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Imagine sitting here in a wooden chair with Chinese soft somethings under your ass, leaning on a green laminated particle board twice processed table. You’ve been here for a while. You’re miserable because you hate your job. You wait for the accented drawl of the guest social media marketing specialist from Tuscaloosa to end like a root canal. You wait for his mouth to seal like two slices on a grilled cheese sandwich. You wait for the grizzly meat speckled jaws of Hell to open up beneath the floor and swallow all these lifeless marketing representatives, including yourself. If only God showed mercy.

Imagine you’re a guy. Imagine there is a pretty girl watching this same thing in this same room. Long high heeled legs, blue jeans, and a nice enough shirt to pass for business casual among a bunch of old overweight men. Nobody questioned the blue jeans. Between the smile, the eyes, and the laugh she could have worn a poncho and nobody would have blinked. The laugh sealed it. A laugh like a woman about to sprout her hidden wings and fly home.

She giggled a lot in the theater but we had a good time. We quit our jobs and moved into a banana peel yellow Winnebago. We drove and lived for a long time in big places. A Midwest town enveloped us. We started a business, Wreckords and More. Our daughter was beautiful. She looked like Audrey Hepburn at ten years old.

“Shotgun,” her dad said to me with a grin in a white tuxedo. I chuckled because that’s what married men do. I remember our daughter trying on her mom’s jeans and liking them because they were retro. She went to an expensive college with lots of brick buildings. We moved to the coast in a white cottage with a blue door. I painted the door before we unloaded the truck. It smeared on my shirt when we moved the couch in. We started a new business. All You Can Read, a used bookstore. We had beautiful chairs. Beautiful dark wicker chairs. Her legs bare beneath a polka dot skirt. Veined the way black streaks run through white marble statues of goddesses. She hands me a glass of water with half a lemon slice floating on top and smiles.

Stop imagining. The presentation is over. We stand. We walk down the stairs.

“Excuse me,” I say, “Would you like to see a movie?




Jake Zawlacki lives in Cental Asia where he conducts research, volunteers and speaks foreign languages horribly. He has been published in 101words, zeroflash, Aphelion, and a few others. You can read his thoughts and adventures on his website at


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