“Put that shit down,” she said. I didn’t know if her comment was directed to the bottle of Merlot or me. Couldn’t care less, really. Blue and white and gold danced in the sky, complacent unto themselves. Meager splotches of darker blue and red tinted the corners, primed to exhaust the ever living fuck out of a not-so-bad afternoon.
Inside, we recline to the symphony of dripping water, a clogged AC, and Alex Trebek, devouring trivia like the hotcakes we ate the morning prior. Who still calls them hotcakes, anyway? Pancakes are the preferred nomenclature.
Or whenever she’d cook: paincakes.
We’d sit in rattan chairs two decades past their deaths, interred in the graveyards of our memories. They creak and they reek of stale cigarettes and the stuff my mother used to get rid of colds—my friend Robocop. How foul, bitter.
Applause as someone’s cleared an entire category on volcanoes. Commercial break. She shoots a frown and a question, to which I ignore. They do the last round and final Jeopardy and cut to a shot of the contestants, wearing their best shit-eating grins.
“Still holding on? Why even bother?” And she was right. Glass meets floor and the clang of ice replaces all other sounds.
After the show ends, she turns off the set and we marinate in what the late afternoon has to offer. We wax philosophic and trade quips and if I’m lucky, get something more than the average pity fuck.
But I doubt it.