Talk To Me
by Len Kuntz

He calls me Cricket, says I’m cute as a bug, the best girlfriend he’s ever had.  He plays connect-the-dots with my freckles, across my shoulders, then my face.   He says I’m his first love, his last, just like that, without irony, without blinking.  It’s so hot on the boat dock I can’t breathe.  It’d be nice to believe him.  I don’t.  

He shucks his shorts, grins.  “C’mon, let’s go skinny dipping!”   

I shake my head, look away before his grin fades.  

Splash.  “C’mon,” he yells.  “While we’re young!”  

I want to say something mean and clever.  How that was funny when Rodney Dangerfield said it, but not now.  I can’t think what.   

He climbs out dripping, pissed.  In five minutes I’m not Cricket anymore.  Now it’s Prude.  Shitty Girlfriend.  You Suck.    

I could call him back, lose my suit, what’s it matter.  I don’t know.  I take off my sunglasses, squint at the sun.  It’s a white fruitstand cherry.  It’s seen everything— dinosaurs, Jesus, all four Beatles alive.  

“Talk to me,” I say.  “Tell me.”  I don’t hear anything. 

Len Kuntz lives on a lake in rural Washington State.  His writing appears widely in print and online at such places as Necessary Fiction, Juked, Rumble and also at lenkuntz.blogspot.com.

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