Sep 5 2010 10:55 am

I swing for kings, kind of

Lisa found the house amongst the others because all the lights were on and all the blinds were up and all the people were everywhere inside.  The house sat at an odd angle to the street and she parked near where she thought the front door was but it turns out it wasn’t the front door and it turns out the sidewalk was uneven and so she tripped and almost broke the bottle of wine she brought but instead caught herself awkwardly on the grass and her purse fell off her shoulder and spilled a little bit of keys and makeup and then that door wasn’t the front door at all it was the back door and she opened it and squeezed passed a washing machine and then a dryer and popped into a narrow hallway and followed the sound to a larger room and when she turned the corner everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at her.  The wind blew off the lake hard and made the house creak in the silence.  Lisa thought, why isn’t there any music playing?

She turned red, looked down, and mumbled something about where she parked. 

After a few seconds Harrison said with his loud voice, “Don’t worry about it Lisa, come on in, what’d you bring?  Nice…” and put his arm around her and turned her towards the kitchen and continued to talk but you couldn’t hear them because they were walking the other way and everybody else had started talking too.

Frank was from Muskegon and got hepatitis C when he was eighteen after he got a pine tree tattooed on his leg.  The guy across the table was from Wisconsin, somewhere near La Crosse apparently, and gesticulated with his cigarette and slurred his words and took intermittent sips of beer as he held forth on Wisconsin’s superiority.  “The Lions?  Really?  Shit dude, the Packers have won more Super Bowls than the fucking Lions won games last year.  I mean, that’s pretty fucked up.”   

“You’re from La Crosse.  I’m probably more of a Packers fan then you are.  When I was kid we got all the Packers games on TV because we were so close to Green Bay.  What the fuck did La Crosse ever do?  Flood?”  Frank was getting pissed off.  This guy had been bashing West Michigan for about ten minutes.  “I bet La Crosse smells bad all the fucking time and smells really bad right after a flood.  If West Michigan is so bad what the fuck are you doing here?  Go back to your goddamn cows and stupid fucking cheese curds.  Or maybe you should move across the state, become a Lions fan, and live in fucking Royal Oak.  You’d fit in.”

“Grand Rapids is cool, but Muskegon?  Dude, what a piece of shit this town is.  I don’t even know why I came out here with you guys.”

Frank closed his eyes and shook his head slowly and rhythmically at first then faster and faster until he almost twitched.  He stood up abruptly which made his chair scrape loudly on the floor and he kind of tripped over it as he turned and walked away from the table. 

Frank was thirty four years old and scared of Lake Michigan. 


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