STAG FINISHED HIS LITE BEER and opened another. He picked up the receiver and pushed the buttons for star 69, the automatic re-dial system.
“Oh, what do you want?”
“I just pushed star 69 to see who called last.”
“Oh …” Bob sighed. “Isn’t that kind of pathetic?”
“Yeah, I thought maybe Agnes needed me.”
“I don’t know, maybe I should just kill myself. Maybe I should swallow a bottle of Aspirin.”now, Stag, when you talk like that it makes me wanna come over there and beat you to death with a shovel. You’re like an injured dog lying in the road, bleeding to death.”
“I know. I know. Maybe I should do something. Maybe I should cut my nipples off or join the Army.”
Bob hung up.
Stag lit a bong-load of weed. Man, he thought, I haven’t worked at the mini mart in days. How am I gonna pay the rent? I wonder if Herdando has any good acid for sale.
The phone rang.
“Bob says he wants to hit you on the back of the neck with a shovel.”
“Got any smoke?”
“Sure, ya wanna come over and smoke a bowl?”
She hung up.
Something like time passed in Stag’s world.
Then a knock on the door.
Stag envisioned the police. He got up, stashed his dope in a Rambo lunch box, then opened the door.
“Don’t call me that. Where’s the weed?”
“You ever shower?”
Stag looked at her and relit the bowl.
“You know, Stag, that ponytail of yours looks like a natty cat tail. Have you ever seen a Persian cat when it takes a crap and the shit gets stuck to the tail and then the cat goes out to play in the dirt?”
“Yeah,” he said. “I’ve seen that.”
Agnes took in enough semi-smokeless air to stand up. “I gotta go.”
The phone rang four times before Stag’s answering machine picked up. The theme from The Brady Bunch came on and the caller hung up.
“Hey Bob, it’s …”
“Oh, hey Stag. I just called ya to tell ya that Agnes is at my pad now.”
After a silence Stag said, “I just burned a scar on my stomach by dripping hot candle wax on my belly.” Stag’s tears dripped down onto the telephone.
Bob hung up.
Stag looked at the plastic digital watch strapped to his wrist. “Shit!” He ran into his bedroom and fumbled through his closet looking for a suitable videocassette to tape Mystery Science Theatre.
The phone rang while Stag was busy getting Attack of the Mushroom People recorded.
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I was a little shy about asking. I thought I might not be able to get one. I called the Apple store and talked with Siri.
I said, “Siri, I’m tired of robogirls. I want something a little different.”
“Do you want a roboguy?”
“Don’t be silly—I like girls. I can’t help it—I’m made that way.”
“I know what you want.”
“Yes—you want a real girl.”
“That’s exactly what I want. I want a real girl.”
“Are you sure?”
“What do you mean?”
“Have you ever had a real girl before?”
“Well, real girls are—unpredictable. I cannot guarantee that you will be happy.”
“Robogirls are predictable. That’s what I’m tired of. Send me a real girl this afternoon.”
“It doesn’t work that way. First, I’ll have to find a real girl who’s interested, and then I’ll have to let her pick the time when she can come.”
“You mean I have to wait?”
“Yes. If I can find one, she will call you. I can send you a robogirl this afternoon. Do you still want a real girl?”
“Yes. I’ll wait.”
Poem of the Week
who have experienced
on a large
i tell raif
i think my
might be dead
haven't seen her
& her car hasn't moved
for two weeks.
you would smell it
passing me a plate
of triangular shaped bread
slathered in jam.
Story of the Week
DARLEEN SQUEELED into the empty spot as soon as the gleaming white Mercedes pulled out. "We got lucky," she told Montana. "Even on a Monday night, this lot is killer."
Montana rolled her big blue eyes. "Whatever."
The eleven year old had better things to do, like text her friends. Incessantly, as if she had a tic. The kid hadn't wanted to shop tonight, but Darleen insisted. This was their first Christmas without Paulie and the girls needed to stick together. Darleen's ex had been nasty lately and mediation had hit a cement wall. Montana wasn't aware how dangerously close they were to losing access to Paulie's vast and unreported wealth.
Montana sighed dramatically as she yanked open the door of the Porsche Cayenne and tumbled out. She didn't pause in her texting.
Darlene checked her face in the rearview mirror. The most recent fat transfer had been wildly successful. She loved her new lips. Grabbing her Gucci bag, she hopped out of the front seat.
Her daughter trailed her into the mall, thumbs flashing on her phone keypad.