, the Zuntory whiskey was running right through me. D’rard had warned me not to drink too much, but he was fucking my ex-wife so fuck him and the high horse he rode in on. I walked back out from the bathroom and flopped down on the couch and went to take a drink from the condensating tumbler when out of the corner of my eye I noticed my guitar was, impossibly, left handed.
I’ve been right handed my whole life, all my guitars; right handed.
“What in the ever-loving fuck?”, I wondered aloud. I approached the guitar like it was a feral cryptid, a dangerous phenomena. My palms sweaty as I reached for it cautiously. I picked it up and pulled a pick from my pocket and to my alarm, played it as though I’d been playing left handed my whole life. Perhaps even better. My roommate’s voice alarmed me, I’d been so perturbed by this odd emergence, so engrossed, that I didn’t notice him walk into the room,
“You ok, S’thail?” I stuttered
“I… uh, my guitar, it’s… left handed.”
“What’re you talking about? You’ve always played left handed!”, said Lahnold
“No- the fuck- I haven’t.”
I noticed that Lahnold wasn’t facing me, and when I went to look him in the eye his body would reposition so as not to face me, not that he was stepping away but that it was an existential condition. No matter how I tried to see his face, I’d only see the back of his head, his ponytail and big, hunched shoulders.
Thoroughly perturbed by this, I went out. Everyone I passed by as I walked for drinks were facing away from me, as I walked past, they’d turn 180° with their back to me. Even the damned bartender, when she went to pour drinks, would do it with her back turned and she placed my gin and tonic, back turned, in front of her, it shouldn’t have been in front of me, it’s as though she reached through an interdimensional portal and placed it in front me, but no such magic or fuzzy science happened.
“Is something wrong?”, she asked. Something was definitely wrong. I stumbled back and the barstool clattered to the ground, as I fled from the bar, I could hear the bartender calling after me,
“Hey! You gonna pay for that?!” I ignored her and called my therapist as I walked through the light snow and screen chatted with him, the back of his head was all that was apparent,
“S’thail, I’m worried, what you’re describing sounds like a break from reality.”
“Yeah, no shit!”, I said, I pleaded with him,
“Shian, just… humor me. Consider I’m totally sane and self aware, if there were to be a circumstance where everything suddenly became backwards, like, physically, emotionally, mentally- what could possibly describe this… totally fucked situation?”
“Well, if you’re giving me poetic license I’d say that you’re experiencing… an extroversion of cognitive dissonance. That everything that feels backwards has manifested in your life as a reality- but S’thail, that’s impossible, you get that, yeah?”
“Yeah, doc, I get that…”, he sighed, at least he sounded like he did.
“I’m glad, now listen closely- flesruoy llik.”
“What?” It sounded… backwards.
“I said, take care of yourself.”
I went home, I went to sleep and I dreamt of a bright, colorful world that was forever behind me and persisted forward into a backwards world, with backwards people and backwards feelings, not sure if I’d ever wake up.