The Games We Play

by J. Bradley


I can see the razor burn on his neck as he leans closer. He parts his mouth, letting his tongue pour slightly over his lower lip. I do the same, then close my eyes. No one is getting out of this alive.


“Gennie, there's something I should show you before we have sex.” I untie my bathrobe, shrugging my shoulders to make it fall to the floor.


I part my legs. “Just kidding.”


The Rules

While someone blows you, you pinch their nose until it gets really red and they have to release. As they cough and gasp for air, you ask “how much did you like those reindeer games?” The winner is the person who can escape the house without criminal charges.


During the hangover, I crawl to my desktop computer and then Google “rapid STI testing” and “speedy divorce”. There's sometimes too much truth among friends and shot glasses.


“Dude, you think if we showed David Lightman his future, he'd let WOPR start a nuclear war?”

“Nah, he'd just let some warheads hit New York City. The nuclear winter might help make Sarah Jessica Parker look bearable.”


We clutched the bottle rockets, watched the fuses blacken. Sometimes, the smoldering ruins remember how you didn't want to let them go, how pouring my beer on the grass made we want to do it even more.


His mouth was 80 proof.

I counted the dust mites on the fan blades, back paddling the shallow lake of navy blue cotton.

I couldn't make her a Donner or a Blixen.

I lied when I kept the shot glass on the table.

The only way to win is not to play.

The only way to win is to stay.