Old Soda Road
“You’re a hick Carlo.” Erin snorted like the bull. “Now come over to me, and let me take a look at your lunch please.” She swallowed the mucus in her throat, then made a choking sound.
Carlo made a foolish plea for his honor instead of his lunch. “I’m not a hick Erin! My childhood home had a basement!” Beneath the wet blood Carlo’s hands were schoolboy soft. Erin nodded without looking, then Carlo willingly dumped the contents of his brown paper lunch onto Erin’s desk. Her tits.
Erin lifted each individually bagged item to her lipps: A cute little sandwich guy in a plastic guy bag. The crusts were cut off around the edges and placed in another cute little plastic guy bag. The sandwich, just white and cheese and white and bread and some mayo white and the meat. The meat please.
In the morning Carlo wrote the words dark world in his foggy bedroom window. Now he was looking at Erin spit her gum into a napkin he had packed to wipe himself at the conclusion of a messy and successful lunch. Erin’s gum was white like the streaks of gel in her short hair. Erin’s grey skin matched her pantsuit.
Erin looked up at Carlo. “What is this?” she demanded.
The bag of carrots was for the sweet. The bag of celery for the veg.
The water, and he never forgot his fibers.
“My lunches are always,” said Carlo.
A root chip, and some of the whey drink for a flavor. And to keep his distance from the sadness.
“And this is what I must drink to avoid some of the sadness,” Carlo thought while packing this lunch with his eyes closed in the early morning.
“You’re a hick”, Erin repeated. “I’ve got a hot dog in the other room. Go look at it.” Carlo’s dick was out. Everyday his lunch was fibers and crusts.
Carlo called out from the doorway, “I don’t see a hotdog.” There was a sink that said drip. A table, but no chair.
Erin was congested and became busy. With her face, she stared towards a fixed point in the ceiling, but not at it. Her eyes turned grey but they didn’t cross. Hasan walked over to Erin’s desk and held out his hand for a morning shake. Erin’s mouth gaped and hung to one side of her jaw. Hasan left his hand floating in the air, unembarrassed. “It was the morning, and there was no better time for a shake,” he later thought. His face was dopey and his lips were all smooched and smiley-like.
“This is so fucked,” said Carlo to himself. He felt himself begin to lose focus, almost about to cry. “I don’t see a the hotd–” Carlo’s dick was like a timid snail, and the hot dog was there, on the top of the floor.
The hot dog was a boiled pink when fresh, but now it had gone grey. The cheese on top was shredded and crusty, like short hair with too much gel. Carlo wasn’t given instructions, so he stared at the hot dog. He stared at it until he saw the resemblance. His eyes were clear, but his glasses were foggy.
“I don’t know what to say,” he thought. “I never know what to say.”
Hasan kept that smile and slowly lowered his hand to his waist while Erin thought about an old hat. Hasan wiped it on his stupid corduroys like he was brushing croissant flakes from his fingers. He shook croissant flakes from his dreadlocks. His son was almost fourteen or fifteen. I’m gay.
Carlo appeared from the room. “Where have you been Carlo?” Erin was still sitting in her chair, congested. She drank milk to match the color of her hair.
Carlo thought about why the hot dog. “I was looking at the hot dog,” replied Carlo. His exposed lunch was spread on Erin desk.
“The hick cut himself skinnin’ his squirrels.” said Hasan.
“I’m not a hick.” Carlo rebutted. “My mother is a librarian.”
“Let me take you down to Old Soda Road,” offered Hasan, his fist stuck out for Carlo to pound it. “My boat may be old, but I have a map please.”
“Grab that dog, Carlo. I don’t care if it’s a Wednesday.” Erin continued. It was difficult for Erin to stand up, and when she did her back was hunched. As she hobbled to an elevator we sensed her flanks bob beneath her pant suit. She changed into an unflattering two piece.
They bounced and the hot dog.
“Erin is a fat bully,” said Hasan.
“And I’m a hick without a lunch.” replied Carlo.
“Now you’re learning my language.”
Carlo felt his liquid life ebb from his hand into the bun. A mutual energy left the hot dog. They were becoming like one another. Together they were becoming the real dog while Erin was dying.
Hasan drove towards the flat, white sea at the end of Old Soda Road. Carlo didn’t know where they were going, but he knew he must leave.
Carlo left the boat and purposefully walked through a thorn bush to better explore the world around the flat, white sea. His face was cut and his dick was out. Cradled in his arms was the dog, and the crispy cheese became fur as he ankled through the marshes. There was a pulse, and Carlo became a dot on the horizon, by the bed of sharp rocks. When he looked back over himself he saw that an old hat had been following him.
It began to rain so Hasan pulled on his dirty red raincoat. He left the boat and walked over to a man asleep on a bench.
“I’ve got to live my life,” the man thought.
Hasan held out his hand to give the man a morning shake. The man continued to sleep but Hasan kept his hand poised in mid air.