47.2 - Spring 2018

Page 38

“I want to be K.C.,” she whispered back. “Let’s join the army.” “You’ll have to shoot guns.” “I know.” We sipped our drinks. I felt her breathe. She grew warm and heavy against me. The trailer got darker and darker. My head felt far away from the rest of my body. I couldn’t tell how much time had passed. After China Beach, we took our cups to the kitchen and Jill refilled them with more rum and RC. I steadied myself on the counter. I opened the refrigerator. It was filled with cans of vanilla pudding, leftover pizza, a large brick of cheese, gelatinous and half-eaten in its silver sleeve, bread, hot dogs, eggs, jelly, Red, White & Blue beer, and more soda. And there was a narrow closet with chips, cheese doodles, cake mix, and a lot more things in the back I couldn’t even see. My chest hurt looking at it. My mom and I ate peanuts and apples in the van and sometimes we stopped at a drive thru or a Denny’s. My mom wasn’t hungry most of the time but I was hungry all of the time. I felt Jill looking at me. I closed the pantry door and put my hands in my pockets. She shrugged and sipped her drink. “Have whatever you want.” I closed my eyes and thought about what I wanted the most. I read the directions on a bag of frozen tater tots, then emptied it onto the toaster oven tray. “How do you work this?” I asked Jill. Halfway through the 11 o’clock news, I smelled smoke and got them. They were greasy and slightly brown on top. I bit into one and exhaled steam. I dropped it on the counter and ate it when it cooled. It was crunchy on the outside and salty and soft inside. I 30

PHOEBE


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