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The Worst Downhill Cheese Wheel Chaser in Town
by Caleb Bethea, January 10th 2023

His theory. Just like time and space, sex appeal works as a building block in the universe. Athletes funnel this energy into prowess on the court, the field, down the hill.


Others, like him, take that sex appeal and let it bloom elsewhere. A slumped over artisan of Italian films, magnificently shot, criminally acted, cinematic blood sport. Not unlike the act of chasing a cheese wheel if you really think about it over drinks.


Last year, he was playing the Knife Game the night before. The one where you stab the blade between your fingers on a table, over and over, shifting patterns, agility in its lowest dive bar form. Beers later, his mate let him stab the knife between his own fingers. Cocky and, at first, flawless.


He was good at the Knife Game, the only area of his life he let the sex appeal force posses him in a physical way. He’d never missed. If only he wouldn’t miss the cheese.


His mate. His mate was a great cheese-chaser. The sexiest form on the downhill, a real mystic creature made only more elegant by the steep angles as he reached his long fingers toward the runaway wheel. But, tonight, his knuckles looked like little string cheese sticks on the table.


It would be something. Anything, to slow him down.




But not this year. This year, he’d chase honestly, and make amends.


So, the night before, he drinks draft beers all the way down into his fingernails. The knife flying like something fantastical, like something that saw the universe have sex with nothingness at the conception of the Big Bang. Primal speed. And, then, fairness. A thick gash across his own index finger.


The next day, he bleeds all the way down the hill, comes in last, long after the others have animalled their way after the dairy prize. But, the tumble has done something. The blood streaked across his face. Sensual, circular lines. The teeth making up his smile smeared in the same way. A real mating call of a blood mask.


The women, the men, the way they close in around him. The way the cheese is forgotten. The way he stands. Like a knife about to stab the universe open all over again.

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