I do one hundred push-ups and sit-ups each day so I can feel tight. Feeling tight is a must when you’re skinny. Probably when you’re fat too. Or in her vagina. Or when it’s your vagina, but I wouldn’t know how that feels since I’m the one in her, not her with me inside. Not her when she looks like she’s thinking about something else. Maybe she’s counting cracks on my bedroom ceiling or how many times my neighbor’s dog barks in one minute’s time. I’ve counted before and he’s barked as many as seventy-eight times. His bark, so piercing, I’m sure he’s deaf. Maybe that’s why he won’t shut up. He thinks his barks go unheard.

I thought my comment went unheard. We were at this dinner party and I said one of her friends smelled like plastic. Like the inside of a hot Tupperware bowl.  It can happen. People smell like weird stuff and hot plastic was the best I had. Maybe I was drinking too much again. I tend to do so at these dinner parties. But honestly, I didn’t mean for her friend to hear me. I tried to whisper it in my head but they told me I said it out loud. At full voice. They said  I looked right at her. Maybe I’m going deaf too. That’s something to think about. Me and the dog – deaf.

My triceps are almost there. Almost full horseshoes. The muscles should protrude from the back of the arm like small horseshoes buried beneath the skin. I’d think she would enjoy my arms. Maybe squeeze them. But her eyes are closed and her arms are folded behind her cocked head. She never tells me how it feels. Whether it’s tight enough. Would it hurt to tell me? Or forgive me for telling her friend she smelled like plastic? Maybe that’s why her eyes are closed. She finished counting and now she’s thinking about her friend. It’s weird but I’m thinking about her too. That kind of smell, that hot plastic, it burns in your nose.

Daniel W. Thompson is an urban planner in Richmond, Virginia, where he lives with his wife and daughter. His writing has appeared in Bartleby Snopes and is forthcoming in Jersey Devil Press.

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