[any given story by a young American male writer]

[Friend from childhood who made poor life choices] and I went to [location in a small American town that connotes economic misfortune but also freedom from authority] to perform [custom that is recreational and unique to the area, and is fraught with meaning for local children, but is somehow obsolete and pathetic when undertaken by adults].

“Do you ever think about [event in our past that ended in tragedy and shaped our lives in separate, ineffable ways]?”

“No,” I said. “I never do.”

But the truth is I think about [event] all the time. Even when I’m sleeping with [lover].

“I think about it sometimes,” [friend] said.

“Oh yeah?”

An [animal indigenous to the area] appeared directly in front of us.

“Fuck it,” [friend] said. “Let’s get some [cuisine that is a regional specialty].”

*          *          *

At the home where I grew up, [relative] was indulging in [habit that is addictive and unhealthy].

“Don’t you stand there and judge me with your [big city / college boy] ways,” said [relative].

“I just want to help you get over [habit].”

[Relative] laughed and went back to indulging in [habit]. “Good luck.”

*          *          *

[Lover] called me.

“Did you find whatever it is you’re looking for in that shithole of a town?”

“Yes and no,” I said.

“When are you coming back?”

“I need to figure out a few things.”

“Like what?”

“It’s hard to explain.” I sighed. “It’s, like, hard.”

[Lover] said, “[I’m pregnant. / I’m gay. / I’m leaving you for my creative writing instructor.]”

*          *          *

I was doing [act that arises from boredom, but upon further reflection is highly symbolic and full of local flavor] when [animal] crossed my path again. For some reason I thought of [event], and how strange it is that certain things can mean everything in the world to you, and also mean nothing at all. As I gazed at [animal], I knew I would always carry these two worlds inside me, and not belong in either one. I would have to seek out a new kind of happiness in between.

Fucking A, I thought.

“Fucking A.”



  1. This is the [sexually vivacious male actor] of [funny internet meme your dowdy aunt will accidentally forward you three months too late].

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