House Sitting

by Brendan O'Brien

My best friend, all smiles and suitcases, pats my shoulder and thanks me again. He is going Fun Jet, escaping Wisconsin or, as we call it, Mother Nature’s driving range. His wife winks, mouths polite words and bends to get the kids in the cab. He hands me a set of keys and says, “Ok, just a few things: please selectively eat from all three King Size Chex Mix bags in our pantry leaving only the pretzels; use a flathead to pry the lid off the leftover Dignity Blue in the basement and submerge something mildly important so we’ll never find it; let the Labrador eat a handful of almond Hershey’s so you can see if this dog and chocolate thing is for real; when it snows, shovel the sidewalk into our window well to see if we are serious when saying the window leaks; take the scissors from our kitchen drawer, pick the lint from your toenails and mix up your findings with the cat’s supper; last but not least, if you’re going to masturbate to my wife’s picture use the 4x6 in the office, black bikini and floppy hat, instead of the one by the bed of the family at Epcot.” You shake his hand, give him a man hug and put the keys in your pocket. As they drive away you wave.


Brendan O'Brien drinks beer, watches baseball, roots for Notre Dame and writes from Wisconsin. He has a dog named Montana and an iPod with Chubb Rock. His work has appeared in places like Storyglossia, Dark Sky and Dogzplot among others.