It looks around after it pokes its head out and it sees that it can still make McDonald’s breakfast if it hurries.
She goes to school, she fingerpaints the universe, she responds to stimuli, she fits her responses in her lunch box, she talks like “I am embarrassed of this lunch box,” she twinkles and thinks of what a gaping asshole the future is. She does karate on a classmate, she goes home, she does karate on the darkness.
If you really want to know someone, watch how they cut meat.
“Here is my lighter. Don’t look at me, and don’t fucking hurt yourself.”
“Here is my fucking Gmail password, don’t look at me.”
“Here is my favorite book in the world, fucking read it. Don’t fucking look at me.”
“Here is my fucking full external hard drive, don’t look at me.”
She likes chicken on her salad. She hates the impermanence of lettuce. She has thoughts like, “I can feel it moving through me. My body is a level of Donkey Kong.”
“In five years, we will have at least one,” she said. Then, five years later, we had a squirming, sloppy little child. He swam out of her backwards, which made me nervous. When he dropped into the doctor’s thinly latexed fingers, I choked on my spit and coughed, trying to struggle out that I loved him.
The doctors wiped grayness from the Tonka toy of a man. I felt, for whatever splash of seconds fucking minutes, that he would be the one thing that would not drag or be dragged through it all. I thought of my own undoing, the way I look at myself in the mirror now and consider myself as a piece of gutted history, a product, phallic, a fuck ton of haircuts.
Someone will eventually say, “I remember when this was a Denny’s,” and everyone will feel like they’ve been shoved.
Bio: Bryan Coffelt lives in Portland, OR. These pieces are from an as-of-yet-untitled book that is forthcoming from sunnyoutside press.