by Roxanne Geti
2nd Place – Flash 405, April 2018: “Magnetism”
I arrive at your roadside studio apartment, heart so loud I don’t have to knock. You strong-arm the door and waft me inside.
“Hey,” you shout as if I’m thirty feet away, not three. “How ya doin’, kid,” you ask as if I’m fourteen, not forty.
I’m doing perfect. I’m far away from chores and bills, mosquitos that suck on me at night, and a husband who doesn’t.
You and me, we’re gonna drink cheap beer and curse. We’ll watch the playoffs and go silent and stare into each other’s eyes. We’ll arm wrestle and you’ll say something sexist. I’ll slap you and you’ll press your face to mine.
We’ll talk about your ex-wife and how she’s back on the pills. We won’t talk about my husband.
I’ll get us another beer but we won’t finish them. We’ll smear ourselves with each other and fuck into another dimension. Your white hair will glow in the dark and my tits are amazing, you’ll say. I’ll smash my lips into your back and muffle I love you.
Noise: we love our noise. We’ll whimper and whine like starving dogs. The neighbors hate us.
After, we’ll deflate, spent, and press our butts together. You’ll tease me that mine’s cold.
Soon, the sun will force its way in. You’ll jump out of bed too quickly and shower. You’ll reemerge and our connection will have faded like a hand stamp, along with my musk that you’d huffed like glue. Our conversation will shrivel like plastic toys in the oven.
Eventually, the guilt will make me end us. I’ll try to remain friends, text you about draft picks and tease you about your wimpy forearms. But I’ve ripped the hook from your mouth, and you won’t take my bait. I’ll stop casting and walk home hungry.
I’ll miss you like a removed kidney—surviving, but the party’s over. I’ll spend months writing nauseating essays about you, inserting myself into your apartment like a Colorform on a paperboard backdrop. This is where I’m young, beautiful, brash, and sexy as all fuck. I’ll fight back tears in public and at home, because I’m a criminal, maybe even to you now, and there’s no sympathy for the devil. I’ll dream of running away and renting a dingy studio apartment where I can drink cheap beer and swear at the refs, where I can keep an ear out for your heartbeat, just outside my door.
This piece appealed to me greatly because of it’s crudeness. I write in a similarly honest way so this one caught me right away. It really captures such a fleeting snapshot of how things turn, how they go from one small universe existing in a moment between two bodies, to another entirely different, small universe in an instant. With such a quick introduction, literary and literal climax, and a conclusion with such a contrast from the beginning, we witness the birth and death of a star in so few words. Truly magnetic in how many directions this pulled me in!
Roxanne Geti is a resurrected writer trying to make sense of the nonsensical while hopefully bringing you comfort and familiarity.