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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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eric graf

--wow its cold in here.. you thought maybe we would go out for some beer and watch the.. oh.. you don't.. well we can do anyth.. you are.. oh i.. yeah 4 i'll.. ok? and the phone stoops in its cradle sounding constant when sleeping and looking out past the glass windows road construction keeps pillows pressed to the ears head sandwich until air condis blows a cool air down these spine

--we could get some beers, right? and a little nascar. a zoom zoom with some beer and a friend, right? first must escape your bedroom.

--yes? holding the curve with his shoulder balancing it on the pillow there --well, tell them to go straight to hell.. yes i mean it.. why should anyone want to say.. what do you mean my credit.. isn't this sunday the day of the.. i mean.. yes, you know exactly what i mean and the.. no.. and the the.. yeah, i'm fucking broke.. no, i can hear you i.. well enough of this experimentation er with the loan you.. don't tell me i know all about.. yeah i do.. just cause yeah uh i know.. why report it, what?

--i was just wondering what all this yelling was all about?

cupping a hand over the phone --oh, well, i got this money.. but she already walked away staring into the phone, its dead must move this body around if there is going to be any well now i'm clean enough to face what? into another room towel around my waist passing a mirror ouch what happened last night i wonder hair all a there she

--you look like shit uh?

--er yes well last night remember that loud..

--you mean that noise what as it last night that was more like ten this mor..

--yes well morning night whats the hey this coffee?

clean me dirty streets this south side thing has got to stop enough the road deconstruction few enough buses as it is whos whos in well i've never lived with such noisy trucks --hey you mister..

--you me i don't have any money..

--no i want to give you see this.. reaching into the bag --yeah here you've been served asshole!

--this isn't my what the fuck er hey not my name i'll report you where the fuck did he go?

--such language.. a sound from something small corner of my eye some lady look at all those bags --i've never heard such language..

--you've never heard see here you little that guy er he brought these papers out to serve me see..

--serve you see you don't make any..

--no legal papers like i have to go to court..

--oh my are you illegal?

--how's that?

--leagle eagle then choo choo?

--crazy old bird you knew all along thats going on here..

--choo choo i'm not cute like girl anymore sing me a song er piano man sing me a..

a bus pushes full --what a sunday what a hey this go all the way yeah okay now you got change no?

bus driver looking skeptical --change? this is the bus change?

--you mean oh fine fine here one two..

--she with you? looking back money i've just paid elderly woman exposed to the waist smiling --jesus no i've just holy shit no room here now is.. moving unsteady bus smells something burning hair

--yeah thanks there bus driver i..

--just get off you fuckin.. as he pulls away the doors close not really allowed to slam eyes that close ponderances --whose part of town is this?

--spare a..

--never? running now to the ship inn fast as these broken legs can punish me d'jour front now how long?

--what a beer then?

--you're an hour late see this race shit like its the 5th inning and courage bobby labonte feel down he's praying like dale earnhardt down on him he's got him into the wall now see the fire and eye candy like a ride in disney whoops..

he's onto the floor --i guess i got here too..

--no right on time? motioning he pushes 4 bottles onto the floor and tries to catch them sending 4 more down to --shit i can't believe it, you think they'll kick us out of here too? genuine fear in his eyes make you think of a woman in a bear suit

--what color was that again, that bear suit?

--what are you talking about no bartender he's fine just a little labonte yeah oh i'll take two more whatever he's..

--alright see this here television place they do it for me every sunday like when we used to go and get food at the little place leo's what's her name again that one oh yeah go go go! yelling at the tv tears in his eyes i guess

--jesus they open at noon i'll catch up dont you..

--yeah no prob i mean look at that i could drive faster than..

--you mean in that little japanese number you got zoom zoom?

--shit what you you know where i'm from yeah?

--oh that has nothing..

--shit you gotta respect my hood down there in the hills by the rocks we got my whole family you better never set foot in the state with those leather pants well now shit!

--alright calm down..

--the fucking caution flag these referees never let them finish now..

--i'll take another yeah him too served with papers..

--who you got ha ha!

--its not funny now i don't know what..

--no not you this race here he threw it right in there pit stop look at that front end damage if we could only turn it up now why don't you yeah this here laughable judge speaking of which my brother oh no lords name in vain now speaking of which what do you know who's papers?

--served me right by the bus stop..

--serves you nope see caution again these guys we'll never all we need now is a rain delay make this shit go on..

--i'll take another yeah him too on the way here this old woman she flashed her piece out..

--what's that who?

--this crazy old..

--don't worry about that never seen those before huh? moving a marvelous pair of dick shades into the vicinity.

--no my god where did you find these?

--little rack out back the dairy queen in knoxville..

--when were you in..?

--been saving em for the right time you see this shit look at this mess damn twat do you think this earnhardt jr. lap dog number car..

--no i don't know what you mean yeah another shit strong this stuff what is it motor oil..

--no brought it special for race day a little tail gate richard petty's the sponser thats his car.. pointing a finger at the television with about 40 cars on it.

from down the bar --fuck you too buddy!

--no that's my friend he was pointing at..

--i know who he's pointing at he's a fuck..

--no no now this here look i'm a martian you know from mars?

--what the fuck..? looks stupefied and scared.

--yeah thats right special powers let's get out of this..

--who shit caution flag..

--sure has a funny way of talking now doesn't your friend..

--he's a martian too buddy from down the southern way turns into chickens and now you see..

running from driving customers away he's yelling back --see you later alligator! only place that will have us is some place

--what was all that about look rusty marlin silver dollar!

--oh yeah when this is over..


pulling from his pocket a flask we're headed west --did you see that photo finish in the journal american medicine..

--yeah gimme some of that medicine there..

--don't take it all we got atleast a few more blocks till we get to the destination station heavenly i mean holy shit that richard petty oil i can barely walk now..

--yeah not see good myself in the bright lights big city bobby what is this brickyard that race..

--don't act like that waving it around they'll confiscate..

--did you say con..

--uh here we be..

door now opening out solution customer service is always right drinks in the perfect surrounding hipster nation voting green hate to see it all go down the tubes dangerous --we got seats shit i thought we'd be standing out there on the floor..

--where else to stand out the on the..

--don't be a smart say look over there that one..

--yeah well we all know that will lead to children and the marital persua..

--don't talk crazy not in this its perfect..

--heard someone pulls the sink off the bathroom wall..

--when not now i hope i gotta..

sadly marching off relief now in sight --two cheap beers please..

--you got that money now yea!

--what i can't hear you the moneys too loud!


handing over two cold slippery now my ass planted firmly customer service revolver hidden in whose back pocket or under the bar not in my name these protest swell

--smells something like danger..

--here i got you..

drinking and foaming --this ain't this here motor..

man steps into --you guys fags or something?

--well what is this sunday you got some rags to grease in the alley fucker labonte i'll suck you right down in the suburbs smash and grab your face all or nothing yuppie punk!

--likely story you bodine what's that?

--oh my notebook you don't hey goddamnit!

--fuck the arts! tearing my notebook away