After senior comps I called my mother from Murray's Place. I told her
I'd earned a high pass. "Where are you?" she kept asking. I kept
pretending I couldn't hear her. Reed and I played pool with some
locals, a man and woman with matching Al's Muffler t-shirts. They
wanted to play house rules. While Reed was sizing up a shot the man
reached over and grabbed my ass.
Downing beers I reviewed reasons why Reed and I were not a good match.
For example: he came from old money and a Louisville prep
school. I came from no money and Batesville, home of well-crafted
caskets. It was a hypothetical exercise. Reed was Amy Bennet's
boyfriend, not mine.
I told Reed I was hungry. We borrowed a car from an oily man at the
bar. It was a 1970-something Olds, rust-colored. Reed drove us to the
Dairy Q, where we ordered fries and butterscotch ice cream
bars. I spilled my fries on the plush upholstery, gathered
them up and started eating them. Reed said, "Gross, the guy might have
hep C or something." Ten minutes later he pulled off his
jeans on that seat, behind the bread store where there were no
streetlights. We tried to make love for the first time, but Reed
couldn't keep it up.
We returned the car with a twenty and walked wordlessly back to campus.
On the sidewalk behind my dorm Reed touched my cheek. He said, "You're
something else, baby, you know that?" I knew I was drunk and
burned with desire.
I ran into Amy Bennet in the fourth-floor bathroom. She stood at the
sink, scooping Noxema. "Men are scum," she said, looking into the
mirror. I couldn't tell if she knew.
Suzanne Lamb lives in Western Kentucky
with her husband and three children. Her short, "Real Self,"
is among the Newport Review
prize winners and will appear in the next issue of that journal.
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/200904libarts.htm
Detail of photo on main page courtesy
of Kamil Porembinkski.
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