Be sure to first check out the original awe-inspiring piece of journalism that put Sean Kelly on the map as a future Chelsea Handler: Heart of Darkness: Penn’s Financial Aid, Part 1 of 11
The first thing I noticed when I woke up was my hands. There were many strange qualities: they had five fingers, and were covered in skin. They were so familiar yet so foreign, like one of those creepy horror movies where your hands come to life. I waited, intensely, for my twitching fingers to grow a conscience of their own, but alas, they just laid there, awaiting commands from my body. How peculiar, I thought. Normally when I wake up my hands immediately shoot down into my pants and wrap their hands around-
“Wake up,” came a stern voice from behind me. I shot upwards and came face to face with a stiff looking man, younger than I, and strangely similar looking. I considered the many reasons for this: cloning, plastic surgery, or accidentally walking into identical face molds. With Sherlock Holmes-level precision, I deduced the only possible reason was the facial mold hypothesis. It just made too much sense.
What wasn’t clear, however, was where I was, or where I had been. Past experiences would definitely conclude that I had been at a strip club with a bottle of paint thinner, but this wasn’t the whore house I usually ended up in. There were subtle hints to my location: my clothes on the floor, pictures with me in them, and the faint smell of bourbon soaked chicken-sausage. What was this mysterious paradise I had been locked up in? What had I been doing prior to my kidnapping? I’m sure it was kidnapping…stop asking questions. Whatever I had been up to, it was clearly worth of being kidnapped.
“Mom wants you out of the house by this afternoon,” he said, taking a bite out of a foreign dish that resembled the ingredients of a pizza stuffed inside a pocket shaped crust. “She says school started, like, two weeks ago.”
I stared at him, puzzled. Who was this man? How did he know who I was? Who was this enigmatic “Mother”? His blank eyes conveyed a powerfully reinforced psyche, but I knew with the right amount of wit and fines, I could uncover his deepest secrets…
“Who are you?” I asked, repeatedly raising and lowering my eyebrows. In Atlantean culture, this tactic was meant to disorient marital partners before sex.
“Sean, don’t start this shit again, okay? I’m your brother, and I have a Call of Duty game on pause right now. Plus, you haven’t left your room in six weeks. That’s not sane nor healthy. Mom says we’ll have to fumigate this place after you leave.”
He was a master of mind-games. I’m sure he would say he’s also a master of video games, but I saw his highest kill count and that is bullshit. I needed a way to break his facade, drill to the center of his psyche and extract the information I needed to escape, and maybe the numbers of a few good take out places. Life on the road is difficult, and I don’t know how I’ll distract the ravenous wolf packs without General Tsao’s chicken. I focused my psychological attack…
“I said, who are y-”
“Sean, get out,” he said in, if you ask me, an unnecessary meany voice, “you’ve been locked up in here for six weeks, doing nothing but sleeping and, judging by all the crusty hand towels, masturbating. You eat all of our lunch meats and chocolate syrup, yell incoherently and pound your chest when anyone tries to enter your room, and have been using your pillow cases as a toilet. Seriously, that disgusting pile of brown cloth in the corner of your room smells like dead wookie. Get your shit together, preferably in a travel bag, and leave.”
His words struck me like a blast from a shotgun. Thankfully I hired a professional self-defense teacher who taught me how to deflect punches and telepathically divert imaginary shotgun bullets. If you guys want to contact him, take a half-eaten sandwich behind Starbucks and clap your hands against the pavement until a rat skull appears above the sewer grate. The rest is between you and Hernandez. However, the blast still struck me enough to knock my brain plug loose, and with a loud SWOOOSH-sound (that I made myself) my entire past came rushing back to me…
Then I saw it. Everything I had been up until I was kidnapped by an Amtrak train and forcibly picked up by my parents for Winter Break. I was reminded of the dark, harrowing weeks I spent at an Ivy League University, trapped in a brutal cycle of social drinking and casual sex. My journalistic urge had pulled me into a hell I had no intention of escaping. And of course, the coup de grace, my Financial Aid feature that had fallen by the wayside as the devil’s persuasive ways corrupted my unwavering dedication to hard-hitting news and hardly-hitting news.
“Thank you, kind brother,” I said, “for reminding me of my true purpose.” He nodded thoughtfully and finished his Martian feeding ritual, and without another word returned to his Xbox. Technology has definitely corrupted our youth these days, and if he keeps playing Xbox he’ll never understand the value of a true friendship…and that calculators make much better friends than video game systems
With that last piece of wisdom thoughtfully thought about and never shared, I finally packed my clothes away and licked myself clean, ready to take on the piece I had forgotten about. This was going to be epic…maybe…