Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Streak - 28

Evan hung up his phone and gazed dully at the muted backseat screen as it counted down the best oxygen lounges in the city.

"Do your best not to fuck with me, but where have we been the last couple of hours?"

Kyle suppressed the urge to lie. He was startled by this at first, and disappointed, viewing it as a failure of imagination and a craven disavowal of his duties as a man. Under normal circumstances, Evan would want and expect to be fucked with. Even after requesting not to be. Especially after requesting not to be. Mischief and insult were their currency, the code by which they communicated. But Kyle could tell there was something the matter with Evan and he felt a strange sensation welling irrepressibly within him: an incandescence, glowing like an ember, absolute, all-encompassing and unadulterated. He ceded to it unconditionally.

"OK. Where were we? We were at the cop bar. Didn't go nowhere else. Remember Seanie? Remember Big Bill? Old Bill? Big Old Bill?"

Evan nodded slowly.

"Why, man? Didja talk to Leese? What did she say?"

"I'm OK," said Evan. "I'm alright."

"Yup. Yup, yup, yup. You are. No question about it."

"Lisa says Jackie says she saw me at Bungalow 8."

"Tonight?"

"Tonight."

"Well, you weren't there, dude. Case closed."

Evan turned to face Kyle. The sheen of sweat on his face lent an alarming urgency to his expression, which the big, black pools of his pupils already gave a fearsomely demented air.

"But why would Jackie lie?"

Dah dah dah dah dadedah!
went Kyle's phone.

"Time! Time out!" exclaimed Kyle.

"Umpire calls time!" said Evan.

"Kick the dirt out of your cleats, one-seven," said Kyle merrily, handing Evan the bullet.

"You're going to have to refill this soon," said Evan after snorting.

"Crunch all you want, we'll make more."

"So yeah," Evan said, rubbing his nose and sniffing. "Lisa says maybe I have a double."

"Someone out there pretending to be you?"

"I guess."

"Fuck it, right?"

"I dunno. You wouldn't mind if someone was telling people they were you?"

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

"What if he's a total asshole?"

"He's probably not that good an impersonator."

"Cocksucker. I mean what if he kills somebody, or rapes a chick?"

"What if he's a saint? Take your chances."

"I dunno, man. I might have to cut this off at the pass."

Kyle beheld Evan with a comically wary squint. "Evan Benjaminson, are you planning on murdering your doppelganger?"

Evan sighed. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I need someone else to be me for a while."

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