Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


premature fiction

Another Inner Strangeness

William could­n’t feel the tip of his nose any­more so he switched to cof­fee, no whiskey. Bergoyan looked and sound­ed steady. He had stopped telling Maria’s sto­ry some time ago and the two had sat drink­ing togeth­er with the mut­ed, yet rec­og­niz­able, sounds of morn­ing tele­vi­sion news com­ing through the ceil­ing and a large square of sun­light mov­ing from left to right across the kitchen tile.

The old man noticed that William did­n’t sweet­en his cof­fee with the Jameson’s and asked, “How are you now Loof?”

William felt jet lagged and thor­ough­ly dis­placed. The sto­ry, the dope, the booze, and the deep, even riv­er of the old man’s words had screwed with his sense of time and place. “Maybe I need a drink of water.”

Bergoyan brought him a glass of tap water with ice.

Thank you.”

Did you eat this morn­ing?”

Yeah.” He gulped down half the glass of water and felt a bit clear­er, if not tru­ely refreshed. “It’s still morn­ing?”

For anoth­er hour.”

I think I need a taco.”

A taco?”

Pretty soon. But I can wait. Don’t wan­ta rush it. Tacos change things.” Wow, was he still high or what. From the way the old man watched him, William knew that he had revealed his inner strange­ness too abrupt­ly, too naked­ly — as usu­al. Instead of try­ing to cov­er any­thing up now, he only said, “Maria,” which only made him feel all that much more odd.

After a pause though, the old man took up his sto­ry again. “She was easy to fall in love with and quite impos­si­ble to love.…”