You told me you weren’t happy and I said, so?– You told me you were leaving and I said, okay. You hung around too long, waiting for something, but I just lit a Marlboro and said hasta la vista baby, like cool hand Lucy.
Martina came down to borrow a cup of pills. Jerome stopped by and built me a bookshelf with cinder blocks and pine. We drank coffee made with the French press you gave me for my birthday, spiked with flaming cubes of sugar and the Bohemian absinth I gave you for our one year. I laughed so hard and loud.
That day we got so high behind the dumpster after margaritas at Don Cuco’s and we sat halfway through the wrong movie, my head slumped against your shoulder, that day we became a unit? That day is what I think about, flying high on wormwood.
We scoffed at picket fences, family values, and natural colored hair. We believed in nihilism and The Shadow, combat boots and volcanic chile verde.
The paramedics took Martina away today; you should’ve seen her, how she gave a little wave as she passed by on the gurney, her skin all pale and clammy, her mohawk limp as roadkill, piercings glinting in the sun. The book we planned to read–God Is Dead–came, and I put it on the shelf, still inside its box. Found your used syringe in the bathroom trashcan, a tiny clot of you still trapped within its barrel. I took it to the roof, sat out over the balustrade and jabbed it in my thigh once, twice, a few times, but it didn’t change a thing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alicia Gifford is a Los Angeles area writer of short fiction and her work appears in lots of swell places. She likes this line: “‘She would of been a good woman,’ The Misfit said, ‘if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.’”
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, February 2nd, 2007.