Drop 169: You Know?

glass bottomAmanda is surprised Joe’s still talking to her. He’s blonde and good-looking, with bright eyes and a tanned fit body. He has been laughing at her jokes and has given her more than one complement already. As an overweight, nerdy girl, she’s not used to the attention, but it’s going great – so great in fact, that she decides to go for it. Why not? You never can tell who a person might be into. It’s personal and sometimes quite surprising. Maybe this guy’s into big girls with glasses!

‘Say, Joe: you think you might wanna get some dinner with me some time?’

‘Yeah, sure, would be fun.’

‘Just the two of us, you know, and maybe catch a movie too.’

‘Oh, you mean like a date?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Sorry, darling. I think I gave you the wrong impression. You’re awesome and I think you’re really cute too with your funky glasses and pretty eyes, but I’m into dudes. Actually, if you want to know, I’m into older bald black guys with tattoos.’

‘Oh.’

‘Something about them just gets me, you know? We can still catch that movie though!’

‘Sure.’

Later that night Joe hits his usual spot for a quick drink, just to check out the scene.

Bingo!

After talking to Chuck – a large black man in his late forties with an amazing wide smile, fully tattooed arms done really nicely, and a perfectly round shiny head – for half an hour, and buying him a drink, Joe suggests they get out of there.

‘Oh, sorry buddy,’ Chuck says. ‘I must have given you the wrong idea. I’m not gay. Just here with some friends. You’re a handsome dude, for sure, but I’m into chicks – hefty pale white girls with glasses, to be precise. Something about them just gets me, you know?’

 By EM Vireo

Drop 153: Napkin

orchidThis post is not suitable for children. You have been warned.

‘It’s kind of refreshing,’ she said, looking at him across the table and smiling softly, ‘to be out with a nice guy for a change—you are a nice guy, right? I mean, it’s our third time out and you haven’t made a move beyond that one short and careful kiss. You haven’t grabbed me, made any crass comments, acted macho, even stared openly at my breasts.’

‘Because I respect people, and women especially.’

‘I see that.’

‘And yes, I am a nice guy, in terms of: I would never prey on insecurities, coerce or manipulate a girl into doing anything, or make it seem like she has no option, or is flawed if she doesn’t, or use alcohol or promises to seduce her; and sure, I only kissed you that once, and gently, and I haven’t tried to sleep with you, and I’ll always value a woman’s wishes and comfort as I try to do with all people.’

‘Yes, that’s clear.’

‘But, if I may speak frankly?’

‘Of course.’

‘In truth, my urges are not so polite; I just manage them skillfully. For instance, if I knew for sure you’d want it, I’d be under the table in an instant, teasing your panties aside and gobbling up your pussy as if it were an impossibly ripe mango, then ripping them and diving so deep down that snatch I’d almost drown. Yes, if I had a green light, I’d be under this table tonguing your asshole till it shone like a star, wearing you like a warm winter hat before filling you up with my footlong sub. Of course, I always put subject above object, even though, if you gave the word, I’d straight up beast on your delicious pink, plain revel in that stank. I’d snort coke off your clit, film it all so I could jerk off to it later, record your squeals and use them as the ringer for my phone—the higher ones to alert me of a WhatsApp message. I will always respect the person first and foremost, even if I want to deconstruct her into options, objects, holes to abuse. Always! But damn, girl, I’m less man than epic throbbing cock for you by now!’

She was silent.

‘Forgive me, have I shocked you?’ He looked at her meekly and topped up her wine. ‘Have you nothing to say?’

‘Oh, sorry, yes,’ she said, adjusting herself slightly on her chair. ‘It’s just that I dropped my napkin under the table and was wondering if you’d be a gentleman and get it for me.’

By E.M. Vireo

Drop 147: Invitation

lovers‘Want to come up? No one’s home.’

‘You want me to?

‘I asked, didn’t I?’

I pause, tapping a sneaker against the curb. ‘Don’t think I will.’

Her disappointment is at once recognizable and foreign, like a childhood home revisited as an adult. She is wearing one of the many similar simple dresses that suit her so well, and those olive-green knee-highs that remind of all I must have missed in the sixties. She is playing, as she often does, with the tiny gold seahorse hanging from her neck, and she is beautiful–a little too alluring to have to deal with, really. Too much expression in her face, too much roundness in those cheeks. No one wears glasses better, and that practiced naïveté she flaunts only belies a sensual cleverness, a roguish greed.

‘So, that’s a hard no?’ she asks, sliding hand under cloth to gently scratch collarbone.

I look at her as a quiet man might watch the winter sea from a deserted beach. ‘I can’t,’ I say. ‘I won’t.’

We kissed earlier—kissed in a way that stole something back from time: some magic, some truth. We kissed for several minutes, naturally, comfortably, as if we had always been in love.

‘Really?’ She leans against the door frame and smiles, mocking my attempt to postpone the inevitable.

I have already, over the course of the afternoon, imagined her a hundred kinds of naked, met so much of that nakedness with fingers, mouth, and face, been shattered over and again by the thought of her tightly around me. How gorgeous it must be in there. How perfect.

‘Is it your wife?’ she asks, ‘or my husband?’

After three weeks of close, almost daily interaction, the project is finished; we won’t be working together any more. Nothing happened in all that time, until today, but it was instantly flirty and easy between us—and almost immediately I had also imagined this moment, this invitation. The possibility has lived with us since, like terrible, lovely, exciting disease that is never discussed, but will not just go away.

‘I guess,’ I say, watching her stare at me, unblinking, ‘but that’s not the whole of it.’

She looks down coyly, and I resent already missing her eyes. I know it spells madness, but it’s a deep relief when she looks back up.

‘I fear if I touch you again today, I won’t be able to let go.’

‘Hm. Fear.’

‘Look at us together. Look at what we already are. This could never be a passing thing. Of course I want to come up—the thought is beating me to a pulp, but I if did it would be too good, and prove what I already know: that I like you too much. We’d definitely do it again, start a proper affair and be really into each other. I might even leave Sarah for you, and you might leave Will. We’d move in together, and it would undoubtedly be wonderful, maybe even for years, but who’s to say it won’t lose that drive and wonder?–it would already have to carry the weight of all we have given up: everything we have hurt, and risked, and betrayed. We might fight, and get frustrated, and start new affairs and only end up back where we are now. Why set all that up when we could just absorb this perfect moment, this perfect day between two recent strangers and move off into the night?’

‘Wow. Someone’s a fucking downer.’

‘Sorry.’

She shrugs but I can tell she feels this same tectonic force, but for some reason is was willing to act, as I might be willing to do on another day, or maybe still am. I have always been careful, though: too careful to throw something great away for something else that is sure to be incredible.

‘No, that was a good speech. Articulate and charismatic.’

I know this sarcasm is used in defense, maybe as a stalling technique too. Even now the invitation remains draped on her face, and I still haven’t formally refused it. Minds are seldom made up with the words they sell to mouths. Half of mine has already climbed the stairs to her bedroom, or is it more than half, or less? Sex itself is not so dangerous but there’s no room here for love. Not today, in this falling dusk. Not for love the destroyer, love the callous cunt. Souls are impatient; we tend to appease the offhand passions they peddle, riding them on into the new and the immediate. But not every time, on every watch.

The hug goodbye is brutal, so heavy with the sadness of sense.

By EM Vireo

Drop 130: Hookah

lover A waiter brings a hookah to a table nearby.

Ah, Jim thinks, maybe I’ll get us one of those. She’ll dig it. Apple tobacco—no, cherry. Will be cool to hang out, drink and smoke. Learn more about one another. Build this spark, this ember into something bigger, warmer, tastier—what a perfect metaphor for the beginnings of love. Haven’t met a girl like her for … well, forever. She has so much more than looks. She has smarts, opinions, strength. And our tastes are so similar, with music (well, except for Elliott Smith), movies (except for Charlie Kaufman’s stuff), books and all.

He raises his hand for the waiter.

Man, I don’t want to jinx it, but this one feels good and I want it bad. And it feels like we are already so close, that it’s just a matter of destiny playing out! That love has already laid claim to us and is just waiting for a cue.

‘God,’ she says, squinting at a man blowing smoke, ‘nothing as stupid as a fucking hookah, right? I mean, can you try any harder to look cool without actually being cool? Okay, maybe it works for some bearded dude in Turkey, but for any white guy it’s the epitome of modern douche uncool. No opinion, no personality. Um, yeah, give me one of them funky pipes with that yummy flavored tabacky everyone’s having. How about apple—no, cherry! Jesus. What a fucking crock!’

‘I totally agree,’ he says, dropping his arm. ‘Total bull.’ The waiter’s already coming over.

‘Cool. I like that about you Jim. You dig the cool shit I dig, except for not liking Elliott Smith, of course—oh, and Charlie Kaufman movies. Guy’s so great!’ She frowns and shakes her head almost imperceptibly. ‘Anyway, you’re not all about the bullshit, and I appreciate that.’

‘Yeah.’

The waiter arrives. ‘Did you want to order something?’ he asks.

‘Oh. Did you want another drink?’ Jim asks Sadie.

‘Mine’s still full but fuck it, sure, let’s get another round.’ She smiles at him in a way she hasn’t before. ‘Like I said, I like the way you think—I really do.’

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #117: Hunger

For months, Ben Simon had been working through uninspired days automatically and with no pleasure. He looked forward to little and remembered almost nothing of experiences past. He just chugged on, silently into the malaise. It wasn’t any one event that had placed or kept him in this state; he had certainly not always felt this way. One could look back at his breakup with his girlfriend of a year, or his steadily increased workload at a purposeless and thankless job. One could look at various music and writing projects that had sputtered into failure, or the departure to other cities, one after the other, of the only three friends he had thought worthwhile. Disillusioned, he had made no effort to find new and better ones, leaving him with a plethora of beige, interchangeable colleagues and acquaintances he had nothing in common with, but still met for drinks and dinners he didn’t enjoy, being too tired to consciously end the cycle.

In truth, however, there was no obvious culprit; only a result: he was riding the dull inertia of action without reward: of drinking without wanting a drink, eating and smoking just to pass the time, watching TV shows without laughing or learning or being entertained. He never felt the exciting sting of attraction to a woman, or arousal by her body. He never listened to music at home, or on his headphones, as he had so loved to do in days gone by. He slept a lot, having nothing to achieve while awake: no pleasure to chase, or project to complete; no evolution to forward, or relationship or to build. No life to live.

On an evening in January in which ice cream stores were crowded despite the cold, Ben found himself at another gathering he had merely not bothered avoiding. He was drinking bland, lukewarm beer with five colleagues in an upscale restaurant. Three were woman, and though he knew two of them were attractive, he wasn’t attracted to them. Someone had ordered chicken wings, which he picked at as he laughed sporadically at jokes he hardly heard, using others’ laughter as a cue.

Ben excused himself, needing to pee (one of the few acts that still offered satisfaction). As he unzipped, a large man in a pin striped suit and bowler hat, with a long gray goatee stepped up to the urinal next to his. It was surprising as Ben hadn’t heard the bathroom door open, or seen him come in.

‘How you doin tonight?’ the man asked in a deep voice. His enormous winklepickers were impeccably shined.

‘Same as always,’ Ben answered.

‘And how is that?’ the man asked, starting to pee. It sounded soothing, like a rolling brook on a shaded hillock.

‘Uninspired. Bored. Pointless.’ Though Ben had felt this way for months, he had never voiced these words, and did not know why he would blurt them out now.

‘That’s unfortunate,’ said the gargantuan man, still urinating a steady stream, ‘and may I say, no way to live when there’s so much to enjoy out there.’

‘I just don’t see it,’ said Ben, finishing up.

‘Would you like to?’

‘What?’

‘Feel hungry again. Want things. Be gratified, and eager for more.’ The man finished too and followed Ben to the basins, where both began washing their hands. The man’s were massive and manicured. The way they rhythmically massaged in the soap was hypnotic.

‘I guess.’

‘Don’t you want to want stuff? Have an itch to scratch?’

‘I guess.’

‘Not good enough, son. Tell me now – right now – and maybe things will change for you. Tell me now, and you just might just find that hunger once again.’

They both dried off.

‘OK. I do,’ Ben answered quickly, put on the spot. ‘I do want it back.’

‘Done.’ The man laughed so loudly that the paper towel dispenser rattled. ‘Shake on it,’ he added gruffly, enveloping Ben’s hand in his padded palms. ‘I got this one, but tomorrow, you’re on your own.’

‘Um. OK,’ Ben answered, too intimidated to say much else.

And then, like Keyser Söze, the man was gone.

Back in the bar, two of Ben’s party had left, and soon the others left too. Alone, he looked around for the mountain of pin stripes, but couldn’t see him. He would normally have gone home, but for some reason, Ben Simon had a hankering for a martini; in fact, it was a full-blown urge. He could already taste the cold smoothness as he sat at the bar and ordered in a confident voice: ‘vodka martini, dry and dirty, two olives.’

It came, he tasted, and it was delicious—so delicious, in fact, that he shook his head and went ‘mmm mmm.’

The drink stirred his appetite and he asked for the menu. So many choices and he wanted them all, but he ordered an appetizer platter for two, a steak frites, medium rare, and a bottle of Rioja, cause the meal just seemed incomplete without it. He ate and drank with greed and satisfaction, and everything was sublime. Upon completion of the excellent feast, with only some wine and crumbs remaining, Ben felt a strong desire for a cigarette. It sat at the base of his throat and told him, in no uncertain terms, that nothing could be better, right now, than satisfying this craving.

‘Keep an eye on the bottle, will you?’ he told the cute bartender, and snuck outside. The bite of the chilly wind felt clean and honest on his skin and he took a second to absorb it, noting its luxurious contrast to the warmth in his belly. He didn’t have any smokes so he bummed one off a girl nearby.

‘Sure.’ She smiled giving him one and lighting it. ‘And how are you doin tonight?’

‘You know what? I’m doing pretty damn great.’

‘Good to hear. What use is life when you aren’t, right?’

‘Right.’

She was thoroughly, disarmingly beautiful, and in an instant, Ben wanted her, and badly. They chatted while they finished their cigarettes, Ben’s filling a hole nothing else could, and as they went back inside, he invited her to help him finish the bottle of wine that stood waiting.

‘Why not?’

The conversation was the best Ben had had in years; he was attentive and interested even as she beguiled him with her exquisite looks and intoxicating sex appeal. After another bottle of an even better, more expensive red, which hit an even warmer, meatier spot, she asked if he wanted to come smoke a joint at her place. ‘It’s just around the corner.’

‘Honestly, I could think of nothing I’d like more.’

The joint thickened everything into a creamy cloud: his lust, his hunger, his thirst and laughter. He walked to her fridge and downed a bottle of ice-cold water in four eager gulps. And when he returned to her, she was waiting, soft, alive, and keen.

He devoured her, and she him. Three times they spun the room into chaos with their swollen, rushing lust, feasting and digging and reaching no stop. Giving and taking with no inhibition. Drowning in sexual inebriation.

And at the end, consumed and collapsed, sated on skin and every way in, they were hungry again, for all other things: champagne and chocolate, vodka and latkes, kind bud, air con, jazz and techno, TV and comforters and the sound of the rain, and all that would hide any memory of pain.

So they hunkered down and ordered in. Another joint cloaked all in-depth and stillness, like heavy snowfall in the pines. They touched some more and rode out the dream till the urge for sleep broke over them. As Ben gave in, holding his beautiful lover in an easy embrace, he sensed it one last time: this is as good as it gets.

 

In the late morning, sleek strands of sunlight crept through the living room window to wake Ben Simon. As he sat up and pulled on his pants he mumbled the words: Today, it’s up to me. He was already looking forward to coffee, eggs and toast.

 

And what about you? You still here? You still hungry?

Sure?

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #70: Katelyn

Katelyn was sitting on stairs outside the main campus building, off Lexington. As soon as I reached her she was all over me, pulling me down, kissing my mouth and neck, rubbing her hands over my head. She’d been waiting there to take me home.

I held back.

‘What, you have a girlfriend or something?’

‘No,’ I said, looking around. ‘It’s just a little crowded here.’

‘So what?’ She pulled me back down, kissing my ears and lips. ‘Come on,’ she said in a slow whisper. ‘Let’s go to my place.’

‘I have another class.’

‘So ditch it.’

‘I can’t. He checks and I’ve skipped a bunch already.’

‘Seriously! Let’s go.’

‘I can’t.’

‘You’d rather go to class than come home with me right now? Jesus. I’m like totally throwing myself at you.’

‘I’ll come right away, after.’

‘No. It’s now or never. That’s my offer.’

‘I’ll call you in an hour. Wait for me at your place.’

She was bursting for it but I knew she’d wait, so I walked away.

We hadn’t slept together yet and I was totally jonesing to, so I don’t know why I didn’t go right away. I used to do those kind of inexplicable things; I guess I still do. Or maybe I was playing her somehow.  I don’t know. She was super hot, just really pretty, with straight, shoulder-length brown hair, a classic, doe-eyed face, and a smoking, skinny body. She was the eye-rolling type, with a cheeky, teasing smile, like she was always making fun, but in a vein that made you wonder if she was serious, and whether she even knew herself. She slumped her shoulders and softly slurred her words, and it all combined into naughty vulnerability that was very appealing.

We’d met outside school* a couple of weeks back. We joked later about who had picked who up but it was pretty mutual. It was one of those meetings where after 5 seconds you know you are going to sleep with someone. I took her to a show that weekend and we made out against a wall for an hour. Then we’d meet at school and go up on the roof to smoke weed and kiss.

After class, I took the subway to Brooklyn. She let me in, in her ‘pajamas’ and hurried back to the big comfy chair near the window, sitting on it cross-legged, looking frail and just delicious. The large living room space had these huge windows looking right at the underside of the Brooklyn Bridge, which spread enormously and disproportionately away across the river like the skeleton of a beached whale. I sat beside her and kissed her and she acted mad at me, saying I was a dick for not coming earlier, but soon she was straddling me and kissing me all over. We rolled a joint – she was always rolling joints – and we started smoking it, being just very comfortable and close. I still remember the taste of those kisses. If I close my eyes, I can still feel them.

About half way through the joint the front door opened and a short guy, a few years older than we were, came in. We stopped making out but she was on top of me, though we were still fully clothed. He acted awkward and so did she. They exchanged a few words and he left again pretty soon.

‘Sorry, that was my roommate.’

‘Yeah, I figured.’

‘That was awkward.’ She rolled her eyes.

‘Yeah, it was.’

‘I told you I kissed him, right?’

‘Yeah.’

‘He’s all weirded out by it now. But it’s no big deal,’ she said, biting my earlobe, but she seemed weirded out too. I don’t know why she hadn’t expected him back, but anyway, we soon moved to the bedroom.

We didn’t have sex that night. I don’t know if it was because of the roommate or something else, but we just didn’t go all the way there. I woke up in the morning, in her bed, in Brooklyn around 8. We made out for a while for a while, warm under the comforter, and I called my part-time office job at 9.30 saying I was sick and wouldn’t make it in. The receptionist, a 19-year-old girl with a heavy Long Island accent whom I was friendly with (and incidentally, I would later almost hook up with when she quit) called me on it, saying I was ‘just getting some ass,’ and I swore I wasn’t even though I knew, she knew I was lying.

Back in bed, we got into it pretty good and ended up having sex after all. Maybe it was because I kind of made Katelyn feel guilty that we hadn’t the night before – I don’t know. It was good, and we worked well together that way, but that specific act didn’t elevate us much beyond any place we had already reached. Afterwards, we got bialys at this great hole-in-the-wall Russian joint and I took the subway back into the city.

We were young, good-looking and eager, and obviously into each other, and kept seeing one another at school and in the evenings, but as we did, it became apparent that some type of tension was present, even though nothing specific had gone wrong. Maybe the abstruse, teasing games we reflexively played to keep an edge had gone off course, or grabbed the lead and left us behind. Neither would describe it – perhaps we just didn’t know how – but it continued and gathered mass. We had a hard time talking. She mumbled and I didn’t hear, and when I asked, she wouldn’t repeat it. We ended up having conversations that went something like: ‘What?’ ‘Nothing?’ followed by a strained silence, till we stopped whatever it was we had after a few weeks. We only slept together that once.

A few months later I saw her outside class, convinced her to come have a drink, and we hooked up again. We talked about how weird it was between us and she said it had been and still was a strange time for her since a good friend had died a few weeks before we’d met. And we tried once more but again, we just couldn’t communicate. Those strained silences kept coming up, and it wasn’t any good.

This was years ago, but I think about her sometimes, the way I only do about a small number of the girls I have been with. I remember our short time with the type of melancholy nostalgia that paints a life with uniqueness and depth. Even as greedy, ignorant animals, who scurry through time blind as moles, leaving messes and mounds of matters unfinished, we get to live so much. Even through callousness and confusion, we get to gather memories, affections and connections, and carry them along like exquisite, imperfect flowers that need never die.

By E.M. Vireo

*school refers to college or university here, as it does in the US

Drop #66: The Edge of the Woods

I follow the curve of the path through the trees. Buildings begin to reappear: ochre stains through the long grass. The human smells get thicker, replacing the must of damp woods, and I slow my pace to delay the return.

I see Margie near the nettle pond, the traffic on Maine Street now audible.

‘How long are you out for?’ she asks when we’ve said our hellos.

‘Not long. A week or so.’

‘You’re going to miss the woods,’ she says.

I look back over to where I came from. ‘Yeah. I think you’re right.’

We stop talking to smile and fidget. This broke-down dance lasts a minute till I say, ‘I should go.’

‘Please don’t, she says. ‘Not yet.’

I pause.

‘Please.’ She rests a weightless hand on my wrist.

I imagine her sitting cross-legged in a dimmed room, harvesting the sadness of soft songs. I imagine her frowning in a child’s pajamas, waiting for something to begin. I don’t subscribe to this melancholy brand of need, but sometimes, I wish I did.

So I stay.

‘Can you…be lovely with me?’ she asks, all eyes and shivers. ‘Can we be lovely together, here, at the edge of the woods, just for a minute.’

I feel like I do when I smoke a pipe at my spot, deep in the pines. It’s a first outside its cool and sympathetic shade.

‘Of course.’

She folds into my chest and I share of my warmth, and so we stand, defying time and loneliness, till she looks up.

‘You are very beautiful,’ she says.

I know it is meant in an innocent way, but remember the wolf and the heat in his veins. Sadness and skin will beckon me in, so I pull away, unwrapping my arms.

‘That’s OK, she says. ‘Every rapture is a fleeting thing.’

My smile feels like the one my mother wore when I’d fall off my bike, or have a nightmare, and suddenly I hate life’s callous circularity.

‘I have to go,’ I say, and Margie nods, like reeds do in gentle winds.

I walk away, bemoaning the ease with which it begins.

 By E.M. Vireo

Drop #59: Mosquito

Eleven-year-old Andy can’t sleep. And here’s the mosquito again, looking for blood: the obvious culprit. It disappears into the room’s broad expanse, then returns, buzzing intimately around his ear. If only he could kill it, things might be OK. But you can’t kill what you can’t get a hold of.

Andy is unnerved. He calls his parents: two lovely, caring adults, and they rush in with orange, open hearts. ‘Don’t worry, Andy. It will be alright. Don’t let a mosquito get you so down.’

They turn on the light and hunt the tiny vampire, the stealer of sleep. Dad finds it on the curtain and smacks at it with gusto. And when it escapes, mom gets in on the act, pinning it against the window to ensure a mangled death. Happy to have fixed the problem, they leave their boy’s room, sleepy but proud, secure in the fact that all is now fine.

But it is not fine. I know this because I am an omniscient narrator. You can picture me however you want: a thin bearded man with a limp, a midget with a lisp, a gray-haired gypsy woman with a glass eye and an orange cat, but that has no bearing on the story. All you need to know is that I am far more familiar with Andy’s situation than he is, or his parents are (bless their hearts), and I’m willing to share my knowledge with you. You see: though I’ve titled and set it up that way, this story isn’t really about a mosquito at all. It was merely a convenient scapegoat (insects so often are) to Andy, and a narrative mechanism to me. This story is about the exact night on which a boy is forced to make the jump from innocuous childhood to messy adulthood.

His parents have no idea that all night long, Andy’s been seeing images, and entertaining thoughts he is not yet capable of processing cleanly. Images of naked boys and their private parts. Thoughts of touching and playing and doing. And now they rush back in to fill the room’s dark silence. He hates them, yet welcomes them back; resents, yet molds them, and they make him feel uncomfortably warm and horribly intrigued, and of course, guilty too. No brand of lust is easy to fathom and harness at age eleven, and this one’s got him beat, at least for now. Here is a new hunger he has no place to put. And that is the root of his anxiety.

There. That’s all I wanted to say. I’m not sure I have a specific point to make. I just think the events of this particular night describe a loaded, meaningful moment in this character’s life and thought you’d be interested in the truth behind them. I thought it would be cool for you have a quick glance at the surface, before becoming omniscient too, and gaining deeper insight than the both kid and his parents do.

Who knows what will become of them all tomorrow, or later on in life. My knowledge is limited to the length of this story, and the night in question. And now, literally, I have nothing more to say.

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #55: Narrow Road

The road was narrow, maybe too narrow. There was barely enough room for two cars to pass in opposite directions, but Mr. Fideli drove fast. Mrs. Fideli sat in front with him while their daughter, Miranda, and her fiancé, George, sat in the back. They had all gone with Miranda to open her a new, higher interest, combined checking and savings account at the bank’s main branch in the next town over. Since she lived oversees, it had taken almost an hour.

‘Nice girl that helped you,’ Mrs. Fideli said.

‘Yes,’ Miranda answered. ‘She was very junior though.’

‘But she tried hard.’

‘Uhu,’ said Miranda. ‘She got the job done.’

‘Big ass on her though, hey!’ said Mr. Fideli.

‘Oh, man. That was some behind.’ Mrs. Fideli agreed. ‘And those thighs were pretty chunky too.’

‘And such a puffy face,’ said Miranda, ‘with such droopy eyes. She looked a bit like a bulldog, don’t you think?’

‘Yeah,’ said Mr. Fideli, as a small van passed with hollow rush of wind, ‘or a toad.’

‘Exactly! A toad’ said Mrs. Fideli. ‘That dress wasn’t flattering at all. Better wear something that hides your flaws if you’re unlucky enough to have that shape.’

‘That’s what I was thinking,’ said Miranda. ‘And do something different with your hair. Something that takes attention away from the face.’

‘It’s just common sense,’ said Mr. Fideli, going even faster. Out the window, flat fields replaced each other every few seconds; crows sat on the dirt, looking for dead things to eat; a wooden cart piled high with pumpkins flashed by. ‘Not everyone can be beautiful, but there’s no point advertising your flaws, don’t you agree, George?’

‘Hm,’ George mumbled. He’d been following the conversation with some surprise, as all he’d been able to think about since first seeing the young bank employee, with her large, melancholy eyes and fleshy lips, her generous yet subtle smile, and round, eager body movements, was sleeping with her, imagining in some detail, the various ways he would go about it.

By E.M. Vireo

Drop #54: Attack

‘Oh my God, who was that?’

We were eating on the sidewalk at Moonie’s even though it was way too cold for that type of thing.

‘Oh, just a guy a met at a bar couple months ago,’ Beatrice said, pinching her lime into her drink. I like hanging with her, even though she’s perfectly generic except for that one obvious peculiarity.

‘What do you mean just a guy? He’s insanely fucking gorgeous!’

‘Yeah, he’s pretty hot.’

‘Ridiculously hot, girl! So hot I have no interest in my enchilada anymore.’

‘I’ll have a bite.’

‘Go ahead.’ She did, making a mess of it. ‘He seemed into you too,’ I added casually.

‘Yeah, he is. He’s been calling and texting and stuff.’

‘Oh yeah? Sexting too?’

‘Nah, he’s a gentleman, but he’s been pretty persistent.’

‘You should totally do him. Ride that rod like a mad bandicoot.’

‘Um, I’m with George, remember.’

‘Of course, but this guy is a friggin ten and they don’t come around often. Guy seemed way cool too.’

‘He is. He’s a DJ at night, architect by day, and he’s pretty smart and sensitive and all.’

‘He looked totally into you.’

‘I told you, he is. He’s made it pretty clear.’

‘And you’re not even tempted?’

‘Sure I am. But I’m with George.’

‘Yeah, but seriously, what’s better about George than this guy?’

‘I don’t know. He’s my guy.’

‘Name one thing.’

‘Come on, Sal, don’t put me on the spot.’

‘You can’t even name one thing, can you?’

‘George is sweet!’

‘Sweet’s for stinky feet.’

‘He’s nice and kind.’

‘Oh come on!’

‘And he’s good looking.’

‘No offence, Bee, but he’s three locks from a combover, and his belly has doubled in half a year.’

‘So what? It’s cute.’

‘And what’s with that beard, by the way? Looks like a redhead’s pussy is growing on his face—and he’s not even ginger up top?’

‘The beard is a bit funky, true.’

‘And that breath is pretty fucking vulturine.’

‘Okay, okay, jeez!’

‘Seriously, Bee, I’m only being objective, but George isn’t the most creative grape in the bunch either, now is he?’

‘Maybe not, but he’s smart enough.’

‘For a walrus, maybe.’

‘Jesus, Sally, take it easy!’

‘I’m sorry, but you’re a cool ass chick, and he doesn’t really offer much. Come on, tell me one impressive thing about the guy.’

‘He collects bottle caps.’

‘That’s impressive?’

‘He makes me eggs in the morning.’

‘That’s whipped, not cool.’

‘Fair enough.’

‘Seriously, Bee, how about getting a good dicking from Mr. Tightbuns?’

‘Come on. Lay off.’

‘Seriously. Think about it.’

‘Shit, Sal! Why d’you have to be such a hard ass?’

‘It’s in my genes, babe. Can’t play it any other way. You should try get with that guy though. Seriously, give me a decent reason why I’m wrong.’

‘Well, there’s…’

‘You got nothing, do you?’

‘Christ! What’s with the fucking interrogation?’

‘Name one thing.’

‘Okay, Jesus. I can’t.’

‘So leave the clown behind!’

‘That’s harsh.’

‘Only for a night, I mean.’

‘Maybe I could treat myself, just this once.’

‘There’s no maybe about it! Look, the guy’s still here. Let’s call him over.’

‘Now?’

‘No better time, babe.’

I yelled over and the chiseled boy came right over. ‘Bee’s been playing coy but she’s really into you,’ I said, and his face sprawled into a stupid smile. ‘Said she’d love to check out your package.’

‘I did not!’ They both looked down, embarrassed.

‘Don’t tell me you’re shy,’ I told him, mockingly. He really was a lovely stretch of candy.

‘Maybe a little,’ he said, but surely it was a bashful act.

‘Come on,’ I said, ‘you probably have a wonder wang in those jeans. I bet you have more than nine inches in there!’

‘I’m not sure about that.’

‘Not sure? Then maybe I’ll have to check.’

‘Maybe you will.’

Look, I’m no dumb broad; I know what an invitation sounds like, and I was all over this one. ‘Let’s see then.’ I pulled him over and yanked his jeans and boxers out an inch. It was flaccid but it looked like a decent piece. ‘Want me to fatten it up?’ I asked, lingering a finger under the elastic. It was already getting bigger. ‘Make you cum like bitch while I’m at it.’

‘That sounds alright.’

‘Alright?’ I asked with a smirk. ‘Be the best damn lay you ever had!’

‘Then let’s go.’

‘I’ll go when I’m damn well done with my drink!’ I said.

‘Fair enough.’

I’d quite forgotten about Beatrice, but was forced to look over when she collapsed on the floor having one of her attacks. I swear: if that girl didn’t have epilepsy, she’d have nothing at all.

By E.M. Vireo