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An Interview with Guy Zheng in Shithole Hamilton
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An Interview with Guy Zheng in Shithole Hamilton

Walking into the apartment of Guy Zheng was like stepping into a parallel universe. You could see the similarities to our own universe. Sunlight still streamed in through his windows. Dust still coated the various unclean surfaces across the space that seemed too small for a man who seemed to possess such exceptional wealth. Alcohol still stunk as strongly as it did in our universe. Yet, there was still this feeling of oddness that lingered in the air, subtly whispering to me that I wasn't supposed to be there, in the godforsaken city of Hamilton. It struck me that, while in the place that felt like our universe, there was a minute, almost indiscernable, but constant feeling of life, something pushing the world forward. It was not the case here. This place reeked of stagnation and an inability to move forward.

He apologized as he quickly cleaned his dinner table of the various beer bottles lingering there. He seemed to be a fan of Corona, seeing as how that particular brand compromised a significant amount of the clutter. He apologized once again, before sitting down. A certain tiredness lingered on his unshaven face, stubble having become scruff long ago. Sighing, he straightened his posture and began recounting his story to me.

"When I was a kid, I had always expected myself to make it bigger than this. More luxury, more fame, fortune, more than... this." He gestured to our surroundings as he spoke. "My live-in family in Kelowna had always told me that I was destined for great things. To be the biggest star, looking down at all others. I had appreciated that. Those compliments drove me. They made me want to succeed. A genuine part of my motivation were those kind and supportive words they gave me. In all honesty, in hindsight, they may have motivated me more than I had realized." He paused as he looked at the floor to my right. I couldn't help but follow his gaze. A rat was lurking there, doing... something. I couldn't quite tell. He reached down under the table, telling me to stay still. I listened, and watched as his hand came back up over the table, slipper in hand. Quickly putting two and two together, I told him that he didn't need to do that. The rat didn't scare me that much. He looked at me, bewildered, before shrugging and reaching back down under the table, presumably to put his slipper back on. He resumed telling his story.

"Anyways, time happened, and before I knew it I was at the draft. Snazzy suit, brand new tie, and rubber ducky dress socks. I waited as the first overall selection was announced. Not me. No biggie. I hadn't expected to go first overall anyways. Second overall. Not me. Again, no biggie. It'd happen soon. Third overall, fourth overall, fifth overall, all passed. My name had not yet been called. This was not expected. I had thought I would be a top five pick easily. No problem. Top ten wasn't all that bad. They too passed without my name being called. I honestly didn't register it. I had zoned out by that point, lost in a world of my own thoughts. Why didn't they want me? I was good. Really good in fact. First line on my team, got nominated for a few awards, though I didn't win any of them." He continued lamenting not being a top ten pick for some time. It was frustrating, but I eventually got him to go back to the story of how he got here.

"Right. Sorry. Anyways, at pick number fifteen my name was called. The New England Wolfpack had chosen me. Not bad. Boston could be interesting to live in. I walked up, did all the obligatory handshakes, put on the jersey, and smiled for the camera. It was all downhill from there. I said goodbye to my live-in family. I promised to make them all proud. And so, I embarked to the foreign state of New England. It wasn't terrible, to be honest. I feel as though I never quite lived up to my potential while I was there. Whether that's my fault, or the fault of injuries has yet to be seen. Either way, I played six or seven seasons there. Or eight. I can't really remember. The concussions have made sure of that." He paused, looking saddened for a moment. He shook his head quickly, before resuming.

"I don't remember when I got traded to Hamilton. All I remember is arriving here, taking one breath, and immediately passing out. Let me tell you, this place is toxic as all hell. I have to wear a hazmat suit to go outside for fear of developing acute cancer from mere exposure to the air. You see all these beer bottles? Yeah, they won't go away. I've tried throwing them out, they just reappear the next day. I've killed that goddamn rat fifteen times. It doesn't stay dead. This place is an absolute shithole. Do you know how bad somewhere has to be for me to consider it a shithole? I lived in New England for an indeterminate amount of years. They never spoke any English there! The only word I recognized was "wicked". Who even says that anymore?"

The rant continued on for some time. Honestly, it was quite a while. The rest of this interview will be released at a later date, detailing how bad of a city Hamilton is. But for now, I have a doctor's appointment to go to, because I dared to breathe in the air in Hamilton without wearing protective gear and now I think I have both asthma and lung cancer.

Godspeed,
Bye Zheng

Code:
1012 words with a creativity bonus? no? just me? ok nevermind you don't have to give me a bonus

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