It was the damndest thing, really. It was late on a Wednesday night; Letterman had just interviewed George Clooney, and thrown to a commercial. I figured I had enough time to grab some food during the break. I leapt from the couch and went foraging through my freezer for some ice cream and I found a human head. There it was, right up the back, resting on a bag of frozen peas. It’s fairly shocking, I can tell you that; it’s not every day you’re looking for dessert and you find someone’s head. I didn’t recognise it as anyone’s head that I knew, but I wasn’t sure if that made me feel any better; I don’t know how I’d react if it was my neighbour or one of my friends’ heads that was in my freezer. I guess I’d be upset or something – if it was a good friend, I reckon I’d cry. If it was my neighbour, I think I’d have to feign some kind of emotion, maybe do some kind of quiet monologue in my kitchen about how “I never really got to know you” and “you were a good neighbour who didn’t complain about noise and was always cooking stuff that smelled really nice.”
The head itself was pretty non-descript; it was just a man’s head. The face had no distinguishing features and was pretty much instantly forgettable. So forgettable, in fact, that I was distracted by Letterman’s voice returning from commercial and announcing the Top Ten list (“Top Ten Things Overheard at the Sex and the City 2 premiere”), that I closed the freezer door and went back to the couch. I fell asleep just before Dave Matthews came on and woke up to Magic Bullet infomercials a few hours later.
So the head kind of stayed in my freezer and I didn’t even think of it until I was looking for some frozen yoghurt a few days later. I can’t remember actually ever buying frozen yoghurt, but was hoping that there was some in there anyway, possibly behind a take-away dish that contained spaghetti bolognaise that I put it in there in 2007. I opened the door and there was the head, still on its bed of peas. I took it out and gave it a quick examination. Clean cut, no blood, no signs of blunt trauma. I congratulated myself on some spontaneous CSI jargon. I should get a job in forensics.
I tossed the head around idly while thinking about what to do with it. I decided that I should probably call someone and get their opinion on it. I considered the police – surely this was their kind of thing. But I didn’t want to get caught up in an investigation or anything; I’d probably have to fill out a bunch of paperwork and be recorded in interviews and have those interviews shown on CrimeStoppers and A Current Affair. Besides, I don’t like the way my voice sounds on tape.
So I rang my friend Wilson. I’ve known Wilson for years; we went to school together and when I found a skateboard outside my house a few years ago, he was the one I went to. He said that he knew whose skateboard it was and returned it to them, so I figured he’s pretty good at finding people who had lost things like sports gear and heads. So I pulled out my phone and dialled his number (he was speed dial #3, by the way).
“I found a head in my freezer.”
“Oh. Is it someone you know?”
“No. I don’t recognise it at all. It’s just some guy’s head.”
I tried to spin the head on the tip of my finger like a basketball, but it didn’t work.
“Have you called the police?”
“No, not yet.”
“Good, because they’ll record you and you sound like a dick on tape.”
“I thought that too.” Then I added, “The head shows no sign of blunt trauma.”
“You should get a job in forensics.”
“I know. Thanks for your help man.”
I hung up and decided to just chuck the head away - it was bin day tomorrow anyway. Maybe someone else would find it at the tip and take it home and care for it more than I could. I opened my rubbish bin and dropped it in. As I closed the lid, I took one last look at the head from my freezer and wondered where the fuck that thing had come from anyway, and whether the torso that was in my cupboard had anything to do with it. The head didn’t look like it would have worn the torso’s shirt, but I might have been wrong. I’ve been wrong about things like this before.