Bits of crumbled paper, some naked flakes, some rolled in N.’s hands into twists, scatter around his hands, plate, and drink. He’s not looking at the table. His hands move without see. It’s dark outside. The light tracks in, when a car passes or twists into turn.

R.’s watching him. N. doesn’t see. I want N. to stop. I want to put my hands on his hands and tell him that what he’s doing is wrong. R.’s eyes track N.’s hands. I bet R. is thinking the same thing.

I turn to R. I say what I think.

Some kind of sexual disfunctioning.

R. laughs. N., across the table says stop, it’s not that. It’s not that at all, he says.

–What is it then?

–I just can’t get a, well. This is automatic. You guys are assholes if you think it’s anything else.

–That’s fine.

–I’m just, I can’t see inside my own brain sometimes, you know?


I twist a straw into a triangle-sized football and flick it into N.’s head. He laughs in his way, puts it aside. I pick it up and toss it again. It hits its arc, crashes into his forehead. He puts it into his pocket. Tries to make a kind of joke. It’s—I don’t laugh, R. doesn’t laugh, it’s not really funny. N. hasn’t been very funny, recently.

I lean back. I put my arm on the windowsill. I tap at the wood framing the glass.

–I’m hungry.

–This place sucks. We’re all hungry.

N. perks up.

–It does suck, says N. This place is the most blowinest blow job in all of history.

I look up, tap the glass.

–What the fuck? says R.

N. shrugs. It was a joke.

–You’re a joke, I say.

–Your mom gives the most blowinest blow jobs, says R. I laugh and agree.

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