SW: LEVI we have to talk about INFINITY WARS.
SW: What did you think of all the deaths? Of Mr. Purple Grape almost killing Robert Down—I mean Tony Stark! What about Benedict Cumberbatch’s slightly off American Accent?
SW: Levi? Levi? We have to talk about how Captain America is still alive. How is that possible???? He’s like the most obvious choice of killing a major hero off in this movie.
(Through the intercom) Sam, Levi is taking a leave of absence in order to welcome a baby into his family. He can’t do any Game of Narratives until he comes back.
My head rests in the palm of my hand as I fight back tears. Then, through a crack beneath the door an envelope slides through. I turn and pick it up, fighting off one of my two cats.
December 32nd, 2028
Dear former self,
It’s been 10 years since I last heard from my brother. Darling Levi, where can he be? Raising his son/daughter somewhere in Northern Montana, no doubt. Swinging on Tesla swings, eating Tesla Rice, probably playing catch in a Tesla Holodeck.
Ten years. It’s amazing that still the most notable thing over the last ten years is that the Trump administration added an additional day to December, leading his base to revolt and call for impeachment, citing that the President abused his power when he messed with a childhood nursery rhyme. The big Donald is now in jail. Ivanka turned on him too because he misspelled her name on the newest Ivanka fragrance. The final straw, I guess. She couldn’t have run faster to Mueller.
George Lucas is President now. After the 30th Star Wars film was released in 2022, he released a statement saying, “I’m running for President to put an end to this nonsense. Help me protect my legacy.” He won every single state except for South Dakota, whose single citizen wrote in “Rick Sanchez.”
I currently sit in a five-foot by five-foot cell. Thank goodness the ceiling is six-foot high or I’d have to stoop. Thunder rumbles above me, and rain falls into the cell. I can see a full moon lighting up the world.
I landed here in 2021 after a hard gambling streak. I bet half a million dollars on Leonardo DiCaprio to win Best Actor for a movie in which his character, a poor musician, plays the Mandola in refugee camps for children, eventually becomes leader of the refugees and fights successfully for all those dreaming children to become citizens. Instead, Rupert Grint won for his portrayal of Young Luke Skywalker in Star Wars XXIX: A Quest for More Hope. I couldn’t believe it.
Of course, I don’t have to be here. Lucas actually did some good things as President, ending mass incarnation and establishing recovery programs called the “Jedi Mind-Trick.” But since Earth ran out of oil way faster than anticipated and global temperatures skyrocketed over the last three years—leading to increased storms (there’s a category eight hurricane now), a lack of livable land (who knew all of England would dry up overnight—good thing they had sixty years' worth of tea available), and a lack of natural resources (California, remarkably, did not dry up, but is now gushing with water—thank you hidden reservoir inside Half-Dome, now called No-Dome), I now actually choose to live in my jail cell along with wife and our sixteen happy cats who live off rats and Spaghetti O’s.
But enough about me. I want to talk about you.
I know what you have to do in order to have a fulfilling life. You see where it went all wrong with me, that is to say, future you—you never did another Game of Narratives. Unknown to you, was that fact that your Editor-in-Chief, Jane-Rebecca Cannarella, is actually Bill Gates, who uses this high-tech Jane avatar as a way to research and take notes on what he calls the "female experience." Game of Narratives was something of intrigue.
But then Levi took his leave of absence, and you, that is to say past me, spiraled into a dithering despair, falling flatly on your face, never able to write another sentence. You, that is to say past me, got into an awful funk and just clunked around in life. Gates, as Jane-Rebecca Cannarella, who we'll just refer to as The JRC Unit, witnessed this and eventually parted ways with your non-writing services.
Gates later revealed to Meow Meow Pow Pow who he was and gave everyone a lifelong stipend in order to keep the mag going and to work on their own artistic projects.
Do you, my dearest past self, see the issue? If you had but only strived on, even with the leave of absence Levi took, you would be a multi-millionaire right now (though everyone is sense Lucas appointed Bernie Sanders as Secretary of Treasury and he made everything free), instead of in a cell, living with 16 cats.
I mean, I guess it doesn't really matter. We were all so late in responding to global warming that the planet is complete doggie-doo-doo (Lucas's opposing political party "Trekkies" outlawed the use of shit in 2026) and even those who had money are on hard times.
But it's not about the money. It's about the drive, the quality of life. Your writing gives you strength! Levi would have wanted you to go on, to write! Don't worry, he'll be back. And together you'll debate the world of narratives. It will be a spectacle.
Go on and write!
Jason Samuel Williams, Esquire
PS. I got my law degree for no reason. People said I would make money somehow.
I fold the letter, not understanding how I could possibly write a Game of Narratives again, even given all the warnings.
My phone vibrates. I take it out of my Gryffindor Bathrobe. "Championship Belt Holder" has sent me a text—Brodie! Darling Brodie. What has he to say?
Brodie: You and me on a game of Narratives?
There's an image with the text. It's a bracket pitting DC characters vs. Marvel characters. It's a sign! A SIGN!
Levi would want me to go on.
A self body bag
I wrapped for you, trekked with ropes
From the sea, perfect: wrecked.
J. Sam Williams
Never been drunk. Never been wrecked. Never smoked weed or a cigarette. Emotional trauma wrecks me enough. Gluttony wrecks me enough. Lust wrecks me the most. Sin is my wrecker and death my destructor. Try and purge all from my mind. I don’t have time to focus on the rest.
photos supplied by Cassandra Panek with the exception of the last two
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