Flash Fiction: One of Those Miserable Nights

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It is one of those goddam miserable nights when you drop your pants and moon at the windows of the fanciest restaurant in town and there’s no one there to be offended. And you’re playing this stupid water-sodden game to the honky-tonk sound track of rain pounding relentlessly against parked cars and the empty sidewalk. And in that desolate downpoured landscape, as you stand bare-assed and bow-legged, the deepening puddles become mirrors of liquid reality. Looking down by chance, you catch an imaged glimpse of your two pink cheeks, porcine in their spattered exaggeration, and you grab your pants, pulling them roughly over your dripping thighs, and walk away quickly, glancing forever backwards into the storm.

Zoned out, soft drugs and hard liquor fighting like gangsters for the prime real estate of your brain, you wander haphazardly across town, past neon-besmirched video arcades where the dregs coagulate, along silent retail streets where the huge plate glass windows reflect the singing puddles, and the puddles reflect the windows, through mud-coated park gates to find yourself before the stone-dead statute of Victory. Carved as the archetypal goddess of Samothrace, this graven image dedicated to the long dead of yesterday’s wars, seems to weep in the tempest as you pray screaming into the wind.

But she weeps not for you. She bears no halo and will grant you no epiphany, nor offer you release from the madness of your heartache; no resolution, not even a towel. And you stand in your hysteria, in your sodden pants and sweater and boots, and the best you can do is watch the white residue of pigeons wash across the statute’s shoulders and wish the ground would swallow you whole.

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