Marie turned off her week by locking herself in the bathroom for an afternoon, eating potato chips in the tub and writing very un-Catholic things on the porcelain fixtures.

Thomas turned off his responsibility by giving his wallet to an overweight homeless man, telling him that this was a voluntary stickup. The man, who said his name was Charlie, called Thomas a fucking idiot and ran off with his credit cards, driver’s license, fun-snap pictures of his boring trip to Oregon, one Trojan non-lube condom, and about three hundred dollars in twenty and fifty dollar bills.

And me? I turned off the world by setting a sparkler off in my dual 800mhz NT OS Dell Optiplex workstation. The accompanying conversation on that day went like this:

“Do you think if I light this sparkler up and throw it in my box? Do you think it’ll set everything on robotic fire, like in a movie?”

“No way. Do you know what it’ll take to set a fucking motherboard on fire? That sparkler won’t even burn your hand if you touch it.”

“Hmm. Good point.”


“I have two hundred more sparklers in my car. If we wrap them all up in gift tissue, dip it in Marie’s hairspray bottle, and then set it on fire and throw it in the box?”

“I’m hungry. Are you hungry?”

“Yeah, but lets do this sparkler thing first.”

I know you’re wondering, so I’ll tell you. Two hundred and one sparklers with a tissue/hairspray kick will definitely set a computer on fire. The plastic just stains a char black, but the green circuit board definitely flames up.

I had the very slight hope that doing this while the computer was on would elicit some kind of supernatural graphical takeover of my desktop, with some pixilated face popping up onto my monitor, screaming for me to stop the horrible burning of its body and soul. I thought that my computer would show its true colors if you just threatened its existence a little. People show their true colors when you put a knife to their neck and ask them questions and stuff. And my computer is way smarter than most people. Still, the thing just flickered slightly, then melted.

I’ll sit here for about two more hours, then want to go home. The Bay Terrace Applebee’s closed an hour ago, but Mark lets us stay after closing because he’s sweet on Marie. And it works out just fine, because Marie likes the free blue drinks Mark makes for her and Thomas and I like to play air hockey table in the back, by the bathrooms.

I asked Marie if it bothered her that we so blatantly abused Mark’s friendship and Applebee hookup. Marie told me something I never heard till now. She said this to me:

“Two weeks ago, when we first came here after bailing Thomas out of the po’ po’ house. Remember? It was the first time we met Mark. That night you all remember how Mark tried to pass me his number with the bill, and how I took it and wrote dickhead on it with my lipstick?”

How could we forget Marie?

“Anyway, you and Thomas went to get the car and I lingered back, telling you I had to pee. Well, I didn’t pee. Instead I went through the double bars into the kitchen and grill area. I saw Mark cleaning up our plates and putting them on the washer rack. I walked right up to him and phone sexed him for two of the best minutes of his life.”

Phone sexed him, Marie?

“I got real close to his ear, cupped his soapy elbow in my hand, and said the most filthiest, unimaginable, upside-down, double decker-don’t-spare-the-cheese fries-fuck-all descriptions of us doing it. I licked out my syllables, used a lisp, and breathed heavy into his ear.”

Oh shit. You phone sexed him without the goddamn phone!

“Hell yeah I did.”

So that’s why he treats us nice!

A smile from Marie, and an impressed smile from me. I get up and walk to the air hockey table. Thomas has already put the two quarters into it.

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