it is clear that there is only one ripe avocado in this bin and we're both treating this like the avocado plucking world championships. finally, breathless, he turns to me and says:
"are you going to, like, use this avocado today?"
and i say: "yes." using his pause to dig on his side of the mound. "are you?"
"yes." he says. grits his teeth and we both resume the competition, giggling nervously. we both know we are trying to win.
i'd purchased a large beer about 10 minutes before jcrew, my ride, planned to leave the pio. i decide i will walk home if i'm unable to slam the contents. or, sneaks and biggie are at the bar, i can cab home to our matching address.
everyone leaves. i pull out a crossword puzzle and sit at my empty table. the table is filled with dead beer bottles and barcadi diet debris. i'm one cigarette floating in melted ice from appearing sad and lonely. i'm not. as i've said before, drinking should almost always be done alone. more time for premenstral introspection. now's my chance.
scrubs invites me back to her table. my landlord's girlfriend is a schizo. unfriendly until she teeters to about .36, all hopped up on this greenish liquor. i'm sure i can have a better conversation with 41 across: sapporo sash. (obi).
ed grimley walks in. it doesn't look like he is here on purpose. more like he just stumbled in through the first open door and lo and behold its his favorite bar. he falls onto a stool. the bartender waves a purple sweatshirt in front of him, all torro! like. he stands, grunts and charges the sweatshirt. she pulls it away and does it again. finally she hands it over, and he falls on top of her in a groping show of appreciation.
"that reminds me of a book i read once," a regular says.
(this is going to be good. bullfighting. the sun also rises?)
wrong. he is thinking.
"herold and the purple crayon," he says finally.
sneaks says that she, biggie and i are going to walk home together. in my head, this looks like a grunting, drooling, publically urinating parade. with biggie playing the role of quasimoto, trailing a block behind us. hunchbacked with an eye squinched close. sidewalk burns on his knuckles.
"how about we take a cab," i suggest. "you call, i'll pay the three dollars."
sneaks, biggie, ed grimley and i squeeze into a cab. i'm on sneaks lap. at the duplex, i run inside to get a pan of oatmeal cookies i made. the stairway of the duplex smells like skunk. that's when i notice one of sneaks suitors sitting on the steps, half passed out, waiting for her to get home.
my oatmeal cookies are stuck to the pan and the meter is running and ed grimley is still sitting in the back seat. moaning into the cab driver's ear.
"out," i command.
i can see this is going to take some serious coaxing. i throw his hat into the front yard.
he's not getting out.
"good luck," sneaks says.
i grab him by the collar of his purple sweatshirt and have a freakish display of adrenaline and strength. i heave him out the open door. when i turn around, he is sprawled on the boulevard.
we cruise off into the night.