Fresno Times: Lily Bean by Matt Carlson

That damn sofa was just too darn soft, she thought out loud. And that dang cigar burn brought back memories of Ted and all the trouble that last love affair had cost her.  What an asshole that guy had been. She slurped on a gigantic cola slurpie and flicked off the television. There were too many fù&*ing commercials on the tv and every five minutes or less. She felt she could put a bullet right though that screen sometimes. And no, she was not interesting in becoming a nurse, or studying to become a ….whatever. “Fuck off,” she said to the screen as it went black.

“Ding,” went her phone softly. Another message and another sales pitch. She rolled her eyes in annoyance. Today was her day off, the only one of the week. She had three jobs to pay for her bills and wondered if it would ever end. Somehow and very quickly her life had become some kind of running event. Getting up too early, running off to job number one at Windco’s grocery story, then when she finished at one p.m., she skedaddled to job number two where she sold shoes at Eartha Kits. There she worked until six; bending over and ringing up shoes for five hours was exhausting. She barely had time to get to the Fireside Bar & Grill where she served drinks which was across town. The Fireside wasn’t so bad once she got there. She got a few drinks when she wanted and aside from the painful foot work all day, she did get a bit of a social life and she still looked good in a skirt and high heels. Downside: she worked late & it’s where she’d met that turdface Ted!

She tried not to think about it mostly, but it seemed to worm itself into her awareness like a tired tampax. It was inside, it had to be there, well for a while anyway. The thing was, she had pulled the ‘tampax of Ted’ out of her body a long time ago and still that bastard’s image was haunting her. What gives?  She grabbed a cigarette out of her purse and lit it. She inhaled deeply and felt that instant rush of nicotine. “I gotta stop this shit too,” she said to herself.

Her apartment was rather nice. It was a gated community  – though everything appeared delapidated and sad today. The furniture she’d bought most of it at yard sales. she loved yard sales. It was an American heritage and you got great deals. She’s got her iron grilled coffee table at a yard sale. It was gorgeous – everybody that saw it said so. It was ornate with dark blue tiles and brown – she loved the curvy iron shape of it. She’s bought it at a yard sale where someone had lost their shirt so to speak and the sale was paying back taxes. “Ouch!” She thought.

She reached up and ran her fingers through her long brown hair feeling her scalp and massaging her temples. Her life was no longer her own. She took a deep breath and considered the break up and how she’d lost her life. Now she was paying for it with three dead end jobs and living pay check to pay check. There had to be something better than all this. And she knew too that the food that she was eating, had always eaten was a load of crap. Junk food. All of it.






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