There’s a quiet that comes with rubber-necking. The “shh” that’s more thought than heard, but everyone abides as their necks twist and break and snap. The traffic comes to a stop because of a fender-bender, but ten feet past the flashing red and blue lights, it flows normally. Once I saw a car on fire on the freeway and most cars were pulled over, but no one was out of their car helping. Sure, maybe someone called 911. I considered it myself before I hit the gas and passed by. Someone else likely made the call. Someone else is probably helping them.
There’s coffee in front of me and a sloshing flask pressing against my right ankle. My tongue licks at my teeth, a plea, but not with so many people around. The man across the table from me watches each move I make.
“How long this time?”
Three hours, if I’m being generous. “Fifty-seven days.” I breathe through the lie. “I’m making amends. I owe you a lot of…amends.”
His eyes narrow but don’t blink.
I did too much walking today and my sock is falling down, the flask nearly dropping to the ground. I try to still my ankle beneath my whiskey; it twitches anyway. The metal tilts away from my skin and my body stills against the threat. A long half-second later the metal touches back and I can breathe.
His breath catches and I’m done for. He saw. He knows. It’s over, last strike, I’m out, he won’t forgive me. But then he lets it go and I’m free.
“Fifty-seven days is longer than last time.”
No, it’s not. “Yes, it is.”
“You’re still going to meetings?”
Not in months. “Twice a week.”
I clench my right hand in a fist and let it go. I repeat it with my left. My fingers rest around my Styrofoam cup.
The bell chimes and a woman enters the coffee shop. She’s pretty with long hair but she’s pale. Her eyes are red and maybe she’s been crying but they aren’t puffy so maybe not. She undoes the top button on her shirt as she gets in line but it’s less immodest than desperate. Like the button was strangling her. Her steps are unsteady when she moves forward. She shouldn’t be wearing heels, she’ll break an ankle.
The eyes of a few patrons follow her movements. She steadies herself on the glass case filled with pastries and her cheeks flush. She reaches the front of the line and she starts sweating. A nervous hand wipes at her forehead.
He’s watching her too and maybe now’s my chance, but all-too-quickly he returns to me.
“What makes this time different?”
Nothing. “I don’t know.”
The woman orders a frappuccino-extra-caramel-extra-whip-cream. The barista asks if she’s okay. “Yes, oh yes, I’m fine,” and drags herself to where the finished drinks are placed. She’s holding on to the counter top. Her knuckles are white.
People are inherently fascinated with death and destruction. At least that’s what a psychology professor said once. Quick to watch, slow to help. We’ll stop for the accident, for the flaming car, for the fender-bender, but rarely will we get out of the car and do anything about it. It takes a certain kind of person. A person like the man in front of me, with a serious case of Florence Nightingale Syndrome. He tried to save me once. Twice. Three times. Then he stopped.
“Why should I forgive you?”
The woman sways, the shop quiets rubber-neck quiet.
There’s a thud and some gasps and someone screams.
The eyes that have been so focused on me snap behind him and he’s up and on his feet and pushing through the crowd that’s already gathered around the unconscious woman. All I see is an ankle and her stupid heels.
“Stand back, give her space, please. Someone call an ambulance. She needs sugar. Does anyone have apple juice?”
People herd away a little, but not far enough, someone’s shrieking into a phone and a barista is handing him a kid’s green juice box and a cool cloth. People crowd my ability to see him.
My own ankle shifts. The first time since I’ve entered the coffee shop, I smile. I relax. I grab the flask and unscrew the top. My nose is burning as the amber liquid gargles into my black, black coffee. I slip the flask against my sock. When it’s secured, I pick up my cup. A long gulp, and I’m walking out with it cradled in my hand, holding the door for the paramedics.
There’s a break in the group to let in the medical help and he looks up. For a moment, I stare at him.
He shouldn’t forgive me. And he won’t.
The alcohol warms my insides as I step into the cold.
Allison Pangborn is currently finishing her BFA in Creative Writing at Chapman University, and when she's not writing or studying or interning or serving tables, she can be found at Disneyland.
Febe Moss is a thirty four year old Native Texan who eats poems then dreams.
Dr. Bartlett sat behind an obnoxious, oversized desk clicking his pen as he contemplated the words to tell me what I already suspected.
“It’s inoperable, Mr. Humphrey. I’m sorry.”
His words hung there, rendering me silent. “Dummy-fucked”, as my friend Timmy often said. His expression for when your brain hung a “Be back later” sign on the door, leaving you to fend for yourself. Two weeks ago, I had suffered a seizure. The images laid out across his desk showed a tumor the size of a grapefruit competing for space in my skull, pressing on my brain.
“Well, (Click) due to the location of the tumor, an attempted removal may result in one of two outcomes: either death—the best-case scenario, I might add—or a complete vegetative state,” he said.
“How long?” I asked. My brain appeared incapable of forming proper sentences. I’d have an easier time walking through mud in high heels.
“Well, it depends on when we begin treatment. The sooner the better if we want to slow the growth…”
“Chemo?” I asked, interrupting him.
“Mr. Humphrey, this tumor has shown to be aggressive. Chemotherapy will increase your quality of life”.
Nausea, vomiting, and withering away in a hospital bed while pissing through a tube didn’t sound as if it had any “quality” to it.
“And if I should refuse treatment?”
The doctor’s eyebrows rose up as if trying to run away from his eyes. “Mr. Humphrey, I recommend against it. As I said, we are dealing with a very aggressive cancer. Research is making new finds every day and one of those discoveries may help you.”
If a scientist discovered a lab rat cancer-free due to the drug they created, after human trials, FDA and government bureaucracy, I’d be a memory. In the ongoing war on cancer, I was on the losing end of the battle.
“How Long?” I repeated.
“Without treatment? Three, four months?”
“Okay. Thank you doctor for your help,” I said, standing to leave. The constant clicking of his pen unnerved me; as if a metronome was counting off beats, every click one minute closer to death.
Before I could leave, Dr. Bartlett once again expressed his concerns over my refusing treatment, explaining what symptoms to expect as the cancer progressed. He made me promise if I changed my mind, I’d call his receptionist right away.
I agreed, but I knew I never would.
By the time I made it downstairs, I was in an emotional spin cycle. Anger turned to depression, then fear. I began to hyperventilate. The chilidogs I had for lunch earlier came spewing onto the sidewalk, drawing looks of disgust from two women who moved fast enough to avoid regurgitated chili on their clothes.
I didn’t understand this. Three weeks ago, I was shopping for a suit to christen my niece, now I’d need that suit for my funeral. My stomach began another wave of spasms, but the tank was empty. Nothing came up but dry heaves.
Life had blindsided me. I just wanted to crawl into a fetal position and pretend it was a dream. But the headaches reminded me otherwise. The idea of being home alone frightened me, so I began walking westward.
In late August, the summer heat may begin to slow but the day remains sunny enough for the sunbathers to cook themselves to golden bronze. A sea of bodies filled the lawn of Central Park. Off in the distance, a man threw a Frisbee to a golden retriever who never tired of chasing and bringing it back. Life continued around me.
I had taken life for granted, confident I’d have time to come back to it later.
We spend our lives rushing ahead, but we never see what we leave behind us.
My grandmother once told me when she woke, before rising from bed she thanked God. When I asked her why, she said, ‘For allowing me to see another day’.
I stripped off my shoes and socks, and turned my face to the sun. The blades of grass between my toes were cool and tickled. The tears came slow, and then turned to sobs. Death is a journey we face alone. From the time we’re born, we’re given a fraction of time to make our mark in this world. Had I left a mark? I didn’t believe I had, and that saddened me more than dying.
I had run out of time.
As the sun began to set, the park began to empty. Despite food being the furthest thing from my mind, my stomach proclaimed it dinnertime with a series of loud grumblings.
In New York, Katz’s delicatessen draws tourists and locals alike seven days a week. I sat at the same table where a sign above my head proclaimed “Where Harry met Sally”, the movie made famous by Meg Ryan’s interpretation of a fake orgasm. Pictures of celebrities and politicians hung on the walls. I wondered if any of them knew they were dying and just had to have one last pastrami sandwich. After overindulging on a smorgasbord of cured meats, a knish and three cream sodas, I placed an order to go, complete with a half dozen half-sour pickles for later.
The next morning I spent hoping there wasn’t a need for anti-diarrhea pills in the afterlife. Then I began to figure out how much money I had. My finances weren’t terrible, not but great either. I’d need to cash out my 401K (no need for it now) and my savings account. I’d have enough to pay for the funeral arrangements and have enough to live on for a few months.
But world traveling wasn’t going to happen, either.
I made a list of everything I ever wanted to do, narrowing it to doable and pipe dreaming.
Performing “Enter Sandman” with Metallica on stage at Madison Square Garden was the first to go. Of course, on my list, the band loved my version.
The Pulitzer Prize came next. The possibility of finishing a book (3 chapters done) I started three years ago was slim to none.
Seeing the Seven Wonders of the World would have to be via Google earth.
September rolled around, and as the fall began to usher in the winter, the air began to cool and the leaves began to change. I had managed to visit the major attractions New York had to offer, from Les Miserables to the Statue of Liberty. I even took a bus tour with a group of Japanese tourists, who later insisted we take a group picture. Throughout my “tumor tour” as I referred to it, I kept a journal complete with pictures to document my journey.
The headaches began right before Halloween.
Doctor Bartlett explained that as the tumor grew, pushing outward as well as inward, it created pressure, causing a series of mini strokes before one final one. Modern medicine transplanted organs, cloned sheep, and viewed distant galaxies. But we still didn’t know what awaited us after death.
Religions teach the righteous are rewarded and the wicked punished. But physical proof still eludes the question. Does life continue after death? For each psychic medium claiming to speak with the dead, hundreds of skeptics cried fraud.
On those days when the headaches kept me home, I’d watch a library of my favorite movies or listen to my music collection. If life continued after death, I wanted to remember everything.
Two days later, when I felt strong enough for a weekend trip, I rented a car, packed an overnight bag, and hit the road before sunrise. Twenty minutes later I was heading south on the Garden State Parkway, taking the exit marked Shore Points.
With less than ten minutes before sunrise, I parked on a side street and made my way up the wooden ramp leading to the boardwalk. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. The sea air smelled faintly of cotton candy and fried dough. Throughout my childhood, my parents had taken my brother and me to the Jersey shore every year for summer vacation. Being here reminded me of good times, and I wanted to experience it one last time.
During the off-season the shops and beach closed, so I had the whole place to myself. I jumped over the railing and made my way towards the water. I could hear the waves crashing on the shore. Near the shore line I found a spot to sit and watch the sky turned a bruised purple as a new day began.
I spent most of the morning walking the boardwalk and reminiscing over my childhood memories. Arcade after arcade my brother and I spent hours playing Skee-ball, collecting our tickets to redeem one of the Holy Grail prizes that enticed us. We’d bust our asses the whole week we were there to win a radio or a Kiss doll. By the time we headed home, we were lucky to leave with a pencil case or plastic crab.
Later that afternoon, I pulled out on to the highway and set the GPS for Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County, Pennsylvania. The weather being warm, I opened the sunroof and sang along to the radio at the top of my lungs, ignoring the stares of passing motorists.
An hour or so into Pennsylvania, I came upon a road sign that advertised food and books. I pulled off to see what “food and books” had to offer.
The outside resembled the last place someone might to want to eat. An old farmhouse converted into a restaurant. It didn’t look fancy, but with a parking lot full of cars, they were doing something right.
Meeting customers at the door was an older woman with a big smile and warm personality who introduced herself as Mary. After welcoming me to her establishment ‘where food and book lovers meet and eat’, she invited me to browse the used books while I waited to order.
“Oh, and don’t forget to pick out a free book as part of our lunch special,” she called out as she ran back to greet more customers. After placing my order, I browsed the hundreds of books that lined each available shelf space. Downstairs in the basement I discovered more shelves with more books.
Positioned in the center of the room was an old carousel that squeaked when you spun it. On my second spin, I found my free book. Old and battered with water stains on the cover, the pages dog-eared and brown, was a copy of “The Catcher in the Rye”. Long past its prime, it had been discarded to the donate pile, but to me it meant finding an old friend. Similar to an old pair of sneakers or jeans, it always felt comfortable.
From upstairs, Mary called to let me know my lunch was waiting. “Don’t dawdle” she yelled, “food will get cold”.
With a smile, I took my new my book and came up for lunch. Homemade pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy awaited my arrival, steam still rising from the plate. I felt home again.
When I paid the check, Mary wished me a good day and told me she hoped to see me again. I lied and said yes, she would. I left heavy-hearted, but grateful for the unique experience.
When I reached the exit for the park, a headache was beginning behind my eyes. I needed to stop for aspirin. It didn’t always help, but there were no over-the-counter products for brain tumors.
Cherry Springs State Park is known as one of the best areas to see the Northern Lights without going to Canada or Alaska. It attracts people from every nearby state. Having consulted a few star-gazing websites earlier in the day, I knew the low humidity and minimal cloud cover would ensure peak visibility for the next few days. At the campground, I settled in for the night.
I relaxed in the sun and read my book and listened to music. As the sun set and the night deepened, the sky began to turn colors. Swirls of purples and bright greens blended with blues and reds. The scientific explanation is gaseous particles colliding with charged particles from the sun creates this natural phenomena, but I envisioned God, paintbrush in hand painting the sky as an artist might paint a canvas. I took out my list, scratched off the last item, and folded it back into my wallet. My headache began to intensify blurring my vision. I lay back in my sleeping bag and closed my eyes.
Sarah McLachlan’s haunting voice began to sing “In the Arms of the Angels”. Within the darkness behind my closed eyelids, my mother sat with me, my head in her lap. She stroked my hair just as she had when, as boy, I spiked a fever. Her hands were cool on my hot skin, her gentle voice told me I’d be okay.
I may not have left a mark on this world, but I had done my best. For the first time since my seizure, I was no longer afraid.
copyright © 2015
C.K. Black resides in Sherman, CT, and his work has been published in Tales of the Zombie War and The Rusty Nail.
Old Cheezel is a weasel and a razzle-dazzle fellow,
For his whiskers they are crimson, while his feathers they are yellow,
And he wears a woolly waistcoat with a pair of bright blue braces
When he waddles off to Ascot just to see the tortoise races.
When the starter fires his pistol and the steward rings his bell
All the tortoises start toddling (and they toddle very well!)
Tardy Tortoise Twinkles is the favourite and he's cocky
On his back rides Bertie Bunny who's the finest tortoise jockey.
Now Cheezel has a habit and it may make him a sinner
When he sees a passing rabbit, he will grab it for his dinner.
As the finish line is looming and the favourite has 'em beaten,
In a flash the jockey's jumped on and he's just as quickly eaten.
Next past the post is Shell Shocked, but alas for owner's pride
He is found to be a turtle and he's thus disqualified.
While the other twenty 'runners' grow all frisky-fractious-frettish
For it seems they've all developed a lively lettuce fetish.
So Cheezel saunters homewards with a full and frumptious belly
Where he sits in great contentment with his feet up by the telly.
Seems this crimson-whiskered, yellow-feathered weasel with blue braces
'Stead of money, won a bunny; made a killing at the races.
♦A true baby-boomer, Steve Herbert grew up in rural New Zealand before pursuing a teaching career which took him from Singapore to Australia; he recently eased into semi-retirement amongst the dairy farms in the beautiful north of the country of his birth, but you can find him on his new website Poet For Hire where he entertains, educates and offers his talents to the public.
♦ This author's generous contributions help make P&S possible.
CAUTION: Mature subject matter.
Looking good is a science. Looking good while looking like you don’t care about looking good is an art. Most guys just don’t get these finer nuances of style. That’s what separates me from them, I guess. I’m a deep thinker.
The thing is, people that are truly self-confident don’t obsess over their appearance. They’re comfortable with who they are and don’t need anyone else to validate them. Therefore, if you want chicks to think you’re truly self-confident, you’ve got to act like you don’t care what they think at all.
Take tonight, for example. I’m standing here in the Blue News Room with my good dress pants, slick shirt, leather shoes. The whole outfit exudes class, and most guys would stop there. But me, I added a faded, frayed Pittsburgh Steelers hat with folded beer caps clamped around the rim, and turned the entire image sideways. Now, my clothes sat that I’ve got money, but it also says that I’m a little crazy, that not like every other guy in the club. It says that I’m original, that I’ve got something original to say. I got the idea from a book about picking up women, and I can tell you that it works.
Now, it’s real important to take your environment into consideration before experimenting with new looks. I can get away with my baseball cap here in the Blue News Room because it’s an exclusive place. Everyone here has money, so the girls know that I’m a successful guy dressing down a bit, not a loser trying to dress up.
So, I let my boys get a conversation going with some ladies while I lean against the bar and look disinterested. The moment that girls walk into places like this they have guys jumping all over them like drunk monkeys. When I want to get with a girl, I won’t talk to her at all. Not a word. I’ll just stand there like I don’t have a care in the world, like I’ve already got everything I need.
It’s a little known law of life that beautiful women are the most insecure of them all. They are so used to guys fawning over them that they’re terrified to lose it. The moment people stop paying attention, hot chicks need to know why. They want so bad to find out that the guy is gay, or blind, or just an asshole intimidated by their presence, because they need constant reassurance that they’re still beautiful.
Take that reassurance away for even a minute, and hot women fall apart. Ugly chicks or average looking chicks don’t get upset about being ignored, because they’re used to it. They don’t know what they’re missing, but the beautiful ones do. They know exactly what they’d be missing, and it scares the hell out of them. Beautiful women live in constant fear of not being beautiful.
Now, I don’t want to act like my method is perfect, so I should point out that meeting women by ignoring them can take a lot of time. I also don’t recommend the technique to short guys or guys with average looks, because you need to stand out from the crowd for the girls to notice you ignoring them in the first place.
Lucky for me, I’m tall and good looking. Girls tend to say that either my eyes or my hair are my best features–until they see me naked, and then it’s almost always my abs. I work hard on my abs.
Anyway, while my boys strike up a conversation with some ladies, I just lean against the bar, sip my drink, and watch football on the television. One of the girls asks my friend Bobby if I ever talk. Bobby tells her that I’m the strong, silent type. I pretend that I didn’t hear any of it while I check her out in the mirror behind the bar.
She’s your typical party girl–dirty blonde hair, leather jacket, likes to talk about being a bad girl and shopping. But she's got long legs coming out of her short skirt, and nice ankles. I like nice ankles. A girl can fake good legs if she works out hard enough, but you can’t exercise hard enough to fake good ankles. That's how you know if legs are really any good–you look at the ankles.
The party girl asks me, "Do you ever talk?"
I smile. “That’s not fair. The second I say that I don’t’ talk, I’m a liar. You trying to trap me in a paradox?”
She laughs. Her name is Julie, but I call her Jules, and she laughs again as if it's funny.
“What do you do?”
I bat my eyes and grin. "What would you like me to do?" Jules laughs. Women love it when guys say subtle, clever shit like that. Most guys are too obvious.
"I meant what do you do for work?"
"I'm a financial analyst,” I answer, as if it’s nothing, as if I work a cash register at a fast food place or something. She doesn't know what an investment analyst means, but it sounds like money and she looks impressed.
"It’s not much, but it pays the bills,” I say. “The only problem is that I work so much I barely make it to the gym every day." I like to use my job to segue into my physical conditioning.
We talk a bit about music and our favorite celebrities. I profess a secret love for the sitcom Full House.
"Oh my God," Jules squeals, "I used to love that show."
I act surprised, but every chick her age loved that show. They always squeal when I mention it. That’s the only reason I bring it up with chicks in the first place. I expound on my theory about how the Olsen twin’s relationships with their television fathers contributed to their long-term emotional problems–all bullshit, of course, but plausible enough to sound profound–and Jules nods in deep contemplation.
She laughs. We order shots and she laughs some more. I tell dirty jokes and she laughs. Everything I do makes her laugh. An observer might think that she’s buying my bullshit, but the truth is she’s just impressed at how good I am at bullshitting.
No woman is innocent–least of all the ones who pretend to be. It’s all part of the game. My role is to act rascally and charming, but not overly interested, while Jules’ role is to pretend that she doesn’t realize that I’m just using her for sex. That way she can go home with me without guilt. As long as everyone observes the rules of the game, everyone gets to go home happy.
It's late and I'm getting tired of the music. I’ll have one more drink before I take Jules home. I go up behind her, kiss her earlobe, and slip my hand down the front of her pants, down under the bar where no one can see. She acts shocked, but doesn’t stop me.
I whisper in her ear, "You're driving me fucking crazy. Let’s go to my place." It's good form to switch gears from cool, half-interest to unbearable passion. It makes them feel like they’ve done something right…like they’re good.
Jules pretends to be reluctant and then agrees to come back to my place. She says that she has to use the bathroom first and drags one of her friends along. I order a beer and a shot, drain them both, and get ready for the concerned friend routine. Sure enough, Jules’ bathroom buddy walks up a moment later looking all serious.
She’s a little platinum blonde in a tight, long-sleeved top that hugs her waist and really brings out her tits. I think about going for her instead of Jules, but it's too late and I don't feel like working that hard.
Bathroom buddy sticks her finger in my chest. "She just had her heart broken, and she doesn't need any more problems. Treat her right, or I'm coming after you. She's special."
I laugh at ‘special.’ She smiles because she thinks I find her tough-chick act to be cute. Jules comes out of the bathroom. I look into the eyes of the platinum blonde, who’s trying to look serious and cute at the same time.
"Yea, sure,” I say, “as if Jules is the only one that’s going to be sucking some stranger’s dick tonight.” I stand there for an extra moment to savor the expression on her face and cut across the dance floor to meet Jules.
Jules smiles. "She didn't give you too hard a time, did she?"
"Not at all," I answer, put my arm around her, and lead her outside.
I hail a cab. A Turkish kid with sunglasses propped on his head pulls over. He keeps glancing at me in the rear-view to catch my attention. When I return his gaze, he flicks his eyes over to Jules and smiles. I smile back and let him feel like he's in on it. Guys like him would pay for girls like Jules.
I give the driver a little insider's smile a couple times, but he just keeps throwing it back over and over again, and I get tired of it. My head is starting to hurt and my stomach doesn't feel good. It has to be a hundred degrees in the goddamn cab, and the Turk keeps looking at me in the rearview, raising his eyebrows and winking. I rest my head against the window and pretend to sleep.
The cabbie drops us off in front of my building. I tip him well and he smiles, nods at Jules who is standing on the sidewalk and says something about a 'hot ass-piece.'
I nod. "You know it, buddy."
I lead her to my building and she marvels at how high up my apartment is. She walks through the rooms checking out the cutting-edge entertainment system, the marble coffee table, the handmade Persian rug. She sits on the leather couch and runs her hands over it and asks me how much it cost. When I tell her the price, her eyes grow wide and her hands move more reverently.
I sit down next to her, wrap my arms around her, and kiss her neck. She kisses back and runs one hand through my hair while the other strokes the leather couch. I tear off her blouse and skirt, toss her panties to the floor, and slip inside her.
She gasps. The couch creaks under us. She's whispering something in my ear, but I can't tell what it is. She gets louder and holds her legs up in the air and I look at her perfect ankles. She gasps and moans and bites my shoulder.
I close my eyes and pretend that she's somebody else. The only way I’ve ever been able to get off was to imagine that I’m screwing someone besides the person I’m actually screwing. Next week, when I’m banging someone else, I might imagine that I’m banging Jules, but right now, while I really am banging Jules, I have to think of girls that I’ve screwed before in order to stay interested. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever actually screwed the person I was screwing a single time in my whole life.
Jules gasps and screams in my ear. I rail her so hard that the couch bangs into the coffee table and knocks the lamp off of it. Jules gets excited, as if I’m caught up in such wild passion that I can’t help breaking things, and I bet that she’s wondering how expensive the lamp was. But the truth is that I don’t even know why I’m screwing her so hard. It’s closer to anger than passion, I think. Women like Jules disgust me. What kind of woman is impressed by my bullshit? It’s fucking pathetic.
She tightens her legs around me and digs her fingernails into my shoulder. She gets real quiet when she cums. Her mouth opens like she’s screaming, but not a sound comes out of her. Then she goes limp and I cum, too, just to get it over with.
She laughs as I go to the bathroom to get a towel.
“Look,” she says, pointing at her quivering thighs. “Look.”
I toss the towel to her and walk over to the window to look out over the bay. I like the way the water looks at night with the lights reflecting off it.
“Look,” she giggles, "look."
“I have to get up for work in a few hours,” I say, watching the little orange light of a ship glide out into the darkness of the bay.
Jules is quiet for a bit, and then starts putting her clothes on. She tells me to give her a call and I say I will.
“I think you’ll need my number first.” She laughs.
I plug her digits into my phone and offer to call her a cab, but she says she can call her own. She kisses my cheek and walks out the door, closing it quietly behind her.
A few minutes later I see her leave the building and head up the street talking on her cell phone. For just a moment after she disappears around the corner I feel like I want her to come back. The feeling gets so bad that I actually almost call her on the phone, but I’d just get tired of her the moment she walked back in the door, anyway.
I delete Jules’ name from my phone and look out across the dead streets at a city full of dark windows that nobody can see behind. I hope that I can get some sleep before I have to work tomorrow, but I know that I won’t.
I’ll just sit here looking out at thousands of windows positioned at regular intervals like tombstones, hoping to catch the eye of someone looking back. I don’t know why I do this all the time, but I do.
After an hour or so I’ll go the computer and watch some porn. The weird thing about getting laid is that it always makes me want to watch porn. It just feels more satisfying–more like the real thing. I know that I see a lot of things differently from most people, but I think that everybody can relate to that.