SCYLLA AND WART

by

“How old are you?”

Why?

“You look, what, fifteen.”

I’m not fifteen.

“Well . . . how old then?”

How old are you?

“I lost count.”

What, you ran out of fingers and toes?

“Okay, I’m twenty-two.”

Me too.

“Really?”

You don’t believe me?

“What’s your name?”

Don’t you think this conversation is getting too personal?

“All I asked was your name!”

How about you? And don’t give me the name of your Halo avatar?

“What makes you think I play Halo?”

A hunch.

“A hunch?”

A twisting and knotting in the pit of my stomach.

“A hunch?”

A rapidly expanding bubble of gas that will splatter me all over every square inch of this room, you too if you don’t get out of the way.

“The name’s Wart,” he said extending his hand.

Scylla, she said taking and shaking it. It was soft and fluid, like one of those gel packs you heat for sore muscles.

“So, what happened to your friend?”

You mean Janice?

“The blonde.”

She had to go throw up in the alley.

“She coming back?”

That depends.

“On what?”

If it’s more interesting out there than in here.

He looked at her as if she were some exotic marine species in some darkened corner of an aquarium.

She has a knack for vanishing.

“And you?”

I won’t be able to get out of here until everyone else is gone.

“Sounds like you’re stuck.”

Buy me a beer.

“Bottle or draft?”

Bottle. Love to lick them long necks.

“Me too.”

Are those your nipples?

“You like my shirt?”

I wouldn’t wear it, but on you it looks good.

“I’m not sure they’re really me. I’m thinking about getting a set like yours.”

More trouble than they’re worth. I’m thinking about getting rid of mine.

“Don’t do that! Had a friend did that. Got rid of her boobs, got himself a sorta functional prosthesis. Fucked him up. Them up.”

What about you? You still got your original equipment?

“We’ve gotten pretty personal all of a sudden.”

It’s a bar. I’ll never see you again. Answer the question. You might win a prize.

“I’m still, as the obstetrician says, perfect. That’s what she says when you come racing down the chute. The first thing they do is check you out, fingers, toes, pecker. You have ‘em all, you’re perfect. How about you?”

Perfect too, except for the pecker. And these growths on my chest.

“They’re not so bad. Maybe you just don’t know how to use them.”

They’re my growths.

“I’m just saying.”

So you want to go back to my place?

“Thought you’d never ask.”

Really?

“No, I mean it. That’s the last thing I ever expected a girl to say to me.”

I prefer you not use that word. Use it again and I’ll slap you.

“I might like that. What word?”

She rose to her full five foot two inches, tapped a cowboy boot and looked away.

“Oh, that word. Sorry.” 

So if I let you stuff your pecker into my empty place, do you think you’d like it?

“Would you?”

I don’t know a lot about these things.

“What if we pretend that we’re just a couple of bar rats who only want to hump themselves into unconsciousness?”

That sounds like an admirable conclusion to the evening.

“I have a question for you.”

Shoot.

“Can the girl fuck the boy?”

You’re using that word again.

“I wasn’t talking about you.” 

In that case, I’ll have an answer for you in, say, half an hour.