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Her Purse

An operetta for guitar and baritone
by Jason Corddry
for Amelia
whose purse was left in my room
when you went to Kai’s party
wait, I forgot the subtitle
(My Fingers are Bleeding Gmaj7)
(that’s the subtitle)
(they’re not actually bleeding)
(but I do have a hangnail)

ACT I
In which an unnamed boy and girl meet
under the falling blossoms of a cherry tree
unless it was dogwood but let’s say cherry
I can’t check since they bulldozed it for the new library
Christ, that’s symbolic
THAT should be the subtitle

ACT II
In which Amelia goddamn sleeps with Kai

Hector

Chastity is Hector’s partner in Bad Relationships 110, which isn’t their assigned disagreement, thank goodness. Instead they get jealousy, and scream for three hours weekly before tackling each other for angry sex. Chastity gets an A and ice cream; Hector gets a C.

Next semester it’s Slacking and Associative Guilt. In the winter he passes Binge Drinking with an A and a mop, but it’s exhausting.

“Nostalgia Prep and Poli Sci this term!” he moans at dinner their first night back. “And Random Hookups has a lab–”

“Wait,” says Ayane, “Poli Sci?”

“Does that even count toward your major?” asks Kai.

Chyler

“I was informed that there would be pillowfights,” says Diego.

“I think first we do each other’s nails? And talk about boys,” says Caleb.

“Actually,” says Chyler, “we probably complain about our thighs while eating the whole damn box of Oreos.”

“I like my thighs okay.”

“That’s why you’re no good at this.”

“We can do the leopard spots in your hair, but not your eyebrows,” explains Ayane. “If it gets in your eyes–”

“But I wanted stripes in them!” says Kai, under the apron. “Like the leopard is hunting them. Zebra eyebrows! Zebrows! Wa-ching!

“Pillowfights?” Diego says sadly. “Pillowfights.”

Chyler

“Are you okay?”

Kai and Ayane are waiting by the door, concerned. Kai pretty clearly has to go: she’s trying to not to hop from foot to foot. “Yeah!” says Jason, muffled. “Sorry, just a minute!”

“What else can you say to that?” mutters Chyler over a euchre hand.

Agnes cracks a grin, and Hector cracks up. It’s lost on Chyler.

“Like you can just go ‘No, actually,'” she says, in a Jasonesque baritone. “‘Having some difficulty. Think you could come on in and help?'”

Hector’s off his chair, and Agnes covers her eyes. Chyler barely notices. Her hand really sucks.

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