|Jason Harrison Morton, Old & New
Cover by Jaime and Jason Harrison Morton
I then drank in relative peace, until the requisite thoughts when I’m alone in any crowded place kicked in: What the hell am I doing here? Who are these people? Look at that guy – he looks like a dick. Wandering around the room, stirring around these unanswerable questions, and arguing with myself – maybe he just LOOKS like a dick – brings me back round, and the two girls both look at me and laugh – this time I’m certainly being fucked with – when I realize they’re right in front of me.
“Ha, ha,” I said. “So what we up to?”
They laughed more.
“I just said to Elaine,” Janie said, “I’d better get you outta here quick.”
Elaine smiled with guilt. “I hope you were sticking up for me,” I said to her.
“Nobody’s sticking up for you,” Janie said.
“Nothing changes.” And I turned my back to them slightly.
“Oh Gawd.” And I turned around again. “Well, I’m lookin’ to stay around for a while longer. I’d hoped you’d have enough patience for that.”
Blankly staring, I tried willing my boredom onto the both of them.
“…Or, I can just meet you at that bar in about a half-hour.”
Gold. It was like getting the Get Out of Jail Free card right before the turn that took you there. Or – maybe not really like that at all.