Clicking Away at Healing Potions

By Tom Chick

July 6, 2001

"Dude, it'll be two weeks," Trevor says, "and we're still not having Shoot Club?"

He's come over to the house since I haven't really returned his calls lately. By 'haven't really returned his calls lately', I mean 'haven't returned his calls lately'. So here he is now, having driven over in the tricked out Honda civic he bought from a Mexican kid, complete with the spoiler on back. His arrival was announced by the hoarse unmistakable huurrrrrr of its muffler in the driveway.

"Hey, what's up?" he'd said, "Nobody's heard from you, so I figured you were out of town. Or something." Trevor is sporting a ponytail, albeit a small one. I think he's letting his hair grow out as a form of denial about his bald spot. The ponytail reinforces this denial. Like a fat guy in tight clothes.

There have been times I've been out of town before, but I always left Trevor the key so Shoot Club could continue. Yeah, sure, it was my house, but Shoot Club belonged to all of us. It didn't just stop if I wasn't there.

The only thing that had ever interrupted Shoot Club was my second anniversary with my girlfriend Lisa. We went to a nice restaurant and we wanted the house to ourselves when we came back. Well, she wanted the house to ourselves. I wouldn't have minded coming back to a bunch of guys playing Action Half Life and Age of Empires 2. But she had other ideas about what's supposed to happen after a second anniversary dinner -- I decided not to point out that since we weren't married, technically it wasn't an anniversary -- so Shoot Club was canceled that week.

"We're having it this week, right?" Trevor asks, idly reaching back and flipping his ponytail, as if to reassure himself it's still there.

"I don't know, Trevor. I'm kind of busy," I lie.

Trevor comes in and sees the missing stuff. The coffee table Lisa's dad bought us is gone. The French impressionist posters she made me hang on the walls and that the guys all laughed at -- "Don't tell me you put those up...". Gaps in the bookshelf and CD case. He doesn't comment on them. He heads back into the kitchen to get something to drink while I drop onto the unraveling old couch where we sit when we play Virtua Tennis.

"Lisa and I broke up," I call out while he's in the other room.

"Yeah, I can tell; you don't have shit in the refrigerator anymore. Water and mustard. And old carrots. We never even had room for beer when Lisa was here."

"She's seeing some other guy. He's a helicopter pilot."


"Yeah. Can't compete with that."

"Dude. How'd she meet a helicopter pilot?"

"That fundraiser she was working on for orphans. This guy donates helicopter rides to orphans. Fuck."

"Yeah, fuck. Can't compete with that. You write about computer games."

"Like orphans don't fucking like computer games? I'd be a big hit with orphans."

"My nephew Donny thinks you're cool."

"Yeah. Donny totally thinks I'm cool. Orphans would dig me, too."

"Orphans aren't really the issue, though. It's Lisa."

"I see a helicopter now and I'm like, fuck. Fuck."

"Do you think we could get a helicopter ride?"

I look at him. Is he joking? Yes, of course he's joking. He's signaling that we don't have to talk about it and we can just start saying 'fuck her, man'. If I want to. Trevor would also let me talk more if I wanted.