The Inevitable Decline of Matthew Tress

Alex Kane '18
Only a well-traveled explorer would be able to identify the mating call of the Andalusian donkey.  This explorer went by the name of Matthew Tress.  Upon the sound waves berating his eardrums, Matt said, “How strange!  It appears as if there is an Andalusian donkey seeking his mate in this mall.  I never thought I would find the wonders of nature when searching for a buttery soft pretzel and new pair of Skechers.”

Matt longed for the glory days when he led expeditions around the world.  He had seen lions in the Saharan desert and koalas in the Australian Outback.  There were only a select few species that Matt adored but had never seen with his own two eyes: the Andalusian donkey, the alpaca, and the chupacabra.  Matt wanted to find that Andalusian donkey, and he would not stop at any obstacle to complete the most important mission of his expeditioning life.

The visitors to the mall that Sunday were perplexed by the sight of Matt.  It is not ordinary to see a man in his mid-sixties looking for an Andalusian donkey at a shopping mall.  Matt wore an expeditioning hat, complete with a wide circular brim and a string tucked under his chin, a hiking backpack full of three months’ worth of non-perishable food, a hideous, bright turquoise Hawaiian shirt, and hiking boots with dirty white socks the sprouted out of them and shot up to above the knee level.  The manner in which Matt sauntered through the mall was even more odd.  He bent down in a squat, his thighs perpendicular to his lower legs, and moved by thrusting his back hip forward, as if to rotate his entire body instead of walk.  While making this uncomfortable motion, Matt attempted to return the donkey mating call but could not get it quite right.  The shoppers cleared the hallways, wondering if they should be worried for this weird man.

The braying stopped.  Matt sat down on the pristine marble floor of the designer handbag wing of the mall and began to weep into his hands, calloused and grimy from years of traveling the world.  The washed-up koala whisperer was in dire need of comforting.

“Oh Magellan, God of the Explorers, what have I done to deserve this treatment?  What sins have I committed to deserve this deception?  Is it because of the time I stayed in that five-star hotel in Canberra instead of sleeping on the ground?  Why do you torture me so?”

Magellan rolled over his grave and sighed, “Jesus, not another one!  It’s Matt again?  Oh God, he does this almost three times every freaking week.”

In his moment of despair, Matt began to hear the faint sound of an Andalusian donkey mating call.  It grew louder and louder.  Matt picked himself up and screamed back with all his might, a rejuvenating spirit rushing through his body.  

The noise stopped, again.  Matt had found a new hope that the sound would return, so he followed the clamor still ringing in his ears.  Matt heard the braying once more, and the braying disappeared yet again.  With his head held high and his ear leading the way, Matt ambled through the mall.  The aged explorer had not felt a thrill similar to this one since he saw a pack of wildebeests on an African safari.  As Matt walked, he noticed that a teenage boy had appeared beside him.  The teenage boy collapsed onto the cold marble floor and began to snore with a vigor unmatched by any human.  The snore was identical to the sound of the Andalusian donkey mating call.   For all the knowledge of various donkey and alpaca mating calls that Matt had, he lacked the power to make logical deductions.  There was not a pair of Andalusian donkeys in the mall, there was a sixteen-year-old narcoleptic whose condition forced him to make the world his bed.

Matt became enraged and hurled his oversized camping backpack through the Build-a-Bear shop window, which shattered.  Matt then prodded the boy awake.  “Why are you not a donkey?  When I came to this mall today, I thought that I would find a donkey willing to mate.  I tried to return that donkey’s mating calls, but all I found was you, you useless bag of organs!  I hate narcoleptics!  Why does this keep happening to me?”

The narcoleptic boy began to retaliate but fell asleep.  Matt shook him awake, giving the teenager severe whiplash.  A mall cop saw this assault and rushed over to defend the narcoleptic.

“Is there a problem here, gentleman?”

Matt began to hurl obscenities at both the mall cop and the boy.  Tears streamed down Matt’s face.

“Yes, Officer.  This sick man wants to mate with donkeys.”

-2017 Chapbook

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