A speed-write written in twenty minutes. Nouns generated via this site: [link]
This is it.
You’re at the twenty-four hour diner in town. You’re on your fourth cup of coffee, bitter because that’s the brew they favor, and sweet because you tear open three packages of fake sweeteners for every cup you drink.
She drinks coca cola because the carbonation glides down her throat and it feels real good.
You eat waffles.
She eats pancakes with butter.
You fill each square with syrup, so meticulous, so careful. Crisp golden brown turns to soggy mess and it’s just the way you like it.
You’re on a date. You’ve been going out for so long you’ve forgotten what that means. You split the bill and she pays the tip and you go outside with your mouth thick with that coffee taste and the stars are out and it’s too warm outside.
She straddles her motorbike, and you climb up beside her. You’re both wearing your thin tank tops. She’s wearing her worn out blue jeans and you’ve got your skater skirt on. You’re not safe, but she always rides real safe. No squealing tires here. Not dangerous and risky. Real slow, like she moved on you all those years ago.
You settle in close to her, your hands folded against her belly, your cheek pressed against her shoulders. She takes off, careful and gentle. “What’s up, Buttercup?” she says, going for the rhyme instead of asking you where you want to go next, which is the real question.
You shrug. You don’t care. You could go home, you could put on the television, watch her play a video game, maybe join in yourself if it’s a game for two. You could ride around town all night, dropping by the gas station for day old doughnuts and maybe a bad habit or two because you’re both always trying to quit but you’re always just one more from really kicking it to the curb for good.
The roller skating rink might even still be open, the one with the glow in the dark stars glued to the ceilings and a disco moon hovering up above. You almost suggest going but then you realize you don’t really want to go, that thinking about going is good enough.
Besides, it’s not dollar night. That was yesterday. You can’t believe you forgot.
She pulls up to a curb and parks after driving around, lazy and slow, for half an hour. You’re back at the twenty-four hour diner. “We forgot dessert,” she says. She swings her leg over the handle bar and slides off. She gives you her hand and you take it and she helps you down even though you don’t need her help but you like holding her hand.
You order a chocolate shake to split. She gets the glass, you get the leftovers in the silver cup. It tastes better, you claim, but she doesn’t think so, or maybe she just pretends she doesn’t notice a difference.
She bares her teeth, clutches her head with her fist. She curses, mutters profanities like the grains of rice you used to spit when you used to play the flute.
She always eats her ice cream too fast. Always gets brain freeze.
She gets over it and she finishes and you pay the second bill and you go outside. She’s there, smoking her bad habit, and she passes it to you and just like that, you’re just one more away from quitting (for good this time).
You climb up beside her when you’re done. The same pose, familiar. You fit perfectly against her back. She fits perfectly against you.
“I had a nice time,” you say.
She kisses your knuckles before she puts your hand back against her stomach. “Me too,” she says.