Bus Story, Part II by Paul Christian

Keanu Reeves wonders if this week is shark week. If this week is shark week, Keanu Reeves will be very disappointed and considers texting Laurence Fishburne, asking him to confirm whether or not this week is in fact shark week, and if this is the case, asking him to activate his DVR device. Keanu Reeves does not fuck around with shark week. He removes his normal-sized and sensible Tom Ford sunglasses.

He thinks about what happens when you rehydrate beef jerky or raisins. Keanu Reeves feels wrong for thinking about this and checks hisself for visible lines in his window reflection. His transparent skin in the window appears nearly featureless as it is prodded by the upturned arms of rapidly passing cacti.

Keanu Reeves sees a small red object move down the center aisle between himself and the chicken man. The small red object is followed by a small pink human in a tiny white onesie. Keanu Reeves looks downward and the small red object turns out to be gumball rolling in a perfectly straight line due to being caught in a small groove in the marbled rubber flooring. The small pink human is pursuing the small red object. The small pink human does not fuck around with small red objects.

The small pink human keeps moving as the small red object becomes caught on a penny fallen across its groove. Keanu Reeves watches the small pink human pick up the small red object and place it in its mouth. Keanu Reeves notices that the small pink human does not have teeth and should probably not be placing a gumball in its mouth. Keanu Reeves thinks that, like the seats, the small pink human was probably manufactured in the 1990s. 

Keanu Reeves leans an arm on the windowsill and puts on his normal-sized and sensible Tom Ford sunglasses. Keanu Reeves feels strongly that this bus has passed by the exact same cactus several times. Keanu Reeves invents a name for this cactus. Keanu Reeves has named it Pointy Sandra Bullock. Keanu Reeves wonders what the small pink human's name is. “Maybe Francis, but I could also see Sharon,” Keanu Reeves thinks.

Keanu Reeves realizes that the small pink human is too small and too green and too pink to have been made in the 1990s. Keanu Reeves reaches down and retrieves the red object from the small pink human's mouth without a word. The small pink human becomes visibly and audibly upset because it does not realize that Keanu Reeves has prevented it from dying on a public bus. If the small pink human had known who Keanu Reeves was, the small pink human would no doubt feel honored, or at least tweet about it.

The small pink human's caretaker approaches, walks around the chicken man's extended legs and retrieves the human, apologizing to Keanu Reeves for the loud sounds emitted by it. The caretaker has not seen Keanu Reeves touch or interact with the small pink human. Keanu Reeves says, “It's fine. Nice baby.” The caretaker leaves and the small pink human is chewing on a part of itself.

The bus hits a small bump, which forces the small red object to roll into a separate floor groove from the penny. The object has continued on its way to the lavatory at the back of the bus. It has now turned a slight pink from being the the mouth of the small pink human and leaves a small trail behind it. The small formerly red object does not feel the need to use the lavatory at the back of the bus but nonetheless feels compelled toward it and does not know why. The small pink object does not know who Keanu Reeves is either.

Keanu Reeves collapses his normal-sized and sensible Tom Ford sunglasses which have convenient spring hinges. He places them in his Tom Ford sunglass case and sets it in his Chrome brand combination messenger bag and laptop case.

Keanu Reeves cranes his neck and peers into the bus driver's mirror, which shows the back of the bus from the front of the bus. Keanu Reeves sees a small pink object make impact with the section of wall to the left of the lavatory door. He does not hear the small pink object make impact with the section of wall to the left of the lavatory door. The impact is soft and the small pink object does not bounce but, because it still is somewhat damp, sticks to the section of wall to the left of the lavatory door. The small pink object feels a sense of completion, and relaxes, but does not stretch its arms because it does not have any.

Keanu Reeves looks to the chicken man. The clean-shaven area immediately surrounding the chicken man's mouth bears a heavy sheen of grease as he looks to Keanu Reeves. He smiles politely and turns toward the window again. Keanu Reeves thinks, “If that man's skin were paper it would be translucent right now. It would be translucent and I could see the layers of fat underneath.”

In the window, Keanu Reeves sees Pointy Sandra Bullock scrape past his forehead and he texts Laurence Fishburne.

Keanu Reeves asks Laurence Fishburne if it is shark week.

Laurence Fishburne answers right away. Within 120 seconds.

Laurence Fishburne does not fuck around with text messaging.


Bus Story, Part I by Paul Christian

Keanu Reeves is on a bus with normal-sized and sensible Tom Ford sunglasses on the front of his face. The bus is named after a thin lithe dog called a greyhound. The bus is on a road and there are cactuses next to the road. The bus is moving. The seats and people and everyone inside the bus are also moving but only moving small amounts in relation to the bus itself if they are moving at all. Keanu Reeves is sitting still in relation to the bus. Keanu Reeves does not want to be on this bus.

The driver who is driving the bus which contains Keanu Reeves has invented a name for the bus. He has named the bus Sharon, but not like his wife Sharon. The bus driver's wife, Sharon, does not like being compared to heavy machinery or thin lithe dogs. The bus driver's mother and father who shall not be named invented a name for the bus driver many years ago. They named the bus driver Francis. Francis was not a bus driver at the time of his birth. The bus has never met its parents since the time of its birth. Keanu Reeves has no knowledge of any of this despite having seen the name tags on both the bus and driver.

Keanu Reeves is seated next to a vacant seat as is almost everyone on the bus. The bus is slightly over half full and Keanu Reeves is seated about halfway back from the front of the bus. Keanu Reeves feels a sudden rush appreciation for late 1990s graphic design, specifically the late 1990s Doritos logo. He thinks about the 1990s and sighs.

Keanu Reeves looks across the aisle to the pair of blue fuzzy plastic seats with loud stripes which are sitting symmetrically across from his. These loud stripes swoop in a way that implies that they were hand-drawn. Keanu Reeves thinks that these seats were probably manufactured in the 1990s. 

Keanu Reeves looks at a man sitting in a seat across the aisle. The man sits in the seat closer to the aisle and has a large brown paper bag with a receipt stapled to it in the seat next to the window so that the items that the bag contains cannot be stolen by a person walking down the aisle. Keanu Reeves cannot see inside the brown paper bag and therefore does not know what is in the brown paper bag, and wants very much to take the bag into his own possession.

Keanu Reeves notes the curvature of the man's belly which cascades downward over a portion of his upper thighs and groin area like an oversized water balloon placed carefully on one's mantel. The man has one foot extended at an angle into the aisle because he is a man and feels he is entitled to more space even though he is currently occupying an entire pair of seats while only sitting in one of them.

Keanu Reeves looks at a bucket sitting in the man's lap and leaning against his torso's convex outcropping. The bucket is made of paper. Keanu Reeves looks at the logo on the bucket as the man who owns the bucket reaches into it, pulling out the golden thigh of a dead bird shining with rendered fat and frying oil. Keanu Reeves watches him bring it to his mouth and sink his teeth into it, ripping off bits of skin and breaded flesh with a sick wet crunch. He no longer wants to know what is in the man's bag. Keanu Reeves thinks about sharks and teeth and shark teeth and wonders when shark week is.

Boat Story by Paul Christian

Keanu Reeves is on an Alaska Marine Highway System boat. This boat is a large specimen of a type of boat called a catamaran. The boat has multiple, more narrow hulls that support a wider more platformlike boat body. This allows the boat to move rather quickly compared to other boats of its size. The boat moves quickly and you can fit cars inside this boat. The boat is also called a ferry but is not the kind that grants magical wishes; this disappointed Keanu Reeves when he found out. The boat's name is Chenega. 

Keanu Reeves' trip will take two nights and two days continuously on this boat. Keanu Reeves is wearing a pair of large aviator-style sunglasses and a slightly confused frown. The sunglasses are by two people called Dolce & Gabbana and the frown is Keanu Reeves' own design. Keanu Reeves is standing on the upper deck on top of the ship just outside the solarium.

Keanu Reeves watches a family open a tent in the harsh yellow tint of the plastic solarium on top of the boat. The solarium is a heated area on the deck of the ship where one can be outside without having to feel like one is outside. There are deck chairs in the solarium. Keanu Reeves neglected to bring a sleeping bag. The small girl member of the family smiles as she unwraps her sleeping bag, which has a variety of small cartoon monsters on it. She places a pillow at the head of the sleeping bag very carefully and puts a plush monster toy on the pillow and gestures at it as if telling it to stay. The plush monster is the same kind of monster that is on the sleeping bag.

Keanu Reeves does not recognize or know the names of these monsters. They are from a cartoon program that Keanu Reeves has never seen before. He discreetly takes a photo of it to ask others what these monsters might be. He waits until the girl has left the tent so she will not appear in the picture. The family does not notice Keanu Reeves taking a photo of their daughter's sleeping bag. Keanu Reeves plays Candy Crush discreetly after taking the photo and feels guilty about one of those two activities.

Keanu Reeves had assumed that there would be beds aboard the boat. The hum of the engines is very loud here, in the solarium on top of the boat, as is the sound of the catamaran's multiple hulls breaching the water and throwing the water back at other parts of the water. The water does not like this and responds with violent bursts of air bubbles that leave a whitish trail stretching behind the boat named Chenega. 

Keanu Reeves is approached by a dog in the solarium on top of the boat. The dog is yellow here and pants at Keanu Reeves expecting pats and affection. He thinks the dog might be a light brown in other light. The tag around the dog's neck reads Jeremy. This tells him nothing about what the coloring of the dog actually is. Keanu Reeves feels the need to procure a frozen yoghurt. 

When Keanu Reeves attempts to procure a frozen yoghurt at the ship's cafeteria, he is disappointed to find that they only have frozen yogurt available. Keanu Reeves thinks “A lot is lost when an H disappears.” Keanu Reeves does not get sprinkles even though he is offered them. Rainbow jimmies. The most jubilant of all sprinkle veriatals. Keanu Reeves does not like sprinkles. He once had a very bad sprinkle experience.

Keanu Reeves sits in a part of the ship that resembles a reasonable hotel lobby except surrounded by water and with islands slowly passing by. And whales. This part of the ship is undearneath the top of the ship where the plastic solarium, small girl, monsters, tent and dog are. Keanu Reeves is seated in a cushioned booth in front of a large nondescript frozen yogurt. The frozen yogurt is exactly like the frozen yogurt in every other part of the world. 

Keanu Reeves sees a group of Japanese tourists with cameras and similar large nondescript sandwiches sitting in a booth across the way from her own. Keanu Reeves notices that the oldest three members of the family – mother, father and oldest daughter – are all wearing matching polyester tracksuits. The oldest daughter of this family is older than the younger daughter of the other family in the solarium at the top of the boat.

The tracksuits that are being worn by three members of the Japanese family are not identical. The tracksuits are red, white and blue. When viewed from behind, the three tracksuits together form an image of an American flag. This only occurs when the family is standing in the correct order like an apocalyptic eclipse in a movie about horrifying apocalyptic eclipses. The correct order is with the father on the right, the mother on the left, and the daughter in the middle. The tracksuits were made in a manufacturing facility in Guangdong Province, China, purchased at a locally owned shop in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, and depict the flag of the United States of America. The tracksuits are experiencing an identity crisis and would much rather be home neatly folded safely tucked in a dark drawer or cardboard box.

Keanu Reeves watches the family idly while scrolling through old pictures on his phone, the broken American flag never leaving his periphery. Whenever a whale passes, the Japanese family gathers at the window excitedly, except for the older daughter who detaches for a moment, waits to see in what order her parents are standing, then stands either to the left or the right of both of them to prevent the american flag from appearing unbroken.  

As a Japanese camera makes a clicking sound, Keanu Reeves thinks of the other family who are probably still in the solarium on top of the boat. Keanu Reeves feels creepy for having taken a photo of a young girl's sleeping bag without her parents' permission and deletes the photo in a brief fit of anxiety. Keanu Reeves thinks that maybe it would have been a better idea to ask the mother of the girl what those monsters were in a friendly and not creepy manner. Keanu Reeves wonders if there is a not creepy way to ask that question of a small girl's sleeping bag. Keanu Reeves wonders if there is a not weird way to casually show someone the picture of the small girl's sleeping bag and ask who the monsters are. Keanu Reeves decides that this is a no-win hypothetical situation.

Keanu Reeves wonders if the small girl has met the probably light brown dog. He thinks they would probably friends. He thinks he should probably stop thinking about the small girl.

Keanu Reeves wonders if there is a place on this boat to purchase alcohol or if it is a dry boat, in which case Keanu Reeves will seriously consider throwing herself overboard but ultimately, after noting the lack of towels draped conveniently along the shoreline, will decide this is unwise. Also Keanu Reeves' phone would be ruined. Also Keanu Reeves does not know where she is. There is no place to purchase alcohol on one of these boats which is a good and bad thing.

Keanu Reeves looks out the glass window and sees the tail of a whale disappearing into the water and thinks about a book she read once. It was called Fluke. Keanu Reeves remembers that the book said whales were large hollow vehicles for tiny humanoid cetacean creatures that piloted them from within. The creatures were constantly jerking each other off which made Keanu Reeves uncomfortable. The creatures were referred to as “whaley boys.” Keanu Reeves did not finish this book. He did not even get to the part in which a whale uses an inflatable boat as a diaphragm to prevent unwanted insemination resulting in two marine biologists  being showered with massive jets of whale sperm.

Keanu Reeves looks out the glass window again and sees another whale and this time the whale is breaching. The black and white patterns on its skin appear too glossy to really exist. Keanu Reeves notices the sun is shining and wonders if it is possible for whales in real life to masturbate. He pictures tiny flippers attempting to grasp a faraway object or orifice. A whale curving shrimp in deep water.

Keanu Reeves accidentally takes a nap wearing Dolce & Gabbana aviator-style sunglasses imagining he is in a yellow tinted tent instead of on a padded bench next to half of a half-melted frozen yogurt without an “H.” Keanu Reeves dreams about the family he is sharing the tent with. The family is nice. The small girl offers Keanu Reeves her sleeping bag. Keanu Reeves' expensive Chrome bag is on the floor and his wrist is intertwined with its secure strap so it cannot be stolen. In Keanu Reeves' dream, he, the girl, and the yellow-tinted dog leave the tent together and walk in lock-step to the railing on the edge of the boat.

Keanu Reeves dreamlooks at the water. Keanu Reeves dreamsees a fish. Keanu Reeves dreamthinks, “I should call Laurence Fishburne.”


paul christian's sister tricked him into eating mud multiple times as a child. he is better now and almost has a masters degree in writing from calarts. his dad is very proud sometimes.

Train Story, Part II by Paul Christian

The last time Keanu Reeves saw his mother, they had an argument. It started about Keanu Reeves's habit of collecting decorative nutcrackers. “Why collect them?” she said, “they don't even work. This is weird.” Keanu Reeves keeps an actual nutcracker in with his decorative collection just for such occurrences, as they are quite common. Keanu gathered for the functional nutcracker and placed it on a table in front of his mother which had on it a white ceramic bowl with walnuts in it. Keanu Reeves held up a nut and handed it to his mother so she can inspect the nut for authenticity.

Keanu Reeves's mother held the walnut at arms length, about 4 feet from the light for a moment as if holding an egg up to a candle. The walnut cast a shadow in the shape of a giant walnut, roughly a volleyball, on the face of Keanu Reeves's mother. The effect was not unlike an eclipse and to Keanu Reeves, it was equally forboding. Keanu Reeves's mother then handed the walnut back to Keanu Reeves with a disapproving facial expression. Keanu Reeves placed the walnut in the mouth of his functional nutcracker and lowered the lever. Keanu Reeves's functional nutcracker cracked the walnut, parts of which fell to the table.

Keanu Reeves's mother picked up another nutcracker she had picked more or less at random, and placed it on the table. “This one.” She said, “Do this one.” Keanu frowned. Keanu Reeves had an argument with his mother. Keanu Reeves does not want to visit his mother. Keanu Reeves takes off his watch and places it in his bag. Keanu does not want to be aware of the passing of time though the joint is helping to dilate things quite nicely. Keanu Reeves throws the roach out the window of the moving train.

Keanu Reeves sighs. Keanu has returned to his seat and places his arm on the sill of the window. Keanu Reeves's local newspaper is on the floor of the train. Keanu Reeves looks out the window of the train. While looking outside, Keanu's eyes cannot render anything in distinct detail in the foreground but in the distance, Keanu sees the outline of a cow. Keanu does not know how, but feels he has made eye contact with this cow. Keanu Reeves knows it. Keanu Reeves has seen the essence of this animal.

Keanu Reeves looks at the rapid gestures of trees and thinks, “Oh, trees. Trees, I guess.” In Keanu's mind, Keanu Reeves's mother gets lost with the young girl whose name he cannot recall. The cow is there too. “They are somewhere in these trees, right now.” Keanu Reeves thinks, “they are there and they are happy. And when I get to her house no one will be home. I will ring twice to be sure.”

Keanu Reeves sighs in a different way and the train keeps moving.



Train Story, Part I by Paul Christian


Keanu Reeves is on a train and is making a face that is somewhere between mild but unpleasant heartburn from intake of spicy food, and the face one makes when being told one has a sexually transmitted infection. It is a passenger train meant for conveying people longer distances than trains that are categorized as light rail. Keanu Reeves places his head against the window then decides that placing his head against the window would be a bad and unsanitary idea as his head has on it several holes and permeable membranes.

Keanu Reeves thinks to himself, “I am Keanu Reeves and I am on a train. This is fine.” Keanu is going to visit his mother for her birthday. The three seats facing Keanu Reeves's are empty, as well as those across the aisle from him, except one. This seat is occupied by a middle-aged Asian-American man who seems to be invested in speaking in a very concerned tone at a rapid pace in a language Keanu Reeves does not recognize. The Asian-American man is speaking into a cell phone.

Keanu Reeves thinks about a sculpture he saw on tumblr once. Keanu Reeves did not see the actual sculpture itself, but instead saw several photos of it on his phone. The sculpture itself was a large balloon filled with a gas that somehow is lighter than the air outside the balloon, causing it to fly upwards and stay there once its tethers become taut. The balloon was made in the shape and image of a real live middle-aged Japanese man. The middle-aged Japanese man's name was not included in the tumblr post, and neither was the name of the artist. At night, the head was illuminated from within. This created an effect similar to what happens when a giant middle-aged Japanese man's head replaces the moon.

Keanu Reeves's mother's birthday gift, a handsome set of cut crystal tumblers and matching coasters will be delivered directly to her home. The tumblers will be delivered by small unmanned flying robot. The robot is scheduled to arrive at 5 PM.

Keanu opens a local newspaper and after looking at a grocery store ad emblazoned with the word “Especiales,” briefly reads the first, third and fourth paragraphs of an article about a young girl who had been found missing. Milk is on sale for $1.99/gallon. The girl Keanu Reeves is reading about was found missing the Saturday before at around 8 PM as she had not returned home for her evening meal and it is Tuesday. And it is 2 PM. Keanu Reeves feels a small amount of concern for the girl and Keanu's face also looks slightly more concerned.

Keanu Reeves smoked a joint before getting on the train. Keanu Reeves feels a general desire for a cup of coffee and wonders how Carrie-Ann Moss is doing. He thinks, briefly: "fine. Carrie-Ann is rich and is aging so gracefully." Keanu then ends this brief moment of concern.  The missing young girl's name is Staysi. Staysi Robertson. This variant spelling is similar to both “Stacy” and “Pepsi.”

Keanu Reeves goes to the lavatory on the train and discreetly smokes another joint. Keanu Reeves is opening the window and attempting to discreetly smoke a grey-area legal subtance with his head sticking out of a somewhat fast moving train. Keanu Reeves has now displaced his memory of that young girl who is missing or something. Keanu Reeves thinks about his mother, whom he will see in several hours once the train has reached its destination.




paul christian's sister tricked him into eating mud multiple times as a child. he is better now and almost has a masters degree in writing from calarts. his dad is very proud sometimes.