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Having


by P.R. Mercado


I guess it was, you know, a daze thing: He, lightly drunk, turning red in parts of his head, in his cheeks mostly, and his chest, to which my eyes were drawn because of his v-neck douchebag shirt; and I, sleepy beyond belief, sustained like a zombie only by dozens of cups of coffee, but drunken also by disappointment, and existential angst, and youth. It was 2AM, and we were by the pool; and around us were girls who wore few clothes, and foreigners who enjoyed it. 

I said, stupidly: “I don't know why it's going the way it's going, but it's going pretty bad. I guess I started to study so hard even when I didn't need to because that way I had SOMETHING, you understand? I mean I don't have good looks, or money. I don't have a family I love, or good friends. I don't have a car. But goddamn you I can quote philosophers and shit. It's all I have. Pretty shitty, in the whole scheme of things, but it's something, right? Does this make me a loser? Am I a loser?”

“I met this girl once,” he said, whiping a lock of hair from his eyes clumsily, “and I banged her in the ass, and she was so noisy that the people from the other apartments had to shut us up by smacking the walls with broom handles. So I was banging her in the ass to the rhythm of broom handles from all sides, from the ceiling and the floor and the left and the right, and it was great, man.”

And I said: “You live a simple life, but a happy life, don't you? Like a dog, or a ferret. Are you a happy ferret?”

“Then we broke up,” he said. “We broke up while eating barbecue by the bay and it stank like piss and shit and the sun was going down and we broke up because she said she felt she was not getting satisfied, and I said, not satisfied how? I banged you. I banged you all night long. I banged you when I didn't want to bang you. I banged you so hard that it was like I was being banged, and there's a long line of people banging that ultimately lead to me banging you, in full circle, like infinity or something, a banging infinity, do you know what I mean? I banged you.”

He was getting irate and people were beginning to stare. Some only heard the last sentence, and the eyebrows betrayed curiosity, and contempt, and approval, and anticipation. 

“Now you're leaving me? How could you? My floor and walls still have these little hills from the brooms, and whenever I step on one I remember you. How could you?”

I said nothing; and then: “How could she?”

He said, “She said it's not about the banging. It's about other things. Like how we don't do anything but bang. Like how we have to move on from that sometime, and that sometime didn't seem to come no matter how much time we spend, and that was sad, because she thought I was so much more, that there was more inside or something; and she left. She just left me. I hate her, man. She left me.”

He looked at me with eyes too large for their sockets, and with the disappointment hitherto only expressed by innocence and virginity; and all around there were eyes that went in our direction. 

“You're a good looking guy, man,” I said. “You're smart and you're fun to talk to and you're hot, so don't feel that way.”

The eyes rolled, and smirked, and generally dissented from the melodrama. 

“You're not a loser, man,” he said. “For most of us all we have is this one thing, and we're so afraid to lose it, and even if we begin to realize just how stupid it is, and pathetic, and fucking sad, we do it anyway, because it's all we have.”

He was so drunk; and I had to carry him upstairs to our hotel room; and in the morning I saw him in the bathroom, having thrown up, his head on the bowl, and as I brushed my teeth I said: “Yo' ok, ma'?”

He said he was. I sort of believed him.
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