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  • My head is pounding. I am feeling slightly more winded than I should after the short ride to her house. She walks back into the room with two drinks, dirty and full of ice.

    “Here’s lookin’ at you kid” I say, holding up my glass.

    “Cheers,” she says.

    We both drink and suck our teeth a little bit. It may be two in the afternoon, but there is something very good about the dirty grey goose martini on ice. I notice her fan in the window, blowing heavily. The apartment is still hot and humid.

    “It’s hot in here” she says awkwardly, looks at me, takes another sip and looks off to the side.

    “Yeh it is.”

    I look down at the coffee table. It is glass top, dirty and cluttered. A newspaper, a Rolling Stone, a half full ashtray, some local brewery coasters, ashes, dust and smears. A Chinese take out menu, folded up.

    “You got anything left from last night?” she asks, awkward still, sniffing and touching her nose.

    “Nah, we did it all. Remember?”

    She looks at me for a second, dead in the eyes. Her eyes are vacant.

    “No.” She says, and we both laugh, take another big sip of the icy drinks. I shake my head.

    “See..you’re doin’ too much.”

    She shakes her head, and looks down. Takes a sip and brushes her hair back with two hands, clenching her drink between her legs.

    “You don’t have to work tonight, do you?” I ask, already knowing the answer.

    “No, don’t you remember?” She says and laughs, and I cannot help but laugh too.

    “So, let’s go get a beer and shoot some pool. It is fucking hot in here.” I say and stand. She grabs her glass from between her legs, takes a sip, and picks her phone up off the coffee table, where it had begun to vibrate.

    The glass in my hand is so cold I can feel the water amassing between my palm and the glass. I swirl it and look down. The stick of olives sways back and forth. Holding the glass in one hand, I reach in with the other, pull the toothpick out, and bite the lowest olive off. I look out through the fan, out the window. Even the shade beneath the tree seems hot.

    I quickly finish my drink, leaving ice cubes almost completely whole in my short glass. Noticing her drink still mostly full, I ask “Mind if I make another.”

    “Sure, go ahead, there’s probably still a little left in the shaker” In the kitchen I find the shaker frosted almost half of the way up. I pour the contents into my glass. I walk back out into her living room. She is playing on her cell phone and giggling.

    “You got any cigarettes left?”

    “Maybe one or two. You can have one,” she says and holds the pack up off the coffee table.

    I sit and smoke and drink and watch the t.v. with no sound. It is some kind of crime story show. It shows a police officers talking, scenes of small town somewhere in America, then cuts to a woman named ‘Betty’ who is a ‘witness.’ She talks for just a moment, enough time to say one dramatic thing, then the show cuts to commercial. I am content with the televisions silence, the hum of the fan, the click of the buttons on her cell phone, the ice periodically shifting in the drinks. My cigarette burns long and neglected in the ash tray, smoking.

    “Ashley says she’s out of work at four thirty and wants to meet us somewhere. We should go the gorges later, go swimming or something.’”

    “Yes, maybe,” I say. “Why don’t you finish that drink, we’ll take a walk.”

    “Sure,” she says.

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