The Dude With One Eye Ate Six Of My Friends — Fiction By Jeff Bender

The Dude With One Eye Ate Six Of My Friends — Fiction By Jeff Bender

Fiction: I, Odysseus by Jeff Bender

Nov. 11, 1190 B.C.

Don’t want to go home to my wife, but it looks like I have to. Going to take my time. Maybe when I get in I can bang Eurycleia, the nurse, for old time’s sake.

Nov. 26, 1190 B.C.

Woke up in a cave next to a dude with one eye. One eye! It was so cool. We built a campfire down by the beach. I asked him about sheep, the moon, having one eye. He knows how to do a backflip and I don’t. I’m working on it.

Nov. 26, 1190 B.C.

The dude with one eye ate six of my friends. We lit a spear and popped his eye like a zit. Then we were drenched. Then he had no eyes. It was awesome.

Dec. 28, 1190 B.C.

The Lotus-eaters introduced us to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, and, though I hadn’t heard it before, I sang along. The singing made the lotus taste better. We went up on deck singing, “Homeward bound, I wish I was,” and I said, “Not,” and everyone laughed.

1190–1188 B.C.

Two years slipped by, just like that. I don’t remember either of them.

We pushed on to the island of Aeaea. The Lotus-eaters said it was cool. They said steer clear of the attractive chick, though — Circe. They said she was not cool.

I was like, “Oh.”

They were like, “Whatever you do, don’t go inside her house.”

And I was like…I guess I forgot because we went inside her house.

Inside, Circe turned my friends into pigs and forced me to sleep with her for an entire year.

April 12, 1187 B.C.

…Best year of my life.

April 19, 1187 B.C.

Heading home.

But wait: Good news: Mom’s dead.

To the Underworld!

June 15, 1187 B.C.

We learned three things in the Underworld: (1) Our shipmate, Elpenor, died falling off a roof. That’s a lot funnier than what we thought. We thought he’d died of starvation or something.

…Ah, maybe we only learned one thing in the Underworld.

June 17, 1187 B.C.

Lost the rest of my crew to a rock and a six-headed monster. Lost my boat, too. Washed up on a new island and immediately met this great chick. Banged her. Woke up thinking: I love the eighties.

June 17, 1180 B.C.

Seven years later. Still banging her.

June 18, 1180 B.C.

Today I practiced the backflip and learned the chick’s name: Calypso. I thought it was a cool name — at first. But then I said it so many times in my head that it stopped being cool. Do you ever get that? Like, you repeat something so much that — ? Zeus, I can’t really explain.

July 4, 1180 B.C.

Calypso asked me to marry her. I am finally heading home.

July 5, 1180 B.C.

Home.

July 5, 1180 B.C.

Got off the boat, hit a backflip, and went looking for Eurycleia.

I found the swineherd instead.

“Dude,” he said, “I know you.”

I was like, “Okay. Two things about that. One, it’s me, your king, Odysseus. And two, don’t tell my wife. Do not tell my wife. You tell my wife, I fucking kill you. Asshole. Mess you up.”

July 8, 1180 B.C.

Oh…There are other guys that want to bang my wife? Well. What does she look like? And are the guys handsome? I don’t want to bang my wife if the other guys that want to bang her aren’t handsome. Can I get a look at the guys first? Like, as their king?
Aug. 6, 1180 B.C.

Reunited with my son after twenty years. “Are the suitors handsome?” I said.

Oct. 31, 1180 B.C.

Saw my wife. What the — ? She’s hot. Can’t come forward yet, though. Thinking of banging her incognito.

Dec. 1, 1180 B.C.

My wife announced today that she’ll sleep with whoever can string the bow.

Yeah, I’ll string it. (Know what I’m sayin’?!)

Dec. 18, 1180 B.C.

Decided to kill all the guys that were trying to bang my wife. What the hell. Some were handsome, some weren’t. I couldn’t draw straws.

I will say it was harder to kill the handsome ones. They were just so handsome.

After the slaughter, I made the suitors’ girlfriends clean up their boyfriends’ blood. Then I killed the girlfriends, too. Then there was more blood and no one to clean it up. Didn’t think that one through.

Anyway, did a lot of killing today, repaired to my office, and checked the box that said kill suitors. Underneath that, I created a box that said kill girlfriends and checked it right away.

That night I told my wife everything — about the Lotus-eaters and the dude with one eye; about the fighting, dancing Phaeacians; about the Sirens, who I said were dudes; about Mom and Elpenor; about the Underworld.

“Is that all?” she said.

“Yes…” I said.

“Any women?”

I threw a cork. I said, “How dare you! I come home after twenty years, and you have scores of dudes, all wanting — publicly — to bang you? What about them? Hah? Hah?”

She said she’s done nothing for twenty years except raise our son and fend off the suitors in my name.

“Which is cool of you,” I said. “Seriously.”

Dec. 18, 1180 B.C.

“Come here,” I said. “I want to bang you.”

And I did. Ah, the return to married life!

Jan. 1, 1179 B.C.

Sick of married life. Backflip improving. Back to sea.

– ˘˘ ıı • ç Ç ç Ç ç • ıı ˘˘ –

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Jeff Bender is a graduate of Columbia’s School of the Arts and is working on his first novel. jeffbender.net

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