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Patricia was wearing these jean shorts ten years ago but she’s still got the legs for them, right? Yeah. She wouldn’t be getting waitress work otherwise.

Her boyfriend Burke’s going to get her car running again soon, but meanwhile the bus is screwing her over. Her hands flick and flutter: white moths in a bubble. They have long Lee nails with French tips like you’d get in a salon.

Patricia’s face is wound and gathered like tie-dye around her unhappy mouth. Her eyes are a dark, thick blue, like the water in Jacques Cousteau books, too blue to be real.


It occurs to Burke that the sensory experience most closely akin to kissing Patty is Pixie Stix: trying and trying to dislodge a chunk from one, and ending up with a mouthful of wet, sad paper straw. Except with Patty you don’t get the zing of sugar in the first place. Burke always wondered if they were supposed to be flavored differently. Maybe the purple ones were grape and the orange ones, well, eponymous, but what taste would one associate with neon green?

“Burke?” Patty pulls away, looking as confused as he feels. “I–is something wrong?”

“Kiwi!” he says, wrongly.