It was the type of small town that even Greyhound avoids. Where men riding 10 speeds are not doing well. Where spring welcomes not only wild Rose of Sharon out of hibernation but also meth heads; stumbling out of their apartments one after the other, like the Seven Dwarfs, forging ahead hunchbacked and wild, making their way somewhere, strange and purposeless.
I woke up on the couch in Frankie’s basement in complete terror that something bad happened to her. She was on house arrest at her parents house but we had been up until dawn getting trashed with her neighbours after meeting them for the first time. When I left she said she was going to “stick around” and I worried she was passed out on their lawn. If her mom found her missing, chaos would ensue. I had to sneak into the neighbour’s yard and get her back. It was a rescue mission and I was to be the hero.
We froze when we saw him. Glasses hovered over the edge of his nose, defying gravity by the sheer force of his anger. We were eleven or twelve, that age when you’re old enough to start shit but young enough to still get grounded. Just moments earlier Micky and I had raced off the school bus and up the driveway of my parent’s red brick bungalow with the world at our fingertips. Now anything questionable I’d ever done went racing through my mind.
I peeked through wicker blinds half expecting to see last night’s Tinder date hiding near my car. It had been a night of debauchery, carnal, blood and tequila. I should have left after I came the third time. I limped around the bedroom in search of my phone. I was still getting acquainted with my four wall arrangement, the latest in a slew of room rentals.
“Watch my beer, if you drink it I’ll punch you in the face.” I sat on the stoop of an August pool party, left arm sweating inside a black sling and magic mushrooms digesting in my stomach. My red hair was frizzy from humidity, legs scabbed from the mosquito bites I could never stop itching. Faces radiated above me but when I looked at the pool, the same faces were swimming. Doubles. I accepted neither, who cared?
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