chapter 26: bubbly water
When the door closes my friends look over at me, raise some eyebrows, go back to their blunts and their tortas. I ask my friend who this guy is: “I dunno. We met him at a bar.”
“You just invite randos over to your house? What if he tries to poison my bubbly water?” I tell her. She looks at me: “Girl, no one is trying to poison your bubbly water.”
When he comes back, I tell him I’m not thirsty anymore. He can put that shit in the fridge. “Thaaaaaanks.”
You wanna be a martyr, papi? Then I’m the girl for you. I’ll throw you under the bus, treat you like a pieceameat, leave you for dead and not even know I cared.
He comes and sits next to me, his outer thigh touching mine. I can see the sweat coming down his chubby cheek, dribbling into his sideburns.
I’m eating the black beans now and I push them into the crevices between my front set of teeth. I look over at him, offer him a big smile, the dark skins of the beans wedged up in there like rotten holes. “Do I have anything in my teeth?” I ask, determined to repel him with my strange personality.
He reaches over, finger outstretched and starts to pick the stuff out from between my teeth. Challenge accepted. Now I’m embarrassed, blushing. I’ve dared him to jump in and he did. I never have a plan for this sort of thing.
I’m definitely gonna give this guy a hand job. At least. I can already tell.
“What’s your name?” he asks.
“I haven’t seen you around before.”
“I live in San Francisco. I’m just here to learn Spanish from a white woman.”
“That’s cool. That’s cool. Did you grow up there, in San Fran-ceeee-sco?”
“No, I grew up in a suburb not far from there. It’s kind of a mall with a zipcode. What about you?”
“I grew up all over, speak a lot of languages and all that.”
“Totally. Are you an alcoholic?”
“No, I mean, I dunno. Why? Are you judging me?”
“No, not really. It just probably means you have depression in your family.”
“That’s a funny thing to say to someone.”
“Well, my great grandfather was an alcoholic. He killed a bunch of people in the revolution. My grandfather raised me and he never drank but he had all the behavioral issues of an alcoholic. I learned in this group called Adult Children of Alcoholics that my old boss took me to one time, that even if people don’t drink alcohol they can be dry drunks and that leads them to use experiences and non-illicit substances like they’re drugs. Do you do that?”
“Naw, I mean not any more than any other person.”
“Cool. So, you seem pretty not mentally ill. What drew you to me?”
“Does every dude who’s drawn to you have a mental illness?”
He laughs, takes another swig of beer. “Well, you’d need to be mentally ill to survive this world. Some people just have the kind that makes things easy, and some have the kind that makes shit hard.”
“Are you some kind of philosopher slash Marxist? I don’t give handjobs to men who are Marxists.”
“Do you always have to know every single thing before it even happens?”
“No, I’m not a Marxist, then. I guess that means we are cleared for the handjob.”
“I guess it does.”
“I’m gonna go into that room over there. I would love to hang out in there with you.” He gets up and goes. My heart is beating. Everyone else is busy and super high. I won’t be missed. Ok. Ok. Ok. I’m gonna do this.
I walk into the room. There’s a bed with a black comforter with some bleached spots on it. Above it is a huge framed portrait of an electric chair. He’s sitting on the bed, just below it. “I’m ready for my handjob,” he says smiling. He feels different, softer in here. Maybe it’s that I’m softer.
I crawl up on the bed. Lay next to him.
“I came here to learn about my family and why I don’t know how to love them the right way.” I told him. There.
“What’s the right way to love them?”
“I don’t know, but I know I’m not doing it the right way now. Like it’s kind of behavioral but not all the way. It’s not that I feel like I would need to act different necessarily, but the way I felt when I acted should feel different. Or something.”
“You think a lot. Maybe you’re addicted to thinking. Maybe it keeps you from having to deal with some awful shit, just like your great grandfather.”
What is this, therapy? Cuz I'm into that.
“Yeah, maybe,” I tell him. I don’t want to think about it anymore. I’m just gonna start the seduction show. I look up at him, chin down eyes up, just like a baby doll, just like a little girl, just like men like it. I push my tits together, deep cleavage. I close my eyes.
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ABOUT THE BOOK
I release a new chapter a week on Thursdays - unless I'm exceedingly overwhelmed or whatever I write is so epically terrible I'm too embarrassed to put it on the internet.