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Giant Nut Head

Giant Nut Head does not have a nut for a head but this crush is treating him like a shell between levers. It’s not a crush, it’s a smash: a glass underfoot, a thumb in a car door.

It’s important that everybody knows.

“It’s bad,” he sighs, “really bad.”

“Yup,” says Kent.

“I wish I could tell her,” says Giant Nut Head, with deep mystery. “I can’t. But if I could…”

“Uh huh,” says Maddy.

Giant Nut Head chuckles. “Well. Thus always ’twere love!”

“Mm,” says Kent, looking at Maddy, who is desperate to fuck if this kid would just leave.

Maddy

“Excuse me,” says Maddy with precise enunciation, “it’s very important that you give me a Screaming Orgasm now please.”

“Um, remind me how you make that?”

“Sure! Put some ice in a blender. Then take me out to your car and–”

“NOT that kind of bar, Maddy,” says Landrey, yanking.

“No?”

“No.”

“Then why,” says Maddy cunningly, “do they have hot bartenders?”

Lights dim; the audience mobilizes. “Please excuse my friend,” sighs Landrey.

“How much did she manage to drink in one intermission?” says the concerned, hot bartender.

“None.”

“INTOXICATED WITH THE POETRY OF MARLOWE,” declares Maddy, digging for her flask.

Jeremiah

Maddy stretches a recipe. Kent fiddles with his father’s old turntable while Destiny sells her aunt’s LPs.

H.G. talks to his cat a lot; Eola writes stories on paper airplanes. Adamkin collects playing cards from the gutter. Landrey does her homework in Sharpie and it bleeds through six looseleaf pages. Annabelle loans her a Bic #2.

Theo died, two years ago, of “complications.” Tally sits in his old desk.

What if there’s exactly one person in the world for you?

What if you’re not the one for them?

Jeremiah scuffs his soles in time to the beat of his iPod heart.

Willa

Late one lonely October night, Willa goes into the bedroom and opens the drawer on the bottom of the dresser, rightmost but one. She pulls out an hour of March.

There were more lamps back then. Willa walks out into a bright room full of the music of which they weren’t yet sick, full of blankets and jokes and dirty spaghetti bowls, full of everyone uncaring. He had his head in Maddy’s lap that night, but at least he was there.

Willa takes off her watch and smiles. Nothing in March is broken. An hour is long enough. Everything is good.

Maddy

Maddy pulls it in and holds it in her mouth, swirling thick as water, something she could swallow. Its taste is exactly the same as its color, rich red-brown and warm to the touch.

They got stoned a while ago and now it seems to Maddy that she must keep very still: her head is hollow, filling with the taste and color of this cigar. It’s the dark subtlety of oiled oak paneling, the tang of woodsmoke from the fireplace where her father, the great writer of letters, would sit and hold curling vellum and say nothing for hours on end.

Maddy

Maddy likes her new camera, and she’s filling it up tonight. She gets Gene yawning monstrously, J.P. wearing a tiny coat, and Annabelle and Vey flipping it like Johnny Cash. She sneaks a shot up Ruth’s skirt; Ruth laughs, smacks her upside the head and kisses her. It’s a good night.

She’s heading for the porch when suddenly there’s Kent. He looks bored, but the corners of his eyes say he’s just held together: a landslide on a leash. It’s painful to see. Maddy feels herself sober up.

“Been a bad day,” he mutters.

Maddy nods slowly, then takes his picture.

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