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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Kevin O'Cuinn

Jim did (free-range) eggs over easy, crispy fried (to perfection!) bacon (from vegetarian pigs somewhere in the Pyrenees), whole wheat toast, farm-fresh butter, freshly squeezed OJ (organic), freshly brewed (fair trade/organic) Java coffee, bliss. He served Rebecca in bed, with a red rose between his teeth. The pack of Kents was a nice touch, too. Jim did his speciality, cunnilingus, before entering her (missionary position -- Rebecca's stomach was far too full for anything else), he whispered sweet nothings, gave her a shiatsu massage and ran a bath for her. At the last moment her realized there were no bath crystals so he sprinted 4 miles crosstown and purchased a pistachio bathbomb. He was back before she'd finished smoking her second. While she bathed he cleaned the kitchen, put on a wash, and vacuumed the apartment. Jim blew dry Rebecca's hair and wrapped her in cotton wool before carrying his angel back to the freshly made bed. He helped her into just-ironed pajamas, sang a lullaby, and only left when he was sure she was sound asleep. She'd never slept better, ever.

Rebecca had decided to choose. There would be no more two-timing the fabulous O'Shaughnessy boys. She had just signed a preliminary agreement with Faber & Faber for her book 'How to Cheat on a Twin.' Mission accomplished, one of them had to go. They were both fine representatives of what the gene pool had to offer. If they had flaws it was that they came too close to perfection. True, Jim still had a Meatloaf thing going on, but Joe was still getting over his Lady Di fixation. Even Stevens. As for the whole money thing, well shit, it didn't matter, after Rebecca's Oprah interview she'd be able to keep any guy. She wasn't proud. But how, how to decide, how?

Above Rebecca's bed was a poster in Japanese which read, 'If you want to learn the highest truth, start with the alphabet.' 'Yeah, sure,' her sister Jessica said, 'and have a good breakfast.' Breakfast, of course! That was it. Whoever stages the best breakfast wins.

Joe arrived a little late but hey the traffic, and she'd heard about the smash-up on the radio so he wasn't bullshitting -- give a guy a break, especially when he doesn't know what's at stake.

'Breakfast...yeah,' said Joe, 'I'll be right there, close your eyes.' He took a can of pineapples from his backpack, opened it and drank off the juice. Stripped and laying beside Rebecca, he carefully placed the rings where they best fitted, added yogurt, a squirt of honey and broke the seal on an ice-cold bottle of Stolichnaya.

Rebecca looked on in shock-horror and disbelief, then struck by sudden realization, 'Joe, oh my...ohh, Joe! Ohhh Joe, it's you I want!' Then she buried her face in his lap, swinging her legs tightly around his face. Before she suffocated her love to death she thought she heard him say, 'Eat it while it's hot, girl, eat it while it's hot.'

Kevin's favorite breakfast is crispy fried kidneys and a pint of stout, but he's open to suggestions.