How I Met Andy Rooney

“St. Andy,” by Aladdin Collar, 2016

There is a self-proclaimed god of filth living in Los Angeles, who collects vintage celebrity corpses in bags in a walk-in freezer installed in his basement; he swears, by no doing of his own, that most of the graves in LA are empty now, that the quote-un-quote bone-market’s bustling in the absence of traditional American employment opportunities.

I didn’t recognize any of them except for Andy, who more or less looked the same in a state of frozen death as he did in his last broadcast in which he asked the world to leave him alone.

“I will always hope that people like what I write,” he’d said.

“Being liked is nice, but is not my intent,” he’d said.

I held Andy’s stony hand until it started to warm, and, in that moment, I started feeling weird about the whole situation.

I thanked my my Host, slipped one of Andy’s fingernails in my pocket, and left.

Story by Aladdin Collar, for “Where the Wild Thinks Are,” 2017.