Musée Océanographique de Monaco

Musée Océanographique de Monaco. Monaco, Monaco. 09.09.12.

Musée Océanographique de Monaco. Monaco, Monaco. 09.09.12.

For the sake of efficiency

“You stole the last jalapeño popper.”

Ed turned slowly to face his accuser. “Pardon?”

The petite woman frowned. “You snatched your sixth one before I could even try my first!”

“I couldn’t help it — they’re addictive!” He held his hand in front of his mouth to hide his enthusiastic chewing.

“Good.” She smiled. “‘I made them.”

“Ed.”

“Nisey.”

“Short for…?”

“Denise. My lil’ brother couldn’t pronounce his d’s, so he called me Nisey.”

“One of the many joys of being an only child — no siblings to give you nicknames.”

“In your case, I’m sure the bullies at boarding school did the honors.”

“How did you know I went to boarding school?”

“Just a hunch.” Nisey drained her solo cup and shook it, rattling the ice cubes.

“I owe you a drink.”

“Good thing drinks are free at potlucks. Kay’s goin’ on a liquor run soon –”

“Which is why we should walk to the pub down the street. She’ll buy the shitty stuff since the party’s winding down.”

“You’re real slick.”

Ed offered his arm. “Shall we?”

Nisey narrowed her eyes and looped her arm through his.

***

“I’m too old for this!”

“For what?”

“Neckin’ with my friend’s husband’s cute friend.”

“So you think I’m cute?”

“Wipe that smirk off your face! Would I be straddling you on your couch if I didn’t?”

“You could just be using me for sex.”

“Who said anybody’s gettin’ laid tonight?”

“I didn’t assume — just trying to lighten the mood!”

“Ed, I’m forty years old –“

“You’re smokin’ hot.”

“– thank you, but I’ve been divorced for a couple of decades. I’m good at being alone –“

“Nisey, I’m thirty years old. I’ve been divorced for a decade. I’ve dated a lot of women since –“

“A lot, eh?”

“– and I know right away whether I like someone or not. I like you.”

“I like you, too.”

“Since neither of us wants to waste our time –“

“Amen to that!”

“– what’s the harm in enjoying each other’s company, as the feeling is mutual?”

“Speakin’ of savin’ time…where’s your bedroom?”

****

“This was way better than either of our first weddings.”

“We should advise any youngins who wanna get hitched –“

“What’ll we tell them? If you meet someone at a friend’s party, marry the person a year later?”

“No, dumbass. We’ll tell them to save the money they’d use on a wedding and put it toward a downpayment on a house –“

“They don’t buy houses — they buy lofts or condos these days.”

“– get a friend to marry them, and go out for margaritas and nachos afterward.”

“The kids we know don’t have friends who are judges.”

“They’ve got friends who’ve bought marriage officiant licenses on the internet!”

“You can do that?”

“Yes, you old man.”

Your old man.”

“Your sappiness is embarrassing.”

“C’mon — gimme a kiss, missus.”

“Fine. But only ‘cuz I expect wedding night action when we get home.”

none of this is for you

men cannot dictate
how we (women)
style our hair
choose outfits
or apply makeup.
many assume that
we only exist to be
aesthetically pleasing
(to them)
& are shocked when
we explain that
none of this is for you
& we could care less
if you don’t think
we’re beautiful
because we know we are.

The cure for insomnia

“Move. You’re suffocating me.”

“Not what you said a few hours ago –”

Shut up.” Jade gasped for air dramatically as Cole rolled off of her.

“You demanded that I hold you all night.”

“Instead, you sprawled on top of me like a starfish.” She rolled her eyes and propped herself up on her elbows. “Get me a glass of water and two Advils.”

“I don’t know where anything is — ” He leapt off the bed as she glared. “Kitchen and medicine cabinet?”

“Your deductive skills never cease to amaze.” When Cole returned, Jade grabbed and downed the water and tablets. “The boy can follow directions! I knew guitar-playing wasn’t your only skill.”

He sat beside her, reaching to tuck an errant strand of hair behind her ear. She frowned and swatted his hand away. “Can we talk –”

“No.”

“It was awesome –”

Average.”

“– and I think we could be…”

“Be what?”

“Great.”

I’m great. You’re okay.”

We could be great together.”

Jade patted his hand. “The only reason we even happened was copious amounts of vodka.”

“An alcohol-induced lapse in judgment?”

“Precisely.” She burrowed into her blankets, closing her eyes. “Plus, what would the rest of the band say?”

“They would say, Finally!

“Your clothes are in the bathroom.”

After trudging there, Cole shrugged his shirt on. “You ripped the buttons off my favorite shirt.”

“I’ll get you a replacement.”

“My car’s still at the bar.”

“Sounds like you’re taking a bare-chested walk of shame.”

“Can you give me –”

“Too tired to operate a vehicle.”

“Maybe this is the cure to your insomnia…”

“Definitely not. Lock the door on your way out.”

“See you at rehearsal?”

Jade’s soft snores answered him. She slept better than she had in years.