In the world of
-by Mike Yaremko
I turned the faucet off and
walked back into the bedroom. I hit the light and waited for my eyes to adjust
to the dark, only being able to make out the glowing blue ‘1:35’ of the
digital clock on the bedside table. We had both dozed off after we finished, but
now I was ready for another go. The edge of the bed went down as I sat on it and
she rolled towards me. I flipped the sheet off her and she spread her legs a
little as I put my hand on her calf. She smiled as I moved up between her legs.
God, don’t women shave their legs anymore?
stood up suddenly but couldn’t move right away, momentarily startled by how
fast I lost my erection. Of course, she was a bit taken aback, too. I’d have
to convince myself it was just because I got up so fast, so as not to be too
embarrassed if I wanted to call her again. A few clumsily put on pieces of
clothing and mumbled apologizes later, I was out the door. I didn’t want to
wait for the elevator, so I ducked into the stairwell. I heard a door open above
when I stopped to put on my socks and shoes a couple of stories down. Not wanted
to take any chances, I jumped a half a flight at a time until I got to the
ground floor. I glanced down at my watch, but only saw the white band around my
wrist made by a tan. I looked up at the windows on the seventh floor, not really
having any idea which apartment might be hers. It didn’t take long to decide
not to go back up.
kept looking back up as I walked down the block, kind of expecting to see her
silhouette in one of the windows. Actually, I was pretty sure her place was
around the corner, but I wanted to go for the more dramatic: her looking down
forlornly as I got into my car and drove away. But, by the time I got into my
car, I really didn’t want to have to see her, so I fumbled with my keys,
trying to feel the right one for the door, instead of holding them up to the
light and maybe accidentally catching a glimpse of her.
turned the headlights on and pounded on the dash until the dash lights followed
suit. I glanced at the clock: almost ten ‘till one. I didn’t think it had
taken that long. I really needed some alcohol to fill the pit in my stomach, but
knowing the ten bucks I had on me wasn’t going to be enough to make me feel
better, just made it deeper.
put the car into park at a flashing red light and flipped the switch for the
overhead light a couple of times, but this wasn’t one of the times it decided
to heed my call. I dug around in the glove box until I found the receipt and
held it out the window to try and make out the map in the street light. Jamie
had scratched it out in a few seconds and his handwriting was pretty bad to
begin with, so all I could make out before the old hag behind me started honking
and flashing her brights was ‘Linden Street’, so I made a left and headed
of the houses had their porch lights off by then, but it didn’t matter since I
couldn’t make out the address Jamie had written, anyway. I just drove down the
street until I saw a house with lots of lights on and cars out in front. The
light above the door showed it very well, but it left the rest of the porch
saw me as soon as I walked through the door. He came over to me and stuck a
cigarette in my mouth and a beer in my hand. He led me into the kitchen where a
bunch of people were sitting around a table, forgetting to light my smoke.
leaned against the counter and cracked the can open as Jamie introduced the
troupe, but I didn’t pay any attention. All I wanted to do was finish that
beer and get started on another to kill some more time.
chirping of a cuckoo brought me back to reality as a clock in another room hit
three o’clock. My mind had wandered off (screaming, actually) after hearing so
much about the oppression of the masses by the military industrial complex, the
wasteland that is public education, and the nature of God. I finished my tenth
(or twelfth) beer and stumbled out of the room. All the faces stared at me in
disgust as I bounced from room to room trying to find the pisser. There were
plenty of people making bigger messes than I was: knocking things over, breaking
everything they touched. I guess they just didn’t like the fact that it was a
stranger doing it.
I got back to the kitchen, Jamie was yelling at one of the guys sitting with
him. I was surprised that it had taken so long. Jamie stood up and (almost as an
after thought) knocked his chair over for emphasis. He grabbed a Rhinelander
bottle from the counter, not seeming to notice the beer pouring down his arm. He
waved it in the air a little and hit it on the table a couple of times, but it
wouldn’t break. Jamie stopped and stared at it, and started laughing.
both of us drunk, I was worried about how we were going to leave. But then I
realized that he wasn’t. He had done that completely sober. I supported myself
on Jamie as we went down the porch steps.
went right into the driver’s side. He reached through the window, unlocked the
door and just sat with his hands on the wheel. I leaned against the car and
slide down as I searched my pockets for my keys. By the time I hit the ground,
my hands were stuck. Jamie got out, walked around the car and got the keys out
of my shirt pocket. He got back in and started ‘er up.
smiled down at me and turned the volume of the radio up. I moved the bottle to
the floor and put my head on the seat.
was that about?”
Oh. I told his girlfriend to shut the fuck up and he got nuts.”
don’t think your friends are going to be a little upset? Fighting…the
not my friends. I don’t know any of them.” He explained that he overheard
some people talking about the party and thought it sounded good. I sunk back
down and closed my eyes, the light from the passing street lights lulling me
barefoot and had been walking through the field for quite some time. The
sun was using the big bales of cotton in the sky to play hide and seek with the
trees that had scattered themselves around me. The sun was directly above, but I
didn’t break a sweat no matter how far I would go or how long it took me. The
coolness beneath me and the breeze from the ocean behind me kept me strong. When
I got to the top of the Grand Canyon and did a dive into the gorge. My stomach
tightened as I fell, but I was able to catch the gusts of air from all the bird
swooping around me with my arms and began an upward spiral; higher and door
slammed and Jamie stuck his head through a window to tell me to get out. I would
probably have taken off again if not for the light flooding in through the
windshield. I lifted my head and saw that we were at Oliver’s.
Copyright©2000 Mike Yaremko