3 Flashes

July 2002 – Semoran Blvd

I fold my hands into a heart that doesn’t know what to do itself as Leigh drives me back to my mom’s place after seeing a play taking place in a New York City bar in a building Orlando thinks what a play about a New York City bar should be in. She says she has a headache. She says she has a ghost haunting her apartment. I should say let’s go back to your place so you don’t have to spend the night alone. I should say I have a cure for that headache and do it in a way where I don’t get slapped and she says oh yeah, let’s see if you can fix that. I say none of these things. I step out of her car, watch her drive away, count all of my failures on my fingers, toes, and beauty marks.


June 2002 – My mom’s place

Mira taps my shoulder for a second and asks what that knocking sound outside. I get off of her and feel my way around the room for my clothes, stampede down the stairs, out to the front yard to open the gate. Leigh is standing in front of me while her car has driver side door open. I see Danny, the single white femaleesque roommate of my best friend Paul, in the passenger side drunk off his ass. I ask Leigh what she’s doing here. Leigh says she was just coming by to say hi. I do not tell her I am in the middle of other plans. I do not sense this as her Lloyd Dobbler moment.


August 2002 – Bus stop

Over my cellphone, I am casting every sentence I know like chains to wrap her moving boxes, furniture, car, body to anchor them here. I draw ‘I love you’ like a moat but my tear ducts suck it dry when she hits me back with ‘too late’. The spent casing of my airtime minutes fall and jangle on the sidewalk.


J. Bradley is a contributing writer to Specter Magazine and the Interviews Editor of PANK Magazine. He lives at iheartfailure.net.