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Molly and I Always Went To the Fancy Taco Bell in East Waterbury Instead of the Shitty One Downtown photo

The summer she was without anyone

and I had just left the other girl

in Jersey City,

Molly and I kissed at her house. We were adults

who lived with our parents. She seemed like a

wanderer from

a different moment in

the cosmic melt. Or something. I dunno. I mean that she

was out of place and it seemed

like she should be somewhere else

instead of the places we’d been

all our lives. Somewhere else doing something.


We kissed at the movies. Neither of us

really liked it much.

We did it because we were there

and because her wet hair was

heavy in my hands

and something about her

made me forget that I’d

dropped out of everything

I’d ever dropped into,

and she didn’t care that

I took my pills in front of her


every day when we’d eat Taco Bell

at the Taco Bell on the far side of town, by the head shop,

the one that rose monolithic like a dull god before us

in its soft yellows and motherly purplish hearth,

its light spinning slowly

en pointe

above the flurry of everything else,


after we smoked in her car

as I drove us,

loud and ugly and

with my knees out through

the syrupy black woods up by the air strip

where my headlights pick up the dead deer

smeared wine stains in the frosted dirt fields,


until Molly would have to drive

because I was too high

to do anything but tear up

and drift off

and play shitty old Weezy songs

in the otherwise-standstill catnap of the night.


We did this for months.


Everyone else we’d ever kissed

was away at some school doing

some thing. We made out. We

worked—not enough, but

did it. Kissed in this

vacuum. In theory, we



The last day of July:

the heat was wet in the smoky van

and I reached for the porcelain

of her thigh

as she drove us

out away from any houses or people,

way back behind neighborhoods where

we would burn tires in quiet late-day circles

and leave our exhaust shimmering

like a mirage, sharpened

in the milk-thick air,

and she pushed my hand away—

gently and without eye contact, yes.


She had the Crunchwrap Supreme and

Diet Pepsi;

I went wild

on the Cheesy Gordita Crunch;

Baja Blast fuckin’ everywhere.


When I tried

to kiss her,

she moved her hair

to block my greasy lips


and I apologized.


I blamed it on the

weed, but

I think it was the sweet

beef and

wet cream and

mousse of beans

resting so elegantly

on the sweaty corner

of her


regal mouth

that did it

for me. Or the night

like so many nights—

shapeless, vacant.


Or maybe

it was because

she was the only

star left in the

movie I was convinced

I’d start living

soon enough, that

thing that was supposed

to have been happening all along.