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Short stories

Hi Life

I’m at the bar drinking a cheap beer, feeling low. Money is running out on me just like the woman on the next stool. I said Jean Baudrillard thought postmodernism was a nihilistic epoch. She finished her drink, killed the coals of the cigarette between thumb and forefinger, gave me the middle finger, and left.

An old timer filled the space.

He ordered a shot of something. Nobody could afford the jukebox, so we sat in silence. I ordered a beer, couldn’t muster the money for a shot.

“I’ve just watched two dogs fucking,” said the old timer.

“Yes,” I said.

“Yes,” said the old timer. “Real fucking.”

“Good for you,” I said.

The barmaid put a beer down in front of me and took a dollar off the pile.

“See that truck out there” – he pointed to a rusty blue Ford pickup – “that’s mine.”

I lifted the bottle, saluted the old timer, and sipped.

I think I must have bored the old timer. He moved down a stool and started to mess with a man reading a newspaper.

“I’ve just watched two dogs fucking,” said the old timer to the man reading the newspaper.

I heard a grunt.

 I lit a cigarette.

“No smoking in here it’s the law,” said the barman. I apologized and diffidently stubbed out the cigarette. I wasn’t much of a drinker, and I hardly went to bars. I now felt stupid, an incongruous object, lost even.

The old timer refilled the space next to me. We exchanged nods of the head, affable almost. Maybe here was my way to congruity.

“I’ve just watched two dogs fucking,” said the old timer. “Oh boy it was a hard fuck. I good hard fuck.”

“How hard?”

“Oh boy,” said the old timer, “it was brutal.”

“Really?”

“I nearly puked.”

“You,” I said, “no.”

“Oh boy,” said the old timer, “when you see a rottweiler fuck roadkill that takes some beating.”

Chuck Monteque

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