Categories
Funny and/or Strange Photo I Like Short/Micro/Flash Fiction

Sarah In The Morning

20731_1351607707108_4432096_nIt was a cold, October morning at the Super 8 just off exit 337 and things were about to go, well, the way things tend to go.

The detritus of a night gone wonderfully wrong lay about us: A crumpled bag of NASCAR-themed barb-e-cue Fritos, a spent bottle of Yukon Jack, a crumpled patriot-blue camisole and a pair of Jimmy Chou pumps that cost more than my vintage Impala–one under the chair in the corner, the other dangling from the lampshade beside the TV.

I lay on the bed, pulling deep off a wrinkled Gauloise, absently tracing my hands over the swollen bite marks on my thighs and abdomen,  when the bathroom door clicked and swung halfway open, releasing a cloud of steam.  I grinned, rolled off the bed, stepped on a beer cap and almost knocked over an open, half-eaten styrofoam take- home box of ribs and gravy-soaked fries from Applebees, limping to the door to watch as she did her lips, the heavy coat of eyeliner.  Her bright red dress hung from a hanger on the towel rack–an open bottle of Smirnoff on the sink, hair of the dog.

She looked so beautiful, in the steam; I raised my phone to snap a picture.  She tried to block me, but too late.  There were enough pictures of her in the word, she’d said once before. Modest, to a fault.

“You can’t.” She shook her head. “I can’t. Not the picture. Not us. Never again.”

“You said that the last time.”

“There’s too much at stake.  I’m not getting any younger, and the money won’t always be like it is now,” she sighed.  “My family. America. They need me more than you do.”

“Leave it all.”

“It’s too late. I’ve already called them.”

I looked up towards the door even as the shape of a large, black vehicle skidded to a stop beyond the worn, gauzy draperies.  A second later, the door burst open and two large, glowering men burst through, the first with a blackjack in his gloved hands.

I whipped around for one last look. Her moist eyes were sad, but not sorry: determined, resolute.

So that’s how it was.

“You broke my heart,” I said, thumbing the SEND button on my phone.

“You betcha,” she smiled.  The blackjack swung down on the back of my neck, stars exploding in my skull, like the fourth of July, like the stars I’d touched in her aching, desperate embrace.

Categories
Funny and/or Strange Journal

I dreamt I Failed Bill Clinton

defaultSo I had this dream. My wife and I were staying at a cheap hotel–one of those single story set ups with a swimming pool and a courtyard right by the roadside, on the highway leading out to Duck, North Carolina, which was odd because when we’ve gone to the Outer Banks we stayed way up north in Corolla where the beaches are uncrowded and the snazzy rentals let you pretend you’re wealthy for the week. It’s a hot morning, the kind where it never cooled off at all over night, and my wife is sitting cross-legged in the chair, 4804419151_facb9ab808wearing cutoff jeans and (she’s going to love this) a white shirt tied around her waist–exactly like the one  Jennifer Aniston is wearing in the photo I’ve included–which is also odd, because she never wears shirts like that.

Also odd is that we were sitting in lawn chairs with a young, charming Bill Clinton, drinking our way through a bucket of Margaritas in the shade, wise-cracking and watching the logjam of Saturday morning traffic that clogs the bridge over to the island every summer weekend.  I don’t recall our conversation, but it was full of laughs and, perhaps most importantly, Bill made no move to seduce my wife–which should have been a worry, because my wife is pretty attractive and while I trust her completely I’ve also met Bill Clinton in real life, albeit briefly, and his charisma was so powerful I was half tempted to make a run at him myself.  The guy can work a room, and his was the softest hand I’ve ever shaken.  Like a warm, soft silken pillow hand.

But I digress.  If it wasn’t taken, I’d have another blog and I’d name it “But I Digress….”  Because I do.  All the damn time.
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My wife decides to go back to our room and get some chips and salsa. So, we’re out there on the edge of the shade, Bill and I, watching the people trapped in their cars, sipping Margaritas and having a grand time and I have to do it.  My wife won’t approve, but here’s young Bill Clinton and he’s such a pleasant guy, a real pal, and the dangers of busting up the time/space continuim, all that butterfly effect stuff, all goes out the proverbial window.  I’ve got to say something, and I do.  “One day, you’re going to meet this girl called Monica Lewinsky….”

My wife returns, and Bill is gone, disappeared in the way that people disappear in dreams without so much as a puff of smoke, and she immediately sees it in my eyes.  The thing is, I can’t lie to her about anything important. I could weave a tale without a hint it’s a fiction, but if I want to tell her that, yes, I forgot to put the clothes from the washer in the drier, I’m done.  And worse still, she’s trained my daughters to see through my bull shit as well.

“You did it, didn’t you?”

I looked past the traffic toward the horizon.  The scent of the ocean heavy on the hot summer air.  “I don’t know what you mean.”

“You told him.” She shook her head.  “Didn’t you.

I nodded.

“What exactly did you say?”

“I told him not to fuck Monica Lewinsky,” I said.

She flopped into her chair and sighed in exasperation–a bit melodramatically, I must say.  “So, it’s all your fault, you know.”

“No.” I said. “Nothing happened.”

“It. Was. You.” She said, slowly so I could get it.

“I don’t understand.”

“Idiot,” she said.  “He’s just going to take you literally.”

“Oh,” I said.  “Oh!  Damn.”