I Think The Kids Are In Trouble
by J. Bradley
The song that Alex and I should have danced to as husband and wife for the first time played on my iPod while I waited to check out; the groceries choking my arms stopped me from holding back the loaded quiver of Ryan Adams’s voice. The cashier motioning me to an empty register dammed up the tears just as the last verse came, followed by a wallowing harmonica solo:
â€œAnd I just wanna die without you
Oh I just wanna die without you
Yeah I just wanna die without you
Without you Honey I ainâ€™t nothing newâ€
After I paid and got the groceries in the trunk, I sat in the driver’s seat, keys dangling from the teeth of the ignition while I stared at the Blackberry in my right hand. It’s been two days since I said my â€œI don’t’sâ€ to Alex. I checked my stomach, reminded myself I still have a month to get rid of the evidence.
â€œLeon 412-845-0990â€, the clattering of the Blackberry on my nightstand, woke me up the next morning. I forgot I couldn’t use Alex’s arm any more as a comforter to go back to sleep.
Leon and his partner, Bill met in a bar the same night Leon had his heart broken by his last boyfriend, a 23-year-old house painter. Leon called his relationship with Bill â€œa seven year long one-night standâ€, a phrase soaked by Leon’s sassy smoker’s rasp. â€œBill’s become too obsessed with being husband and husband. He wants a family. I. Am. Not. Fit. To be a father. Hell, my father wasn’t fit to be a father.â€ Bill was May to Leon’s September, a fact Leon bragged about like an aging lion tamer.
â€œWhat kind of men is Bill into, other than you?â€
â€œMen built like lesbians that are built like Justin Bieber, or a young Jim Carroll, that ‘could he be a she’ sort of look. I see how quickly his eyes wander when one of those twinky motherfuckers walk by.â€
Around my feet dangling off the barber’s chair was the ragged shag carpeting of my hair. â€œMake me look like this,â€ I said, holding a head shot of k.d. lang. The hair stylist looked scared, like a villager, cutting and sculpting my chestnut hair, then smothering what was left in black. I tipped her well. It didn’t make the drive-in horror film playing on her tanned, smoked cheeks stop.
I’ve watched Gran Torino every night for the last two weeks. After watching it, I practiced saying â€œGet off my lawnâ€ at the bathroom mirror for an hour before going to bed.
â€œMay I speak with Alex Herndon, please?â€
â€œThis is Alex. Who’s calling?â€
â€œMy name is Saul and I want to thank you. Because of you, I get to have Nicole’s sweet pussy every night. I couldn’t believe she flirted with me at the clinic before she rid of your kid.â€
â€œYou motherfucker! I’m going to find you and rip your fucking balls off, you sick fuck!â€
I hung up and smiled. I was ready.
I walked past Bill as he sat at the bar a couple of times to see if he would notice me in my two-button black sateen jacket, boot cut skinny jeans, charcoal buttoned and collared shirt. The way he licked his lips made me think he wanted to swallow more than shots of Bacardi. I sat next to him, put a cigarette in my mouth. He lit a match and offered it.
â€œWhat’s your name, handsome,â€ I puffed.
â€œNice to meet you Bill. What are you drinking?â€
â€œRum and Coke.â€
â€œTwo rum and Cokes, pleaseâ€. The bartender filled two glasses with ice, pouring equal parts rum and Coke. â€œSo Bill, do you like what you see?â€
â€œWhat…are you talking about?â€ The bartender gave us our drinks. Bill took two big gulps while I sipped mine a little.
â€œBill, it’s ok. You want to fuck me, don’t you? Be honest with me, handsome.â€
â€œI do, badly, but…â€
â€œ…but you have a boyfriend or something, don’t you?â€ Bill nodded. â€œHe doesn’t have to know. My place is two blocks away. Let me go to the bathroom real quick then you and I can…have a little fun.â€ I went into the bathroom, dialed Leon’s number, and put the Blackberry in my pocket.
Bill has me pinned against the refrigerator, hands wrapped in mine, our mouths, tongues moaning, writhing. His right hand let go of mine so he can unzip my fly and feel what I’m working with. I left the lights on low and gave him enough drinks so Bill couldn’t tell he held a counterfeit cock in his hand. Bill let go of my other hand and got on his knees.
â€œWhat the fuck. Is this?â€ The lights, Leon’s rasp cut on. â€œYou bitch, you’re fucking women now? You have an hour to come home and get your shit out before I throw it out the window.â€ Leon stormed out of my apartment. Bill noticed how firm the cock stayed in his hand, the phantom Adam’s apple he thought quivered when he touched me. Bill got up off his knees. His mouth starts forming â€œHow could youâ€ before I cut him off.
â€œLook bitch, it’s not my fault you can’t keep it in your pants or that your boyfriend had you tailed. You better get your shit straight to at least make sure you’ll be very comfortable homeless.â€ Bill stumbled out of the apartment. I locked the door, took off my clothes, slipped out of the harness holding my cock and cut the gauze binding my breasts. I guess Bill’s not ready to be a father either.
I Think The Kids Are In Trouble