Friday, March 01, 2013

The Streak - 94

“That was Joe. Matt. Joe,” I declare blankly.

“What are we going to do with you, one-seven? You’re fictitious,” Kyle says, giving the flatscreen a nod. “That’s a fact.”

“It don’t seem right.” I gulp a mouthful of Scotch.

“What don’t?”

“They delivered my double into the jaws of Moo.”

“Good. Fuck him and lucky you.”

“I don’t like it. That’s a guy who looks like me. Acts like me. Assumes my habits. My first and last names.”

I feel myself growing oddly emotional. My arms are quaking lightly, like I’m breaking down.

Kyle peers at me with a frown. “Yeah but it’s not you. Right?”

I gaze at my hands, front and back. I can’t be entirely sure whether I’ve ever seen these hands before.

“Seventeen!” Kyle admonishes, and I pull back into the light a little.

“I gotta go to the bathroom and stare at the mirror and freak myself out for a little while,” I tell him resolutely. I need something. Strong medicine. “Paint some stars onto the stall walls with my noseblood.”

“Won’t be the first time,” he says absently, looking up at the TV.


“Whatever strikes your fancy.”

“Don’t say strike,” I say as I ease off the barstool.

I look back at him a couple times for some reason. First when I’m a bit lost in the sea of little tables and chairs that ring the bar. He’s chewing on his fucking swizzle stick and staring at the TV that says I’m gone. That says I’ve been abducted.

I look again when I’m in the little walkway that leads to the roulette and the blackjack. He’s still there doing the same thing. Only a little smaller.

I look again when I’m nearing the smooth marble archway that opens into the lavatory atrium. Giant potted ferns. There he is still there.

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