People complain I don’t know how to tell a story . . . like this one time, my first real girlfriend was pissed because we were both still virgins. Everyone else was having “great sex.” I was just being lazy or something. She started crying and flailing around my kitchen till she flung her long hair in the skillet which was still filled with oil from when my dad fried up steaks two days earlier. Her hair clumped up like this slick beaver tail. I spent the rest of the evening sitting on the side of the tub, scrubbing and combing out the grease and charred bits of beef from her hair. I don’t remember what we talked about. Maybe she said “You know, Homer gave human qualities to the gods, when he could have given divine powers to us.” But I don’t think so. I think Cicero actually said this, and putting words in her mouth is actually a sicker fantasy than anything else incubating in my thighs, then or now. Later, I drove her home: Twenty minutes without speaking. After I dropped her off, I lit a cigarette and blasted shit that could most generously be described as coffeehouse punk on my way out of the suburbs. I love people, but I’m also a little relieved when they go. I don’t have to worry about fucking up anymore. See, this may be what people are complaining about. Stories are supposed to have a beginning, middle, and end. There’s supposed to be an arc and a climax. Also, an unspoken promise that what you hear will add up to something beyond cigarettes can be a good companion at the right time in your life, and my girlfriend had the bluest eyes when she cried.
JUSTIN LACOUR lives in New Orleans and edits Trampoline: A Journal of Poetry.