T WAS ONE OF THOSE RANDOM FUCKING DAYS that angled off unsteadily into the evening. The apocalyptically hot Central Valley sun had been leaning on everyone’s shoulders all afternoon like an unwelcome supervisor – when will he get the fuck out of here?
Finally he was heading off to go fuck up someone else’s day.
The city was laid out like a diagram. Believe me, it was a fucking diagram. Streets stretching off at right angles, buildings lined up in their places, a rail line cutting through diagonally. That’s all you fucking get, I’m like Hemingway, I don’t have to go into fucking detail. Shadows here, swatches of bright light over there. Like impressionism, but more serious and real. Gritty and all that. Me walking down the street towards the east while the western hills lure the stupid sun closer and closer, till finally they can grab that bastard and stomp on him, kick his fucking teeth out.
I grabbed another beer from the case, and drank half of it at one gulp because it was shitty beer and if you drink it too slow you can taste it.
In front of the liquor store I met up with Somebody’s Friend, the dealer. I didn’t have any money so I wasn’t buying, we were just “hanging out.” It is important to do that with dealers sometimes so that they can feel like they are normal people with friends. He had a case of beer and was going somewhere so I tagged along.
We got to the house. It was one of those grimy ugly homes with a carport out front and when you get inside there is grimy ugly carpet and linoleum and if there’s furniture it’s also grimy and ugly. Typically the people inside are ugly and grimy.
A couple people were sitting around, most of whom I wished I didn’t know. My Ex-Girlfriend’s Ex-Room-mate, for one, a cynical, self-centered jerk. I hate people like that.
In a university town, people who aren’t at or with the university receive plenty of opportunities to ask themselves who they are, and what they are doing. Do they belong there? Do they belong anywhere?
It was that kind of party.
And then I saw her... sitting there in her leather jacket, her wild hair fading from pink to blonde, her skirt showing the white meat of her thick delicious legs, and man, those tits – like white elephants.
I can’t remember her name. Okay, I do, but I’m not going to tell you. I think of her as Tits. She had a friend with her named EZ Fish, that’s not a name you forget.
I knew her from my old job. I’d known her for years, but she’d always had a boyfriend, and anyway I’d always had higher standards. Now she didn’t, and neither of us did. I figured I should drink a lot of beer, hoping it would improve both the world I was looking at and the rightness of my behavior within it.
“Hey,” she said, as I sat down next to her. “Hey,” I said.
Somebody’s Friend brought the case around and was handing out beers, establishing friendship with the natives. He lit a bowl and passed it around. I took a hit and passed it to Tits. Watched her put it to her lips and pull, long and slow and hard. She saw me watching so I looked away, then back. Her tight shirt was like a lacy black ice-cream cone, holding up two succulent scoops of vanilla. French vanilla, the quality stuff. Not vanilla vanilla. They looked tasty.
“Are you looking at something?” She enquired, raising an eyebrow as she passed on the pipe.
“It’s one of my hobbies,” I confessed. “I like to look at things and try new drinks.” She didn’t get it. Another wasted joke. It wasn’t that funny anyway. And how could she get it, she couldn’t know The Name of The Story That She Would Be In.
No one can know that.
“You have tits like white elephants,” I told her.
“Thank you!” she smiled, then got up and left to go sit next to EZ Fish.
I got up and walked around, looking at the people drinking. I looked out the window – it was dark but still fucking hot, as miserable outside as it was inside. I thought about how just the day before I had been thinking of writing a story called “Tits Like White Elephants.” It was to be about two frat boys who go to Mars, and then die horrible deaths because they are frat boys who deserve horrible deaths. It takes place on Mars to make the story more interesting. And of course, it would have a cool name. To wit, “Tits Like White Elephants.” You cannot argue that that is not a cool fucking name for a story.
Tits Like White Elephants continues...