Coffee Sounds

by Jeff Glovsky

Underground… feeling heat in the furious subway.  Flipping through a candy rack and trying not to deal.  I buy a pack of gum and turn to see what kind of juice there is.

I hear come up behind me, as I stare into the cooler now, a pack (or two or three, at least) of pissed off, sudden voices.  Angry voices…

Daunting voices.  Haunting, loudly overlapping voices…Countershouts in Arabic:  strong desert protestations.  “Fuck!” cuts through, then “nigger”… then the whumph of impacted, cracking flesh.  A muffled ‘pop’ next, silence, running… metal pounding to the floor.

… Go over.  Blood pools, train comes, goes… A thermos cup of coffee cools beside a stack of crackers.

 

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Disgusting

By Jeff Glovsky

Now let’s examine how lives get ruined.

“Want me to hold you?” he asks the fat girl.  Playful, conductor on a train, as it pitches …

All aboard losing their balance a little.

“No, that’s okay!” she smiles off-guard, as the train, rocking, swaying, pulls out of the station.

Now end of the line:  conductor is finishing up his shift.  The fat girl trundles off the train, pokes up some stairs with everyone else.  Conductor notices her, and she him.  Brief grins of friendly recognition … “That offer to hold you’s still good,” he jokes, winking.

She laughs.  Acknowledges the remark.  “Maybe next time!”

Platform empties, train doors close and everything goes about its business.

Now here, we examine how lives get ruined (lawsuits sprung, and wars begun):

I run into her about a week or so later, this same fat chick sitting on some grass.  She’s sitting with a friend, it seems, who’s attractive … got some rollerblades on …

“So he says to me, ‘Can I hold you?'”  Then she smiles; she seems to enjoy the recollection.

I smile too.  It’s indeed the same fat chick!

“I was like, ‘Noooo?‘” this same Fat Chick continues, wrinkling her nose a little bit.

Her friend, though (attractive, with rollerblades on), is thoroughly not feeling or digging the whimsy.  She wrinkles too … only she sucks her nostrils up into her face!  Clucks, “That’s disgusting!”  Clucks again.

The fat chick’s grateful grin and happy recollection freeze frame.  Now “I know!” she’s suddenly concurring.  Encouraged thus, the friend continues, “No!  If I were you?” she buzzkills.  “… I were you?  I’d tell him, ‘That’s disgusting!!'”

“No:  Seriously!  You.  Really.  Are.”  She’s kneeled up before the fat girl … Seizes beefy arms and shoulders, shakes and stares into her eyes.

“He followed me up the stairs,” I hear the fat girl tell a lie.

Disgusting!!”