She came in from smoking her cigarette and walked across the room to me. She sat down and put her arms around me and kissed my neck, near the ear. I looked from the TV to the floor, then back over to her. I reached behind her for the TV remote and then turned and looked back at it's screen one last time, then clicked it off.
2. Two beers was four dollars. I paid with quarters, so that was sixteen quarters. Plus another six quarters as a tip. The bartender looked bored, or angry. The bartended smiled weekly and picked up the beers, said ‘thank you', and walked across the bar floor to where my friend sat. Our table was under a neon sign and it was glowing red and said ‘open' backwards. I set the bottles down on the table and my friend picked up one and looked at it, tried to twist the top off. After a second my friend stopped and asked, "are these twist offs?"
"I don't think so." The beer in my hand didn't say anything about it.
"How are we supposed to get them open?"
I looked back behind him, to the bartender who was putting chairs upside-down on top of tables, then back to my friend. I set the bottle's cap so the bottom ridges of it pressed into the edge of the wooden table. I looked at my friend one more time, then swung down at the cap. With a crack the top of the bottle broke off, with the cap, and fell to the ground. A little beer came spewing from it and landed on my shoe. My friend was laughing.
"Hey!" The bartender looked angry. "You guys get out. I'm closing anyway."
We got up and left. Outside and across the street I looked back to the bartender putting the light out of the open sign. It still said open, but it was darker. I took a drink from the broken top of my beer and opened my friends beer in the same way as before, this time against a stone ledge and only taking the cap off. I'm getting better, I thought. Then I saw the blood dripping down my wrist.
3. At the table still, Carol had put the radio on, she was tapping her fingers and looking bored, out the window. She turned, still looking uninterested when Tony asked,
Samuel pointed at the bathroom. Katie turned and said something to him. Tony walked over to the door and pounded on it.
'Mitch?' he said.
Mitch said, 'What?' through the door.
'What are you doing in there?'
We all laughed because Tony wasn't really asking a question.
Mitch said, 'Nothing.'
We all laughed because we knew that was not the truth.
Tony said, 'Are you alone in there?'
We all laughed because we knew that was the truth.
'What if someone has to use the bathroom?' We laughed because, what if, then we laughed some more because Mitch didn't say anything.
'Mitch,' said Tony, 'I have to use the bathroom.' Everyone waited quietly, for the next thing to laugh at. By the window, even Carol was watching. She had turned down the radio, I could barely hear it. There were some soft noises, then the lock clicked and the handle turned. Mitch and the girl came slowly out of the bathroom, holding hands. They had red faces, and Mitch was smiling and she was smiling. They couldn't hold eye contact. Their hair was tousled and we all laughed. We all laughed, so hard, because their tousled hair.
The train arrived and I, waiting for it alone, boarded.
I took an empty seat for my own.
Sitting across from me was a couple.
The cutest couple.
They were wearing shoes in identical style, except hers were pink and his were green and dirtier.
His hat was dirty to match his shoes.
Her hair was brown, with waves.
When they talked they leaned over, with their mouths by each others ears.
Like they had whole conversations of secrets.
The train passed through the city.
At each stop, they watched to see who was getting on.
Then looked back at each other.
They held hands.
She leaned over and kissed his cheek.
He rested his hand on her thigh.
She rested her head on his shoulder, with her eyes closed.
He brushed her bangs gently to one side.
High up on her forehead was a speckling of acne, like little constellations.
I thought about squeezing them, the acne.
I thought about making them pop.