City Girl

She wasn’t one of these people who screw people over (or even just screw them) for no reason whatsoever—she’d met a few people who were like that, and she wasn’t about to make that mistake again, hanging out with people who literally made you sick when you thought about them, so it was better just not to think of them at all—except when you were explaining it to someone like this—but now she was really happy with her life and herself, and she was thankful for that, not in a religious way, like thankful to God or something—Christ no!—or even in some New Age way, like thankful to some cosmic blahblah dotcom force—no, she was just sort of grateful to life itself, she supposed, and there was absolutely nothing at all that was even remotely religious about that, and as for boyfriends, well, don’t even get her started on them, because she wasn’t getting any younger, twenty-eight and two years out of school, where she had gotten an utter bullshit diploma that was a complete waste of her time (but that was another story) and of course—since she’d first had sex when she was fifteen—she’d (you know) not exactly been around the block a few times (she hated that expression) but she’d been pretty active for half her life, not that she’d necessarily slept with tons of guys or anything: there were only twelve or thirteen of what she called her major boyfriends, not counting Tom, because she was absolutely not prepared to dignify a piece of abusive shit like him with an innocuous title like ‘boyfriend’ (nuh), and so (she might’ve come from a little town like Marathon, but she was a city girl now and had been since she’d run away from home when she was fifteen and moved downtown to live with Stevie, who just stayed home and smoked all the time and stunk their basement place up so much she was glad of the fresh air she got working as a waitress at Sneaky Disease) she’d kind of grown up early and that was what made her so mature—in a lot of ways she’d already lived about three whole lifetimes, and consequently, if a streetcar were to roll over her and cut her in half when she was crossing at College and University, she liked to think her bleeding torso would still be able to twist around a bit and get a last glimpse of those puffy clouds drifting across the mirrored glass of the Hydro building’s concave face, because that’s just the kind of person she was.

Mark Crimmins’s flash fictions have been published in Flash Frontier, Portland Review, Gravel, Restless, Atticus Review, DOGZPLOT, and elsewhere.

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