A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




Suicide sticks his finger in my beer, swirls it around, then pops it in his mouth down to the last knuckle. I motion to the tender for another and we transact without incident. ‘I fucking hate you,’ Suicide says, ‘even the worst of them are better than you by an immeasurable margin.’ I just want to drink in silence, sit in silence, live in silence. Suicide looks at the decor and snickers. ‘Drab isn’t it?’ I don’t say anything, he knows what I’m thinking. ‘Maybe on the way home I’ll push you into traffic.’ I wish he was dead.


Caleb leans back in his chair and fingers the neck of his beer, threading me with his hook. I’ve met magnets with less pull. He smiles at me with dentist perfect teeth and says, ‘Don’t get me wrong,’ which means I’ll want to, ‘but you strike me as the kind of guy who always gets the bill.’ Sure, I say, I get charged a lot but I rarely have to pay. Fisherman eyes, he slides a fifty at me over the table and points towards the bar. Somehow, under his patronage I feel like I’m the one being used.


She goes down on me then blows me off. I’ve barely got time to sigh and dry out before she’s kissing me on the stoop. You know, I don’t really mind, it’s just weird that it happened so early in the day. Normally I don’t get into complicated post-sex shame until after the sun’s gone down. So I stand on her street looking at the afternoon sun and wondering what to do with myself, now that I don’t feel the need to. There’s a couple hours left until hard liquor, but I think a beer would be okay.


Colt sits down with his usual heaviness, spilling beer onto the table. I blot at it with a coaster but it just herds the beer around into little Moses channels. Colt slides the low tide drink at me through the streams and nods over his shoulder. I finish off my beer and raise my eyebrows at him down the length of the glass. He leans over the table, his slender fingers plying unseen pockets, and manifests a cigarette. In conspiracy tones he tells me I should fuck the bartender. I tell him beautiful women make me want to die.

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