Today is my friend Scott's birthday and I feel like vomiting.

Scott is one of my oldest friends who now lives and works in London England. I can't say what he does. But what I can say is. I can't say what he does. It's not that what he does is a secret. It's that if certain people knew, they could cause a lot of trouble for certain other people, who may or may not belong to a vegetable co-op. I have nothing more to say on the matter.

About 20 years ago I was ghost writing the memoirs of a ghost in my building named Carl. The project wasn't going well. We had our creative differences. Carl was ready to walk and give the job to a ghost friend of his in the neighbouring building. I told him you can't have a ghost ghost write a ghost. The two ghosts cancel out and all you'll be left with is the ghost write of nothing. The argument was persuasive enough to get me back on the project.

One night while working on the ghost writing project and doing shots of slivovitz chased by more shots of slivovitz in different glasses, I slid a slice of pepperoni pizza in a white envelope, wrote on the cover Scott's address who at the time was living in Montreal, slapped a stamp on, and dropped the envelope in the mailbox. It was his birthday.

Scott received the gift with surprise and gratitude. (I made up the gratitude part.)

Two weeks later. I'm walking down the hallway to my apartment. As I get closer, a smell so powerful that it felt like someone were shoving two popsicles of frozen death up each of my nostrils, hit me. A brown wrapped box with postage sat on the floor by my door. I recognized Scott's handwriting. A gift in return no doubt. An illustration of our friendship bond.

With my nostrils pinched shut I brought the box into my apartment and dropped it on the table. Thoughtful as it was to send me the gift, it fucking stunk so bad I wanted to toss it, not even look inside. But as my mother used to tell me, when one is offered a gift, open it, because no matter how much it stinks, you can always give it to somebody else.

I stuck a knife in the box, cut, tore open a hole only to discover an eyeball looking up at me accusingly. (I made up the 'accusingly' part.) Eyeballs are usually attached to heads. Heads are usually attached to bodies. Either whatever creature this was had a tiny body or this was a head and only a head. I tore open the rest of the box, my gag reflex having an orgasm. There, in front of me, lay a sheep's head. A decomposing sheep's head. Scott had sent the package on the thursday of a long weekend. A decomposing sheep's head. An illustration of our-. Then I hit the floor.

I feel like vomiting.

Now, on my kitchen table - different apartment - sits a box addressed to Scott, in my hand, returned and marked undelivered. A hole had torn open in transit. I see an eye stare up at me. I know this eye. I placed this eye and head in the box. The smell overwhelms me. I'm wavering, ready to topple, and then...the eye winks. I go down. Happy birthday Scott.