He sits next to me at the bus stop and we look an odd pair. He’s got a tight pink t-shirt with the outline of a hand giving the shocker symbol and a pair of plaid shorts that perfectly compliment his flip-flops. I’m sure he’s got his fraternity letters tattooed somewhere on him, maybe his bicep, maybe his chest. I assume he wears them like some bro-approved tramp stamp, right above his groin. His hair is carefully crafted in that elegantly disheveled state. Clearly he spent more time in front of a mirror this morning than I did. I’m sitting next to him in hastily tied combat boots, so beloved and worn that the once-black leather is now a faded brown. My jeans are tight and brand-name, but the only brand of jeans that ever really mattered, and the only cut I’ll wear, and my t-shirt is a little less crass than his, a band name he’s never heard of and a couple of pissed off owls. My tattoos are a bit more numerous and easy to spot than his, and my hair is shoddily slicked back with pomade that smells like oranges. The only similarities between us are the aviators covering our eyes and the brown bags in our laps. I take a slug off of mine as I hear his cell-phone go off.
My ears are filled with bad radio-rock, one of those songs by one of those faceless bands building a career on sounding like mass-produce Pearl Jam. I hear him talk about the west coast, how it’s the place for him, man.He tells the girl on the other end of the phone that he can’t wait to fuck her hard tonight, and then abruptly he hangs up.
"Girlfriend?" I ask, taking another long slug.
"Nah, just one of my, uh, I guess one of my reserves." He gives this arrogant sort of laugh and then takes a slug off of his brown paper bag.
"So you’ve got a harem then?" My tone is dead, but I don’t think he notices.
"Sort of, yeah. Gotta have a girl for every situation, right?"
"Sounds like you’ve got the life, why the daydrinking?" I take a look at my watch before I take another sip. For most people it’s three o’clock, for me it’s bourbon thirty.
"Hey, you only live once, right? It’s summer, time to drink all day, and party all night, and do great things."
My dislike for this creature is growing by the minute.
"Yeah man, you know. Drink a lot, smoke a lot, fuck a lot, wake up still wasted on couches and do it all over again. YOLO." There’s a tiny rip in his bag and I can vaguely make out that he’s sipping on one of those girly drinks, the kind I’m sure his fraternity brothers stock up on before a party.
"Guess you and I have a different take on great."
"I dunno man, all of that sound pretty great to me." I sense a little arrogance in his voice. I briefly consider showing off my bad bartending skills, breaking the bourbon bottle on the bench and doing the world a favor.
"Write a book. Climb a mountain. Drive five hundred miles for a girl, not to fuck her, but just because you want to watch a movie. Paint a barn. Do something legitimate. If you’re going to latch on to that dumb fucking catchphrase, at least make it count for something." I don’t even look at him, staring forward as I say it, but I can feel the look of disgust on his face, he’s staring daggers into the side of my skull.
"Bro, don’t be such a cynic. You’re young, be dumb."
Maybe he’s right. But I can’t do it. My heart will always beat on eastern time. It’s a little harsher on this coast, and I haven’t got time for that kid shit anymore. None of that carefully crafted catchphrase bullshit. So I bought you a ring, and a bottle of bourbon, so I could get on this bus, surprise you at your art gallery, and try to make myself the luckiest guy in the whole damn city.
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- acollectionofsleeplessnights said: When my eyes grazed over the word “YOLO” I wanted to die at first…but you made it work. This is some awesome stuff though, really.
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