Boring. Boring. Boring.
Jackhammer beat. Sepia light and dripping bodies close everywhere on the black
linoleum. He's pressing against her, she's pressing against him and she feels
his feeling grow, but her mouth is getting dry, her temples are stinging bad
and the bass and drums are kicking her stomach too hard.
She stands on her toes, hugs him
and yells up into his ear, "Do you want to go outside! I need to
He looks back and her with
drifting brown eyes. His pores are large and ooze. He says, "Ok.
His hand is on the bared small of
her back. He stares at her coffee skin. She pierces the crowd, guides him
around the stainless steel column at the center of the floor.
The cold midnight air makes their
sweat sizzle. The walkway is coated in green light and flanked by tables and
chairs caged by knee-high wrought-iron. There's characters everywhere. Near the
entrance, a short Asian with high hair and a white muscle shirt crosses thick
arms like bull-thighs over his chest and leans against a piece of gate,
fingers the side of his nose compulsively while he talks from the side of his mouth to a redhead in gray
tweed short-shorts and a black tank top that ends at the hem of her ribcage. A
pink dragon wraps around the complete circumference of her skinny, porcelain
waist and it's wide-open mouth seen in profile threatens to swallow her
belly-button and then the entire universe.
"You're a little
different." She says as the flame clicks on.
"Yeah?" He moves
forward in his seat.
"You're not wearing some
skin-tight hecka decka nor-cal t-shirt with skulls and shit, for one." She
"Well, you know -- beyond
the redwood curtain we don't take kindly to stupid bullshit. I'm not into UFC
either. I'm sure you're turned on already."
She removes the cigarette, licks
her thin maroon lips. She says, "Yeah, MMA is like: two closet homosexuals kicking the shit out of one another because they are so upset about their
He laughs. She growls,
He looks her in the eye for the
first time that night and says, "Be my bride, please."
"Well, we'll see." She
grins, takes another draw and there's some silence.
"So you work with me,
right?" He asks.
"Yeah, I'm in tax. I've seen
you around. The claims guys scheduled me in Outlook."
"Yeah, me too. They always
take me out. I think I'm an honorary Filipino or something. It's nice of them
to let me Tagalog."
She shows her sharp, bright teeth
again. She brings her cigarette near her mouth but doesn't smoke, "Can you
believe 2008 is almost half over?"
"Not really. I can't believe
"Yeah. I thought the whole
world would be a lot different, when I was a kid." She looks down while
she ashes her cigarette.
"What, you mean flying cars?
Hacking the planet Zero Cool style with tricked-out Pentium II's pushing
She laughs with her mouth. She answers,
"Nah. Just different. My brother deployed yesterday."
"Oh?" He sucks his bottom lip into his mouth.
"Yeah. It's bullshit."
"Why? I mean, why'd he
"He's 18. He's 18, he's
pissed off at everything and his girlfriend broke up with him and he's a
"Yeah! He's a massive
"Well, god, thanks."
"Did you tell him that? Did
you tell him he's an idiot?"
His stubby, pink hands whip back
and forth like scavenging dogs and his voice speeds and expands , "I mean, he's going to kill people to
show some chick just how bad she hurt his feelings. God. God. That's not romantic
"I told him I didn't want him
going, but what's done is done and I'm not going to let him feel like I don't
"Well god, you don't support
him. Tell him that. Maybe he'll go AWOL. You love him. Do your fucking
Her eyes gloss up and she speaks
quietly. "You're an asshole."
She beats her cigarette out on
the black aluminum table and sighs. He continues before she can.
"Yeah, sorry, you know. I
don't support the troops. Fuck the troops. I fucking hate the troops. I don't long for their death or anything but
I think they're bastards. All of them. Who the fuck signs up to kill people? I
hate that kind of person. They're the problem to begin with. Fuck this shit.
He tries to stand but the table
traps him at the thighs. He kicks to push his chair out and the jagged sound
"You know. Just: dulce
decorum blah blah blah," he says, then walks away.
She sits there looking forward
and mouths, "What the fuck?"