two pairs

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So right then, you decide not to call anymore.

Why waste your time? She’s no one, dude.

You’ve only been hanging out with her for old times’ sake.

(What was that bullshit when she asked why everyone else from back then deserted you?)

You slam the front door and hoist your weight off the ground with the pull-up bar that hangs in the entryway.

Twenty reps.

That’s right.

The door’s heavy glass inlay is tinted a hue she calls Brady Bunch yellow.

(She thinks she’s so smart.)

There’s no way she could see you through it.

But you take off your shirt and flex anyway.

For no one.

“That’ll show her,” you actually say, out loud.

*

I make it the customary half-block from his house before I pull over and roll a cigarette in the church parking lot.

I don’t even really smoke. But about a month ago he told me he’d kick a woman belonging to him to the curb if he ever caught her smoking.

These were actual words used. I’m not paraphrasing.

“If I ever caught my woman smoking, I’d kick her right to the curb.”

And now I find it an oddly thrilling thing to do.

I swivel in my seat to be able to watch his house, and light up.

Was he actually wearing Axe body spray? He was, wasn’t he?

But that’s kind of nothing compared to his unabashedly referring to his own semen as Vitamin K.

(Holy fuck. What am I doing?)

The radio is tuned to the late-night alt station. The eerie tunes go well with the menacing visuals of some homeless exchange happening over by the dumpsters.

My mind gets fuzzy around the edges.

*

She calls a few days later.

She has never called before, but you nod your head knowingly.

(Coming back for another dose of Vitamin K.)

You almost don’t answer, but then you imagine her all needy and female.

“Why haven’t you called me?” she’ll say.

But instead she tells you this fucked-up story, of how a man leaned into her car window when she was sleeping and tried to feel her up.

And at first she thought it was you.

How is that even possible?

Sleeping in her car?

What?

It kind of seems like there is more going on than she’s telling.

*

And while my flimsy narration holds his attention (though just barely), it’s the backdrop that he wants.

*

“Wait, Dude. Where was this?”

She reverts to that superior tone she’s used ever since she was in middle school and you used to spy on her babysitting.

“What difference does it make where it was, dude? Are you even taking in the content of what I’m saying?”

(Hold up. Is she ribbing you for calling her a dude?)

You have some serious questions about her story. But asking a bunch of questions isn’t your style.

Leave that to the women, you think, and wink at yourself in the mirror. Then flex.

Still, you have no idea if what she’s saying is fiction or that other one.

Damn if she doesn’t win this round.

*          *          *

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