breaking through the cieling without a seatbelt

In the back seat with grease spilling on my jeans. We’re in a- God, why do I even pretend to know where I am? Somewhere in Texas, with a bucket of fried chicken on my lap. That’s me.

“Hey Mick, give me a cigarette.” he says. It’s Mike talking.

“Left them at the pool hall,” I reply.

“Bitch can’t even remember his cigarettes.” Sal says. But he knows, or must know, I can remember plenty. Houston used to be Galveston before a tornado. Sal used to be a good guy before he…before he became Sal.

Nick’s house is a nice home. For someone. Someone that’s on vacation long enough for Nick to squat pretty freely in it.

He turns on the lights and the stereo. “Let’s eat man!” he says. They tear into the chicken. Pieces of ligament fly everywhere, finding gravity on the bruised table.

“Dinner’s not bad Mick,” Sal says. I paid. “It’s o.k.,” I say. I’ve eaten better dogfood. And that’s not a metaphor. But we haven’t eaten in days.

Sal goes into the living room and turns on the TV. It’s one of those new HDTV models. Flat against the wall. I used to wish I had one, and now I wonder what the point is either way; the picture might be better, but the story rarely is.

Nick turns to me. As if he’s telling me something in confidence. “This man,” he waves at the chicken, “is good food. Let’s get this shit every night.”