Micky cracks his knuckles and I think if maybe he cut his hand off instead, problem solved. But that’s just me. Since I was a kid I always figured the quick way to solve things. Not always the best ways, this I know, but if you want speed, I’m your man, or way back, your boy. I can’t figure out why anybody cracks their knuckles in the first place. Like what happens? You’re breezing down the street one day and your knuckles stiffen up and you think, Fuck it, let me crack these bad boys, and you do and somehow something’s all better? Got me.
Now he looks across the table from me, says, “So what were you saying about her?”
The her is Tammy. I met Tammy just a few days back and I’m all caught up in thinking maybe some magic may be happening here except she lives more then 100 miles from me so whatever made me think I can dream. And anyway, Micky and his fuckin’ knuckles have me all out of sync. And I’m not saying shit to him about how I don’t much like the sound of cracking knuckles because it’s always the same response when I do. Someone cracks their knuckles, you say, Why do you do that? Or, Jesus, that’s fucked sounding, and they always go, This bothers you? And crack their knuckles all over again.
I want to think about Tammy. I take a deep breath, trying not to let Micky see I’m taking this breath, because I don’t feel like answering any questions, and start all over.
“Remember I was giving that talk this week? Well, she was there. I mean kind of floating in and out of the room a little in the beginning, way in the back, but man, she came in and that was it. I noticed. You couldn’t not notice. So I’m giving this talk – “
Micky, looking at his knuckles like maybe they needed another go, “What was you talking about?”
“Doesn’t matter, bro. Anyway, when she left the room at first I felt like this empty space inside and I’m thinkin’, What the fuck? I’ve never even seen this person in my life, and she comes into this room, maybe a minute, then leaves, and I’m feeling an empty space inside? What the fuck?”
Micky decids to leave his knuckles be – for now. “She pretty?”
“Yeah, she’s pretty. But it’s more than that. Real. Like you take one look and all this substance just fills you up.”
“So what happens?”
“Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, yeah, nothing. Not really though. So I’m done with the talk and things and people are coming up and talking to me and I’m listening ‘cause I really do give a shit what they’re saying but most of me wants to say, Excuse me, and go out in the halls and run up and down to see if I can find this woman.”
“And what if you did? Whattaya do then? Hi, there, How you doing> I think you look real?”
“Wasn’t even necessary, and no, I’m not gonna say, Hi, you look real. So these people are talking to me and there’s few left and whattaya think? The door opens and guess who comes in?”
“What’d you do?”
“Whattaya mean nothing?”
“She asked me some questions about the talk; I answered”
“That’s fucked up man. You shoulda asked her for coffee or something,” and damned if Micky didn’t crack his knuckles again.