Getting the Most Out of Your Weekend
They will write songs about this weekend. I promise you that.
So long as I don't hook up with a girl whose name is synonymous with unattractive -- you know, the thick one, the one dancing with her girlfriends, the one who smells like she rolled around in baby powder about ten seconds ago -- and who your friends strongly advise you not to hook up with because they know stupid shit will happen. Take for instance her calling you shady when you crack open her fourth beer and smile in that devilishly handsome way of yours. I mean, for crying out loud, you practiced that smile in front of the mirror -- eyebrows cocked Jack Nicholson style, nostrils flared, one side of your mouth hiked up -- and all she can say is shady?
You don't know why but you stick around.
She says how she loves this particular nameless techno song and raises her hands above her head and snaps her fingers and makes woo noises and you notice the white deodorant junk caked in her armpit.
You want her to understand that you're doing her a favor. After all, she's no prize. She is like the opposite of a prize and really ought to be thankful you're paying her any attention. Instead she makes a disgusted face and complains you're dancing too close.
It makes me uncomfortable, is what she says.
What are you, my mother?
Yeah, she says, I'd love another drink.
So you get her another drink.
The music makes you yell in her ear and when you yell in her ear the lobe looks just a little delicious so you chew on it to be sexy and that is when you discover the mole -- one of those half-dollar monsters -- barnacled to her neck and making you wonder is she one of those moley people?
You're disgusted. You're miserable. But you can't stop. This is life.
She asks if you have herpes. You tell her no. Something about the way you say no makes her suspicious.
How am I supposed to say no, you ask, and she says, not like that.
In a very little while, back at her apartment -- lots of porcelain figurines, plenty of purple -- she won't even let you touch her leg, which makes it somehow irresistible and your hand keeps creeping along the sausagey goodness of it, only to be pinched or batted away.
She pours some pink wine from a box and says it tastes like nectar.
By this time the lights are out and you think she might be naked or at least in her underwear but it's hard to tell since she won't let you touch her, except on the lips and on the ears. She likes that ear thing.
You moan in what you think is a sexy way and she asks what's wrong, was there an accident? Did you lose your flower?
My flower? No! No, I did not lose my goddamned flower.
She accuses you of having herpes.
You say, Yeah, I've got herpes.
She says she knew it.
You ask if she's ever heard of sarcasm.
She says, No, I've never heard of sarcasm.
You feel helpless. You punch a pillow and scream a nonsense scream and then all of a sudden you begin to cry.
Another minute and she reaches out to rub your back and eventually takes you in the cradle of her arms. This is how you discover she is naked. Everything smells of baby powder. Everything is warm and soft.
You say, It's just that...
She says, Sh-sh-sh-sh.
You have never felt so vulnerable. She makes it better by tightening her arms and kissing your hair and this feels like the safest place ever.
I am here to tell you, she says, you are not alone.
You wonder what her name is. You wonder what your kids would look like.
All this under a ceiling plastered with hundreds of those glow-in-the-dark stars, each arranged carefully by a pale and chubby hand to form a constellation that reminds you of nothing so much as a phantom net that is falling, that you will never escape.
About the author:
Benjamin Percy is a MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University whose stories have recently appeared in The Greensboro Review, The Florida Review, The Mississippi Review, Midnight Mind Magazine and elsewhere. He received the runner-up prize for the Chicago Tribune's 2002 Nelson Algren Award and was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the 2003 Sewanee Writers' Conference. He can be reached at BenjaminPercy@aol.com so long as you're not pawning Viagra or great mortgage rates.