by Chris Duncan
([email]cduncan204 [at] aol [dot] com[/email])

Skinny Steven Hilton stares at his bucktoothed continence in the mirror of a Shoney’s restroom. He absorbs critically his floppy ears, his close-set eyes, his one eyebrow, his oddly feminine lips, full and red, chapped, flaking, better looking from afar. He bites a piece of loose skin from his bottom lip and swallows it. He tilts his head toward the ceiling and stares as best he can into his formidably sized nostrils into which he rams thumbs and index fingers and grabs as many nose hairs as he can. He yanks. He yanks. His eyes fill with tears. Fuck’at shit hurts, he thinks, smiling dumbly to himself. He again stares at his buckteeth, stained brown from dipping over three thousand cans of long-cut wintergreen Skoal. He ruefully hears his dead daddy commenting: “You could eat corn on the cob through a wire fence with those teeth, boy!” Steven grimaces away the thought and pats down a cowlick. Steven is trying to be happy. No, he is happy. He is! He’s just graduated from Alliance Truck Driving Academy of Bristol, Virginia, and he and his girlfriend and his mom are celebrating. The girls are eating their salads. Steven has just drained what he calls his anaconda and flushed his venom down the dirty urinal. Steven is thirty. Steven is going places. Stephen imagines himself adopting a monkey, a capuchin perhaps; his monkey will wear a baseball cap, and they’ll be like BJ and the Bear, solving mysteries, stopping crime, and hanging out with hot girls in Jacuzzis.

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