18 to 22
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Me? I'm squared away. OK, maybe I drive slower. I drive slower. Sometimes I will confuse actual wheels and thoughts about wheels. I'll think well, both take you places and I will smile into someone's forehead, like the azimuth above the eyes, my father's forehead or my wife's forehead but you know they just look into the ground. I'm against gum chewing. But I do like the songs of birds and the way they bathe in dust and everything is OK and I'm not like the others so I just thank God for that one. I stay out in the shed. I construct birdhouses or maybe a little chess set and I'll drink 18 to 22 beers and have my headlamp and the flashlights light bulbs a lighter some other flashlights or flares I mean Zippo lighters or bottle rockets a mosquito zapper because if you hold two of everything real close, you will be ready. Or even you could share . . . like if somebody suddenly appears or disappears. Listen: Warm beer is the natural way. People just stow items into the refrigerator. Unnecessary. Butter, mayonnaise, eggs, Twizzlers, spread-of-cheese, ketchup packets. Some apples or some dates. They don't even figure out why. Maybe somebody told them to. Maybe they saw someone do it. So they just do it too, in the darkness. That's people all summed up. Except for me. I wear the same size pants I wore when I was sixteen. I'm not skinny just squared away, I told you. Strong. I could say I hump 18 to 22 klicks in one night and that's a procedure to stay high and tight right there. The moon up big and bright and you feel like everyone can see you, some big-ass silver eyeball. But I don't want the dark on me anyways, like I don't want to wear the darkness. Dark on things plenty but now you keep looking like everybody else, like I'm talking in a foreign tongue. Al-khair! Or Frigidaire or blah, blah, blurry hair . . . the fuck is blurry hair? Oh I could tell you. I got lucky. I am a fortunate man. Billet out in the shed. Construct birdhouses or little wooden bowls. And one of the kids will text me, or the wife, she'll text me, and I know. I know right then. Come into the house, Tommy. No one is chewing gum or blowing bubbles. Yes I. Will. Come into the house. I will remain in that location for 18 to 22 minutes, and then you know, I'm sorry; I'm gone. [End Page 13]

Sean Lovelace

Sean Lovelace lives in Indiana, where he eats nachos and runs far and plays disc golf and teaches creative writing at Ball State University. He just dropped Fog Gorgeous Stag (Publishing Genius) and a flash fiction collection with other authors, They Could No Longer Contain Themselves (Rose Metal), on the world. He writes for HTML Giant. He blogs at seanlovelace.com.

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