Blendy — "Fuka Aji"

by Som Souphanouvong

(click can to enlarge)

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The can’s exterior mimics wood paneling in an attempt to convey comfort and quality. Not so easily seduced, I think 1970s suburban basement porn.

The metal is less yielding than I expected. I’m thinking it’s steel. The container is, what, four inches tall by two inches? I cup it in my palm like a miniature football. My god, I could huck this baby fifty yards easy. It would spiral. The crowd would look on in drop-jawed wonder as the can javelins itself cleanly into the sod. “Bam! That’s what I’m talking about!” I bellow above the roar, now in present tense because this is really happening.

I dream like this often. It happens to people who were meant for greater things. I am called Som, but the world was supposed to know me as the far more regal Somsavat. Nobody would snicker at the real Somsavat, who has seen a thing or two in his life, let me tell you. Stories? Oh dear and oh man, I’ve got ’em. Conversation stoppers. Sometime around the age of fifteen, probably during my sleep, Somsavat left the house and kept on walking. I think he just got tired of being called Som.


This coffee tastes like a cigar. This is not wholly dispositive, as the musty odor of a smoldering tobacco phallus carries a certain comfort. Granted, we recoil slightly at the scent of a cigar at first and search with equal parts malice and curiosity for the source of the intrusive fug. But then we accept it and, ultimately, embrace it. Why? Because it is the smell of our fathers, our coaches, our uncles, our lovers. It is the paralyzing musk of authority.

The can is empty now, its journey complete and mine continuing in its own feeble way. The lingering reek makes me wonder for a moment: would I become Somsavat once again if I started smoking cigars? I’ve learned to blend in to the point of vanishing; hell, I’m practically a Sam, and trust me, I’m the least Sam-looking person you’ll come across.

How about this: I will accessorize myself with a cigar on my Sunday promenades. Then, maybe, through the accretion of ash and attitude, we will witness the return of Somsavat Souphanouvong, the return of the king.

Som Souphanouvong lives in North Carolina, where he paints houses for money and canvasses for pleasure.

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