everything's gonna be fine fine fine.


he turns 22, and he's at a bar, and he's not even having that great a time, even though, you know, he should be. he's sitting there with a friend of a friend, and she's not the cutest girl, not the fittest girl, but she's a girl all the same, and that's what matters. he's trying to ditch the v-card, that worthless passport he's been clunking around all his life. when's it gonna happen, he thinks. he's in a rush to lose it. there are all these movies and people and songs that say if he doesn't lose it soon, he's gonna be in trouble.

so, he's sitting there, and what are they talking about? from what he's already figured out, and he hasn't figured out much, she's not interested in video games, sports, or even politics, so what else is there? he brings up the oil spill. can you believe that shit, he says. five thousands gallons into the gulf of mexico everyday. it's terrible, she says. think about all those dead fish! fuck the fish, he thinks. he's hungry. he wants sushi.

the girl's a bore, and she keeps looking at her phone. every so often, she pulls out her phone, and she sends a text. she doesn't apologize. she does it as if it's the most natural thing in the world to do, like fix her hair or twirl her red straw around her rum 'n coke. it annoys him, obviously, but he doesn't say anything. he just sits there. he could pull his phone out, too, but he knows better. he knows that good people aren't supposed to do things like that. because it would make them feel the way he feels now.

he's just started college, and he wants to be a short fiction writer. the girl, his age, is already finishing college, so she has that over him. she even asked, when they first met, what his status was, and when he told her, she was just like, oh. and then she stated that she was in her last semester, about to take finals in a few weeks. and to that, he also responded, oh. he offered to buy her another rum 'n coke, just to be nice, but mostly to have the chance to get away from her and her faux pas. she took him up on the offer.

he stood at the bar and waited for the girl with dyed-red hair and tattoos to take his order. well, here i am, he thought. i am twenty-two and i am on a non-date with a non-friend. what the hell happened to me? where are my friends and the people who i thought cared about me, and why am i always the one to be left behind? the other people around him were no help. they were all mustaches and grins, sparkling eyes behind dark-rimmed glasses. they were all light beers, hearty laughs and pats on the back. they were girls with dark ponytails and glitter around the eyes, the lady-like stance with one arm folded across the chest while the other hand's holding the plastic cup.

the dj or jukebox starts playing "one hand in my pocket" and it's supposed to be ironic or hip or something. he doesn't want to be here anymore. he doesn't want to order this rum 'n coke for this girl, and he doesn't even want another beer really. he doesn't want to be at home, either, just blankly staring at the wall, or else watching a soldier respawn on his pc. if he could be doing anything, anything at all, he'd probably just want to sit down at some sushi bar, unleash his hunger on a magnificent ball of white rice, seaweed, and soft shell crab legs. the spider roll.

he can't tell what sucks more: birthdays when he was a child, and surrounded by other children who pretended to care about him, or birthdays now, where he's surrounded by fools who can't even fake it.

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