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page 31

Lucas Stensland, USA

“Heather and Fernando Got Married”

in the shallow
flecked impression

I'm looking into the bathroom mirror and notice it's sprayed with toothpaste. My first instinct is to go into the living room and hold a mock trial in which evidence would be presented to Heather and Fernando, the defendants.

I would try to guess, through powers of deduction, the guilty party. "Heather," I would say, "has huge gums that might exacerbate said spray. On the other hand," I would continue, "Fernando is not known for subtly. Then I would follow with some hard stares at a pathetic attempt at intimidation.

But that stoner People's Court can't happen. Heather and Fernando took off earlier today with Jive Turkey, the cat I watched all summer while they married here and honeymooned there.

summer's end
going off special

They live together in New York City, but got married in the bride's hometown, an hour from where I live in Minneapolis. This summer I watched as their life together took a different approach. They seem happy.

I've known Heather since I was six. She got attached to me early, probably hoping I'd be her first gay friend. And when I turned out straightish, I think she'd just got used to my mumbling and fidgeting. Walking them to their car today, I thought that if I had spoken at the wedding, I might have begun, "I booked this gig thirty years ago." That's as far as I got.

It's good she married Fernando. He possesses an intelligent, kind and verbose gentleness that's impossible to not like. I joked about it to them this morning: "He's the new little-kids-wearing-thick-glasses." He's overcome obstacles and wound up the most evenhanded guy I know. His empathy is profound, and like Heather, he is a fan of the underdog.

being born
the comeback kid

Resentful they left, I ponder my new disadvantages. There'll be nobody here to hear my repetition. Who would deal with my bad jokes (e.g., "What's the difference between Willie Nelson and Jesus Christ? Willie Nelson is a totally different guy.) And who would tolerate my bad senryu?

Chea o Records
the neon p
appropriately blown

I sense the Japanese bar on the corner calling to me. It often does about now. Outside is a wall of summer heat, and it's owl-dark. The sky is wearing night clouds like a sliced-up mask, and the partially obscured moon looks like an hour glass.

Inside Moto-I I order a black Russian. There's a low-hum of voices, and my thoughts turn to Heather and Fernando, and New York in Autumn, wearing a blazer and wrapped in my orange scarf. A man rolls luggage into the bar and orders a drink. It doesn't look like he's staying long.

the ceiling fan
circles last call


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