How I Win
I. Matt Chomiak says that you drive by my house late at night when you shouldn’t be driving. Inside I sit on the toilet and wear a tiara that says HOORAY. Let’s pick the polish off my toes.
II. I could never live here alone is a thing I say when I want to look more expensive and drag–able. And not so much like you could ask me to walk you out to your car. You’re always scared but so are all the seniors.
III. I’d like to go back to the arcade with you so I can make your mom sad. She doesn’t want to see how photogenic I am when I scream at the skeeball alley:
A skee skee mother fucker!
My hair is so nappy!
Your dad does a line off of his pizza crust and says, “Well I like her!”
IV. As long as you don’t take your shirt off, we should be fine. There’s a tuft of hide that’s already poking through the third button, so calm down the smallest bit. Let’s hug mouths and then re–do it. (You went in too far. I was trying to be little.)
When you pull your fingers out they’ll drip with wolves and science.
You’re allowed to take a whiff on the way home.
V. I don’t know if you remember this.
C. and I get there first and our frog is just the WORST. Bent leg. Porn star eyes. A big female–y condom dead in a tray.
C. says, “No,” and switches it with the one across the way. The one belonging to the girls who say things like “I’m cold!” and “Our moms are friends.”
I love touching hips with her when we do our best. When our dead beast is the model citizen. The cold girls take forever because they can’t find the stomach. I would have looked in the mouth first but that’s just me.
VI. I’ve never had a swimsuit that I didn’t leave in a hotel shower.
VII. You blow your nose into a receipt. They call your name to graduate.
Opportunities For Growth
I’m a receptionist but I’m really a painter. That’s the reason I’m a receptionist. So I can be a painter. And if you don’t get it then you’re just jealous of my future success and nude dust jacket covers in the Barnes and Noble at Union Square, and lots of drunk delete delete deletes on my fancy dance Internet.
I say hi. You say hi. I stick my fingers down my pants.
Would you like some water?
No thanks, I’m okay.
I got you this water.
Oh man, this tastes great.
Sometimes I say, “I know, right?” And sometimes I’m all, “It’s not my first rodeo”(I wink when I say this– or – my face winks. And somewhere deep inside a black bear, my Warby Parkers and right eye, they wink too).
You’re here to see Dr. Weismann?
I’ve had two abortions since Christmas.
Is that the wifi password?
Yes. No caps. No spaces.
Now it’s quiet forever. You reach across India and type Best in Show two hundred times with your littlest finger.
Miss, my appointment was supposed to start fifteen min–
Ohmygosh shut up stop talking to me I just got another painting assignment I have to paint a letter:
“Dear Dad. I just got my second painting job and I still don’t forgive you for anything. Yours, the pretty one.”
On the windows and plastic trees and glasses of water around my desk I brainstorm and I touch my chin and I innovate. I spend the day painting and slam poeting a card to the president of technology.
He opens the card in front of people who want to go home. On the inside flap, it says: Happy Birthday.
All the wine bottles are cold, but only at the bottoms.
Kiley Reid lives and writes in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in December, One Throne Magazine, Corium, CityScapes, and others. Kiley works as an Editorial Assistant at Aesthetics of Joy, and behind the counter at Blackboard Grocery. She can be found online at kileyreid.com.
Photo by brian