The Night I Discovered That I’m Not as Cool as Han Solo


(originally published in The Incredible Shrinking Story, A Collection of Flash Fiction, Volume Four)

The Night I Discovered That I’m Not as Cool as Han Solo

            We all know that scene. The one from The Empire Strikes Back, on Cloud City—after the gang’s been betrayed by Billy Dee Williams. Han Solo’s stripped of his black Han Solo vest, and while standing there in front of everybody in a nice white shirt and brand new handcuffs–seconds away from being frozen in carbonite and shipped off to Jabba The Hut–Princess Leia lays it all out there and tells Han ‘I love you’.

            And like Keith Richards or something, Han Solo says ‘I know’. All cool and shit. It’s one of my fondest memories from childhood. I’d always aspired to handle myself like that, if circumstances ever presented themselves. Which they did. Sort of. In the form of Helen.

            We shared a very similar moment together. Only instead of saying ‘I love you’ she told me she was leaving. And instead of me taking it like a multi-galactic Rock Star, I broke down sobbing, mumbling in the midst of this breakdown something that sort of sounded like ‘Please Don’t Go!’.

            It wasn’t a pretty site. As the fog kicked in and I felt myself being slowly lowered further and further down into the carbonite pit, I became even more desperate at the thought of never seeing Helen again. I started screaming stuff like:

            “Are you sure you want to end this? I mean, I can do better! This is crazy! Will you at least read to me, while I’m frozen? That would be nice.

            And while you’re thinking it over can you get me a sweater or something?! It’s cold in here! That’d be great darlin’. I need you!

            Helen nixed the idea with a silent head shrug that meant ‘No’. I continued haggling desperately like a pre-frost bite riddled buffoon.

            “Do me a favor!” I scream as the pit slowly overtakes me and I can no longer feel my own genitals. “Don’t fuck Lando! Can you at least promise me that? I mean, he’s a friend of mine! It’s the least you could do, in honor of my love for you! Keep your stuff away from his dick!”

            I hear Helen say she can’t promise anything. It’s an embarrassing scene. The last thing I hear is Boba Fett making fun of me and Chewbacca gargling something about how he’s lost all respect for me and refuses to be my sidekick anymore. Insists on hanging out with someone more ‘manly’. He’s currently on tour working as Justin Bieber’s sidekick instead.

            And just like that, it’s over. Or maybe it begins again. My life inside this pit.

            While frozen in carbonite waiting for my love to not rescue me, I find a strip mall bar and order several drinks. While waiting for them to arrive I flip off Storm Troopers and stare at the coked out alien who has a face that looks like something that fell out of an elephant’s vagina nine months after Jack Nicholson fucked it. His nose hanging loosely like a Skeet Ulrich sized dick.

            I sip my drinks quickly, trying to forget where it is I really am. Frozen in carbonite. Vest-less. Publicly rejected and doomed.

            Over the course of one long goddamned scene I’ve managed to get dumped by the only girl I’ve ever loved. I’ve lost my sidekick to an un-pube’d pop star, not to mention the respect of the entire Bounty Hunter community. My girl’s probably blowing the only black friend I’ve got in this entire galaxy, and because I’ve seen how these sort of movies end, when I finally do get out of this carbonite outhouse, I’ll have to spend the next several years attempting to get over her, which in this nightmare manifests itself in the form of being trapped in the Redwood Forest over the course of a ridiculously disappointing sequel battling armies of Gary Colman sized Teddy Bears while the dude who’s fucking Helen steals my ship and blows up a SECOND Death Star!

            I ask you, where’s the honor in that? How is this fair?

            And then I realize I’m being an idiot for even asking the question.

            Belief in fairness leads to trusting. Trusting leads to leaving your goddamn apartment. Leaving your apartment leads to meeting the woman of your dreams. Meeting her leads to having drinks together. Drinking together leads to huge boner sex. Huge boner sex leads to a scary couple of days waiting to find out if you maybe have Herpes (after the fact, she mentions that she might have herpes). Maybe having herpes leads to not having herpes (hooray!). Not having herpes leads to love.

            And we all know where it goes from here. Love leads to suspicion (why the fuck does she have to smell like Colt 45 all the time?). Suspicion leads to Betrayal (because she was already secretly having butt sex with Billy Dee Williams, that’s why!). And as we’ve already covered, Billy De leads to public humiliation and getting frozen in carbonite. Which leads to drinking alone with all the other aliens in this bar. Which eventually has led to me accepting free shots from an Irish dude who talks like Yoda and insists everything’s going to be fine.

            Which leads to, I don’t know. I don’t care if Yoda can levitate an entire bowl of cashews without spilling any nuts. Yoda not spilling his nuts all over everything fails to convince me that I’ll get over her soon and things will be ok.

            It’s at this point that Yoda gives up on his pep talk and starts showing me tiny holographic images of AT-AT’s having sex.

            Photos of AT-AT’s going at it robot doggie style leads to me paying my tab, as my brittle nerves jump to light speed.

            I miss you, Helen. I’m sorry. I’m not as cool as Han Solo.

            I’m still frozen without you. It’s all this goddamn carbonite, damn it.         

            I don’t know how to let you go.

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