I Play One on TV | By: jay morgans | | Category: Short Story - Love Bookmark and Share

I Play One on TV

He untwisted himself from the soft blue sheets and pulled his pants up around his waist, leaving them open, his belt buckle swaying lazily as he rose.

She was still asleep, and if the two empty bottles (one still upturned in her loose hands) were any indication, he wouldn't need concern himself heavily with waking her.

He dangled his face just above hers in the dark, stifled his intoxicated giggles and poked her forehead with his middle finger.

"Little duckie," he cooed.

"Little little duckie." she grunted in her sleep and he retracted himself.

"I know, I know," he answered her. "Things are tough all over."

He looked out the massive windows, over the balcony, and down to his parents' acreage below.

"Just not here, duckie."

His foot bumped something soft on the floor, and he picked up her purse from the hardwood, taking it with him into the bathroom. He sat down on the sink and flipped on the make-up lights around the mirror.

He stared back at his own wobbly face for a moment. He opened his mouth wide, stuck out his tongue. He could see small white patches on his tongue, his gums.

"Cancer," he thought to himself. He cupped his hand underneath the faucet, drank from them like a cup, and looked again.

The white bumps were gone.

He overturned the purse, its contents clicking to the tile floor and bouncing in sick little dances. He stared down at them stupidly as if he was trying to put together the last seven minutes of his life, maybe even more.

How could it have all fit together and led him to where he was right this moment.

He couldn't decide.

Finally, he hoisted himself easily from the sink and in one motion was kneeling, leaning over the tampons, cigarettes, eyebrow pencil, condoms, the spilled pill bottle that contained anything but asprin, more condoms. He popped a handful of the pills into his mouth and chewed, savoring the burn and tingle on his gums. he licked his teeth.

Her address book, receipts, more condoms, torn rolling papers, a pocket bible. Her whole life in one little bag.

He stuffed the rest back into the leather pockets and compartments. She'd been begging him for weeks for a drawer, or some closet space, but he wouldn't have it.

What the fuck would she put there anyway?

"Honey?" he heard from the other side of the door.

"I'll be right out, love" he mocked her.

The door swayed slowly open and she was stumbling in.

"Where the hell's my speed?" she was saying, and he heard her from somewhere else. He handed her the bag.

"That's not funny, asshole," she said, hitting him clumsily with one slow arm.

His hand came up as he stood before she was even recovering from her own momentum, connecting with the bottom of her open mouth. There was a sharp sound. She hit the wall first, then the floor. He looked down at her on the floor, remembering the spilled purse. "You're pretty," he said. "Pretty f--king stupid."

"I'm sorry, baby," she said, gripping his ankle, his calf, his thigh, finally his waist. He held her face there as her fingers worked his zipper.

"I'm sorry, too."

"She really is beautiful," he thought to himself. she reminded him of some waif supermodel in a bad gen-x film, a hooker or a junkie maybe, but one of those romantic and tragic kinds. He leaned back against the wall and thought of just that.

His hand sought out the windowsill, clawing into it like a man hanging from the edge of a cliff. She was a lily, a tiger, a tiny piece of dirt he'd never had beneath his fingernails. neither had she, for that matter, and he wondered where she may have learned.

The speed was kicking in and she was working him good. the moon shone in through the window on two children, lovers playing doctor in a world where no one ever got sick.

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