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Deer in Headlights

by Nathan Graziano



T

O THIS DAY I'M NOT ENTIRELY SURE THIS HAPPENED, or whether I dreamed it, or it was a hallucination, an imprint in a mind significantly scrambled by drugs and booze.



I was driving home to the lake house, drunk after an evening aching for an Asian woman at the other end of the bar. For hours, I ran scenarios where I’d gather up the balls to buy her a drink and say something witty. I imagined us leaving together, my arm draped like a mink around her shoulder and my fingertips brushing her small breast. I imagined the guys at the bar chatting: That kid is something else, a real lady’s man.
But I never bought her a drink. Like most things in my life, I imagined it too vividly, and I left the bar alone...


But I never bought her a drink. Like most things in my life, I imagined it too vividly, and I left the bar alone, my car keys dangling from my index finger—a bold taunt to the bouncers.

Maybe it was snowing on the drive home as I took the winding back roads, my high beams penetrating the darkness, when a deer jumped in front of my car—its eyes glowing sinister red. I hit the brakes. Skidding and spinning and barely missing the animal.

My heart thumping, I remembered something someone once said to me about it being better to be lucky than good. Or maybe I read it. Or maybe I went home with the Asian woman and made love to her on the bathroom floor.

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About Nathan Graziano


Nathan Graziano had a mullet. After many years of therapy, he's finally able to say, "I had a mullet," even if he is writing it in the third-person.

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