Remote Controls and Menus (XVII)

Remote Controls and Menus (XVII)

“And what you see before you is the greatest example of evolution that you will ever see.”

-Triple H


He left me there—all scrambled and intertwined with the wires of his television. There were black wires with green tips and white wires with blue tips. They all spelled out some undecipherable code from the future.

My father was covered in the same dust that covered the stillness of his house. Since the hospital—since the cancer, he was forced to bed. Those long hours spent beneath a twirling ceiling fan motivated him to upgrade his home entertainment system.

“It’s my life now,” he said.

He was a simple man who’d always struggled to adapt. He was just an old man who—understandably—struggled with technology as it came at him in waves. He tried to rig the television and the Chromecast and the DVD player by himself; he tried bringing the ends of the wires apart and connecting them back together in the right—the meaningful—way.

He just couldn’t figure it out.

“Sometimes there’s no sound and no video; other times, there’s no sound, but there is video,” he said.

He never put it all together.

Evolution always continues. And you have to look to the future, and I look to you.

He headed to the bathroom as I wedged myself between the wall and the entertainment stand. I shoved male adapters into female adapters meticulously. I tried to reverse engineer the umbilical cord.

I test—as we all are tested—my hand work. The television came on showing me a black screen—a void into the future. I grabbed another remote control; it was the same object that had already been assumed as dysfunctional. I turned the DVD player on and watched a blue color wash over the screen.

Loading menu.

I felt accomplished; I’d finally rewarded my father with something.

The blue screen gave way to some clumped together pixels of a DVD titled Young Buns 12. I realized—all of the wires—all of my help—as solely useful to produce pornography for my father’s viewing pleasure.

You see, in life, everything happens for a reason. That’s just the natural process of evolution.

I didn’t need my father to teach me about want. That was a lesson that we all learned, and then relearned, on a regular basis.

I understood that it required two hands to read one palm and that it required deep breaths to remain calm. I understood the desire to reach back into yourself and try to pull something more beautiful out.

If you don’t have what it takes, you will be left behind. If you wake up one day, and you’re lying in a hospital bed, and you’re all beat up, and you’re wondering to yourself what the hell happened, there is just one answer for you. Evolution has passed you by.

I watched a woman—a brunette—bend over, wiggle her butt from side-to-side as her underwear cupped each cheek with support. She was stuck in an infinite loop of smiling with wide eyes as her butt moved around the screen.

I wondered when I would become you.

I wanted to know when I would be young enough to lust for something more but be too old to understand the easiest way to get it.


About the Author

Mathew Serback likes to quote his friend's raps lyrics. That's why he only runs with scissors when he's cutting to the chase. He has a series of stories that use professional wrestling promos as part of his short stories. These stories can be found in publications such as Atlas and Alice, Vine Leaves, The Molotov Cocktail, Dime Show Review, Foliate Oak, and 2 Bridges Review. His fiction, poetry, and reviews can be found online in [PANK], Literary Orphans, Crack the Spine, and many others.