Last week, in keeping with my boundless youthful vigor and indiscretion, I attempted to urinate off the top of SSS. It was surprisingly cold, and the wind’s chilly bite gave me more pause than my absent conscience. Whenever I have difficulty urinating, I quietly hum “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to help me focus. I was about to loop through it for a third time when something brilliant flashed behind me and a deep baritone voice took up a verse I had never heard before:
Steven, Steven, little fool,
I’ll bet you think you’re so cool,
Up above the world and high,
Don’t you know that you could die?
My first thought was “Damn! YPD is on their game tonight!” but turning around I saw it was not Officer Malloy at all. Instead, a magnificent, majestic unicorn stood before me, his snow-white mane glistening in the moonlight.
“Don’t even think about making a joke about hallucinogenic drugs, Steven,” the unicorn said.
“I would never.”
“I don’t like drugs, Steven, or jokes about them. I am Bobby the Unicorn of Principles and I’m here to assert your better half. Or in, your case, one-fifth or so.”
“I may look sweet, but I am also terrible. Climb upon my back, and I shall take you to a restroom where you may void your bladder legally and then to your bedroom where you may rest.”
In the elevator, I asked Bobby why he didn’t do his brilliant-flash-teleport thing to get us there faster, but he said it cost too many rupees. Before I went to sleep, he touched me with his horn to cleanse my blood of “the foul toxins with which I had knowingly poisoned myself” and then my bed went all warm and wet and I was out.
It was a little awkward having Bobby around all the time, but he was always very polite to people and was a total babe magnet. Everyone wants to stroke a unicorn. The things he made me do weren’t even that awful. One time in the dining hall, there was only one Monterrey Chicken breast left, but there were a bunch of people in line behind me (a nerdy dude, an angry girl, a starving orphan and my dean). I was about to top off my mountain of ginger flank steak strips with some M-Chick action, but Bobby jabbed my hand with his horn when he saw me go for it.
“We must obey the Principle of Courtesy!” he screamed.
At a party, I was about to do a triple shot of Popov, but Bobby roared in with, “We must obey the Principle of Taste!” and brought me a tart but pleasing Merlot instead.
I wasn’t going to vote, but Bobby produced a Texan absentee ballot from a ray of light from his horn. I filled it out while he chortled, “We must obey the Principle of Obama-Biden ’08!”
Sometimes Bobby got sad though. He’d disappear into the bathroom for way too long and come out all stumbly and mumble, “We must obey the Principle of Sleepytime” before collapsing onto my bed. One time at Scrabble Nite (his idea), someone spelled “FILIAL,” and he burst into tears.
One night, I was out playing Edward 40-Hands when I realized something wasn’t right: Bobby would never let me play something like that. I found him in the backyard teleporting all over the place while people cheered.
“I gave him like 25 of those little sugar cube things,” a drunk girl said to me.
I tried to grab Bobby but couldn’t because of the 40s and because he kept becoming pure energy. Finally, he teleported into the fence and crashed down next to me.
“Bobby, you’re the last of your kind. You have to be careful.”
His eyes widened: “That’s just the problem. I’m not.”
While drinking both of my 40-hands in rapid succession, Bobby explained that he was the youngest of a whole unicorn brood. He pulled his wallet out of his secret unicorn pocket and showed me their pictures. There was Matilda the Unicorn of Chastity (she had horsey teeth and whopper unicorn braces) and Esmeralda the Unicorn of Studiousness (her mane was nasty and unkempt) and one called THE NIGHTMARE (her eyes were fire, terrible to behold).
“What’s the deal with that one?”
“Sometimes the only way to get people to do the right thing is to scare the shit out of them. They’re just contacts anyway, pretentious bitch.”
“Wait, so y’all just go around making everyone do the right thing?”
“That’s what unicorns are supposed to do! We inspire, we uplift. Only I suck at it.”
“That’s not true, Bobby.”
“Steven, you drove over an hour to see ‘Babylon A.D.’ You read porn industry blogs. Last weekend, I watched in horror as you ate an entire smoked ham.”
“I love ham.”
“You have no principles. What does that even mean, principles? I wanted to be Rob the Unicorn of Jet-skis, but they all laughed at me.”
“Bobby, principles are soft, wordy things that you dispense with when expediency or personal interest require you to do so.”
“Oh God, you see what a failure I am?”
“Bobby, just because everyone else in your family is an anthropomorphized, metaphorical, mystical creature doesn’t mean you have to be one if you don’t want to be.”
“You mean I should just go into advertising or something?”
“I mean, you should just be yourself. That’s the only principle you’ll ever need.”
We hugged. Then Bobby threw up on me, but I think he was smiling while he did it. Unicorn emesis is silvery and fresh and smells like new beginnings. For the rest of the night, he was the life of the party, teleporting people around and magically divining who was a virgin. He even did that dirty party trick with his horn.
Bobby lives in Brooklyn now with a zebra named Delilah. He works for an advertising consulting firm and is yuppy happy. Whenever I need PBR or Cheetos, I just hum our song and wait for the flash of light.