The Disaster Book
Published in

The Disaster Book


I wanted to be sitting there, or at least a part of me did — across from that nature-cursing muppet, with her pretty blonde hair.

The desserts here were not as good as I had remembered them, but then again neither was she — only 8 months had passed, and here we were on a second first date, this one moving even slower than the first. I watched her take a crescent cut out of a slice of pumpkin pie, and I hated her for ordering it in June. The biggest problem with Claire was that she lived her whole life out of season, like she was god or something. What gives her the right to eat a banana in January? But that was Claire. Everything right when she wanted it, including me.

That’s not to say I was here against my will. I wanted to be sitting there, or at least a part of me did — across from that nature-cursing muppet, with her pretty blonde hair cropped so short you would think she was working to completely eliminate it, an inch at a time. She cut it every time she broke up with someone, except me, cause she said that didn’t count. God, I hated Claire.

We leave the restaurant and she’s walking ten paces ahead of me, like she wants full control of what happens next. Like she doesn’t know what kind of guy I could be. Jesus. I’m not going to rape her. I’m going to murder her. We get to her stoop and she climbs the to the top step. She’s going to invite me up and I’m going to go in there and murder her. With a knife or something from her kitchen. Nah, I’m not really going to do that. I like to think about it sometimes though. She’s holding the door open for me so we go up to her tiny little apartment, with the afghans everywhere and the hanging smell of cheap grocery store candles. Everything’s basically the same; a few new DVDs on her coffee table, a different empty wine glass. She still hadn’t hung the picture of her in Paris, with the other little frames around it that she was going to fill up with pictures from other adventures that wouldn’t happen. I told her to just get rid of it, give it to goodwill, but she said I was being cynical.

Sometimes I think I should live here, and picture where I’d put my things.

But then I think, she’d never take that damn Nirvana poster off the wall, and I’d have to go to bed each night with Kurt Cobain staring at me like he’s mad I’m in the room with her. That’s the whole problem I think, that if we laid our lives over each other’s like overhead projector transparencies, there’d be too much overlap, lines crossing over themselves insisting we divert in another direction. I guess that’s why I’m only here some nights, and why she didn’t cut her hair.

The skin between her shirt and belt are warm like I remember, and Kurt’s starring at me again, and I guess everything else is pretty much the same. Except there’s another invisible tally in my head — painted in the inside of my mind every time my head hits the pillow here and I wonder where it is I’m really supposed to be.



A Collection of very short fiction by Nick Anderson

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