Hobart: Game Day
I put myself through years of school by slinging drinks behind various bars. This piece of flash comes straight from that experience. It also made the Wigleaf Top 50 Short Fictions that year.
“In my phone sex voice I say, the quesadilla of the day is caramelized onion and chorizo. Chef makes ‘em special. Sure, I say: $5 house wines, $2 off apps. Would you like to start a tab? I nod a lot. Sometimes I remember to smile. Rocky says, check out the tits on table 20, and indeed, there are sizeable tits on table 20. He hands me two fingers of an Old Vine Zin and we tap glasses, agree that it’s too sweet. Later he passes me a Post House Penny Black, a big South African red with legs for days and we know damned well we should let it breathe, but we throw it down anyway—a necessity in this small town where a little money goes a long way and everyone thinks they’re rich. Rocky whispers, not it—I went to high school with that d-bag—and I look up to see a guy wearing a tee painted with metallic angel wings, a garnet visor pulled sideways over his ears, and say, of course you did. Before the pop, I draw penises on the backs of the bev naps—one with a papal miter, another with the long curls of an Orthodox Jew, one holding The Book of Mormon—and at some point, every person at the bar has a blasphemous cock on the underside of his napkin, a secret that tickles me so much that I almost forget that I have a PhD, $100k in student-loan debt, and a smattering of job applications sent to colleges in states I’d rather be dead than live in…”
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