by Shelt Garner
“Can I be in it?” Dipshit Mike asked as he opened the door of the anonymous bar. I was leaned over the bar working on my novel — and he knew it, hence the question. Why someone — anyone — would ask such an idiotic question never failed to amaze me.
For a moment, I wished I had a gun on me to make it clear he could not be in the novel I was working on. Dipshit Mike was a college student at Ohio State University and the “partner” of my old girlfriend Angie Gregory who was also at the door with him.
Dipshit Mike always had a shit-eating grin on his face. He was always moving around in a twichy fashion. What Angie saw in him I didn’t know. I just saw him as fucking annoying.
I talked to both of them frequently via the streaming service Periscope and Dipshit Mike reminded me of myself at that age, or at least, all the most irritating aspects of me at that age. He did not listen. He asked cloy, saccharine questions meant to provoke. He made me want to pull a gun on him simply to shut him up.
I pushed these thoughts aside for the moment and gave my ex Angie a kiss on the cheek. We were all back home for a series of funerals associated with the COVID19 pandemic. “Have you changed his dipers today,” I asked Angie about Dipshit. “Your infant seems a little bit more cranky than usual.”
“Do you hate me?” Dipshit Mike said, conspicuously holding Angie’s hand.
I again wished I had a gun, something to make it clear how annoying I found him. What’s a little pistil whipping between friends if it makes a point? Then I remembered Angie was looking at us and sighed deeply.
“No, you fucking dipshit, I don’t hate you,” I said. “I simply find you extremely fucking annoying and get angry at all your idiotic, oblivious questions that could easily be avoided if you just listened.”
We got a table and started to talk about the upcoming funerals. The peer group I shared with Angie had been ravaged by COVID19. I looked at her briefly. She noticed me studying her and she flipped back her wavy black hair nervously. We had sex every time she was in town — Dipshit Mike be damned — but maybe not this time. We were all too sad.
No less than 3 people that Angie and I knew were dead from COVID19, struck down, to use the cliche, in the prime of life. And now a group of us were about to have a weekend-long wake for the fallen before the funerals began.
God help us all.