I Hate Amy Adams
Lauren Becker and Andrea Kneeland

"It's amazing that in just 200 years, we've managed to cover up the stars," he says.
I turn on my side to look at him. I never hear him. He could be mute. Or stupid. I could look at him forever. It is my life plan.
We are lying on a scratchy army blanket in the back of his truck. It smells like beer mixed with some other gross smell I can't place. I can't stop inhaling it. It's like I'm compulsive or something.
I hold the blanket to my face and tell myself not to touch him. I think in whole sentences. "Do not touch him. Have some dignity. Let him start things for once. Let him look away from the fucking sky and practice not staring at you."
I said the last sentence out loud a little bit, I think. He's not looking at the sky. He's not looking at me. He plays solitaire on his iPhone. I think most people know that solitaire is something you play when you're alone, and that there are more interesting things to do in the back of a truck with a girl or even with an iPhone, but I don't think I say that one out loud.
He is my best friend's cousin. He is also my best friend's bodyguard. Which means that he has seen her naked many, many times at bachelor parties. I have convinced myself that this is okay, and I cannot be jealous about it, because they're related. When she has a solo, he waits out front in his truck and probably plays solitaire.
I wonder if seeing his cousin in sequined g-strings all the time has desensitized him to overt sexiness. I wonder if I should try going for a "girl next door" angle. I button up my flannel until my bra isn't showing anymore. I try to channel Amy Adams. I hate Amy Adams.

He seems to hate Amy Adams, too. Or maybe he is just indifferent to her. Maybe he is indifferent to all girls, not just me. Maybe watching the girl he used to run through sprinklers with take off her clothes for money and date guys who hit other guys because of it and then hit her makes him tired. Maybe it's why he stares at the sky and his iPhone.

"The stars aren't covered up, stupid." Finally, he pays attention to me. He looks at my face like it's the last time, gets out of the back of the truck and says "Come on, if you want a ride."

I get in the truck. I still have the beer and other gross smell in my nose. I dig my fingernails into myself, hard. I have moon-shaped scars covering most of my left forearm. He's never asked. He doesn't ask about much. My ex-boyfriend asked too much. He liked Amy Adams. We were as doomed as me and this one.

He hasn't put the key in the ignition. He is staring. At me. "Like it isn't stupid to scar yourself when you're upset." I pull my sleeve down. "You think I don't notice things 'cause I don't say everything I think. You think you can get away with shit because you're pretty."

All I hear is that he thinks I'm pretty. All I feel is far away as the stars. My arm is bleeding.

Lauren Becker's collection of shorts, THINGS ABOUT ME AND YOU, is part of SHUT UP/LOOK PRETTY (Tiny Hardcore). Andrea Kneeland's first collection, THE BIRDS AND THE BEASTS, is forthcoming from Lit Pub Books.

Detail of art on main page courtesy of Jessica Watkins DeWinter.

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