Rosa

“Beer’s in the fridge man!”

I walked over to Greg’s fridge. Inside was a bottle of ketchup, mustard, and some mayo. And of course some bottles of Yuengling. It looked oddly familiar. I opened up the freezer. Tostinos frozen pizza and unlabeled frozen burritos.

“I see you regressed about ten years.”

“Yeah, well, it was better then, anyway.”

I hadn’t seen Greg in most of those years. Those years consisted, for both of us, of married life and some children. And for him alone, some divorce. The whole time I had been in his divorced guy loft, there was a smell I couldn’t place. Like the frozen pizza and the clink of the beer bottles, like Greg himself, the smell made me think of the dorm we shared. Then I remembered. It was Febreeze.

“Bottle opener?” I asked and opened a drawer. I immediately shut it.

“Twist off dude.”

“Uh, Greg. Why are there a bunch of penises in your kitchen drawer?”

“Oh, I see you have found the drawer o’ phallus. Doesn’t take you long, does it?”

I opened it again just for another quick look. It was like a train wreck. Hard to not look. They were from magazines and it looked like he had cut them out with scissors.
“What the hell are you doing with pictures of dicks?”

“The drawer o’ phallus does have a special purpose man. They are for anti-corporate statements.”

“What the hell you talking about?”

“Alright, what I do is I send those phallus in the postage paid envelopes that come in my junk mail. Doesn’t cost me anything but time. The post office gets paid. But some corporate stooge gets to open it up and look at a pornstar cock! Pretty good huh? I even print some out but they are pixilated. Pixilated peni!”

Greg laughed that charmed laugh I remember. I had to chuckle myself.

“That is fucking hilarious man. It seems like I heard of that before. Did Tyler Durden do that or something?”

“I don’t remember. Maybe in the book. I only remember the movie. Actually take a look over there.”

I looked behind the bed to see an old poster with familiar wrinkles and familiar tears in the corners from countless tacks. It had Brad Pitt and Edward Norton smiling with bloody faces. The same poster had been in our dorm room.

“You know, I don’t think Tyler Durden was really supposed to be a hero. More like an anti hero.”

“Yeah well, Brad Pitt is a bad ass and played him like a bad ass. Girls dig Brad Pitt which means I wanted to be like Brad Pitt. Guess they miscast.”

“I remember your signed book. You still read that guy? What I remember about the book was the bomb making and the even less subtle homoerotic undertones.”

“That’s what the whole thing is about. Bomb making and homoeroticism.”

“And that’s why he’s your hero?”

“It’s all the same thing isn’t it?”

“Huh?”

“Bombs and homoeroticism. The climax.”

“What are you talking about man? And what are you looking at?”

The whole time I had been talking to Greg he had been sitting and staring at his computer. He had not even looked at me during our Fight Club talk. He had the glazed and intense look of someone absorbed in their computers. I wasn’t sure he was looking for more dicks for his drawer o’ phallus. I didn’t really want to know.

“Alright, check this out. You asked me earlier what I do for draws’ now. Let me show you.”

“Draws’?? What I asked you was if you had been on any dates. If you had had any female contact since the divorce. I didn’t ask about fornication, or how you eloquently put it, how many ‘draws’’ you’ve gotten.”

“Whatever. Check this out.”

“Draws’. Dude, I haven’t referred to it as that in years.”

“Oh sorry, Mr. Happily Married. ‘Love Making.’ Let me show you how I ‘make sweet love.’”

We both laughed. The Febreeze smell was intense near his computer.

“Alright, check it out. Check out my new blog.”

“’Mindsweeps.’ Cool name. I didn’t know you had one man. Send me the link so I can follow..”

“No, no, no. This isn’t a real blog man. It’s my draws’ blog.”

I was confused. I started reading some of his latest post. It was poetry about his soul and love. It wasn’t that great and didn’t seem like the type of stuff that Greg had wrote in college. He was more violent, extreme and more than a little politically incorrect. I really dug his poetry back then.

“What is this soul shit?”

He laughed.

“Dude, this is better than Myspace, Facebook, even Singles websites.”

“You lost me man.”

“Alright, here’s what I’ve been up to. I started this blog about eight months ago. I’ve set it up like I’m a sensitive poet type. Like a tortured romantic soul. And I’ve been running with it. Chicks really dig it. So then I find these chick poets who are young and write poetry because they want to feel real special and deep, and really the shit isn’t that great, but what the hell. So I start following them and leaving really sweet comments about their posts. They start to do the same with my sensitive guy poetry and then I hit them with an email. Something like ‘hey I really dig your stuff. I feel like we got some type of connection, blah blah blah.’ That starts an email chain. Then I lay down the charm. Bam! Draws’!”

“That shit has worked?!”

“More than you know man. And they aren’t just in this city. You know how I travel for work? I try to work on girls that I know I’ll visit real soon. That makes it easy. Cause then I just fuck ‘em and get to come home.”

“Dude you are nuts.”

“Thank ya, thank ya. It’s better than other websites ‘cause the chicks are usually a lot hotter. You know, they are the hot chicks who are too bashful to talk to on facebook, and then they think you are a hero for reading and digging their poetry. It’s too easy.”

“Man, but there’s a lot of good shit out there.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. And to be honest, my sensitive guy poetry really isn’t that bad! I kind of just reword some Saul Williams type shit, you know? And yeah, some of the chicks I comment on really can write. That makes it easy for me to comment. I’m only lying like sixty percent.”

“Yeah, well wait til your daughter starts writing and gets into that. Then gets taken advantage of by some creep.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me man. There’s a lot of dudes that do it. I start to recognize some of them. The creepers who know the scam are easy. Cause we end up backing of. Like we recognize each other or something. Isn’t that funny? But then there are some guys who don’t do it on purpose. They are genuine about their comments but don’t know why they are doing it. They don’t know about the Law of Draws’”

“Not that shit again!”

“’The Law of Draws’ states that anything a man does is always for the Draws’! If intentionally or unintentionally, it all comes down to the Draws’!’”

“I can’t believe you still say that shit man. That marriage or kids didn’t make you become a grown up?”

“Look man, you can deny that every man does everything just to get laid or you can go with it. I’ve lived life understanding that simple, factual principle. I’ve gotten countless draws’ and I am content.”

“You’re also a divorced guy, who sees his kids every two weeks, and lives in a dorm room.”

“Fuck off.”

“Sorry man, didn’t mean to…”

“Dude, I’m fucking with you. I don’t really care what you think. Look.”

He pointed to a wooden sign with words painted by a small blue paint brush. I knew it well. Both of us had made one.

Never explain, never apologize.

“Remember when that was your motto?”

“Yeah, Greg, I remember.”

“Remember you had a tough time writing because you always wondered if your mom would read it? And how those four words set you free?”

“Yeah. Great way to write.”

“Yeah, and a great way to live.”

by Robert Beaird

Return to Issue 45