47.2 - Spring 2018

Page 39

brought the tots into the living room with a stack of napkins and a bottle of ketchup. “They’re hot,” I said and put my hand over them. I couldn’t drink the second cup of rum and cola. I got a new cup and filled it with plain RC and ice. There was a carton of cigarettes in the back of the freezer. Jill finished her drink. She ate one tater tot. I ate the rest. “I wish I had a TV,” I said. “We only get three channels.” Jill finished her drink, and mine. Then she lay down and put her head in my lap. After the news, an old man came on and made jokes. I could feel Jill’s breath hot and slow on my legs. She smelled like scalp, rum, and firecracker smoke. I stroked her hair and looked down at her. I ran my fingers through her ponytail. I used the clicker to turn the volume down. It was quiet outside, except for a small mewing at the trailer door. I fell asleep. When I woke up the old man was still on and my shorts were wet with pee. I shook Jill awake. “Let’s take a shower.” “I don’t feel good,” she said into my leg. I pulled her off of me and felt the couch where I’d been sitting. It was slightly damp, not soaked. I wanted to wash the smell of pee off me and put on some dry clothes but I didn’t want to leave Jill to figure out what I’d done. I put my arm around Jill’s waist and led her, stumbling and confused, to the tiny trailer bathroom. The shower was barely big enough for one person. I ran the water, nice and hot. I took off my wet underwear and pants, rinsed them and hung them over a towel rod. SPRING 2018


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