Fictional Humans of New York (FHONY) – Me and Claire

I have incredible taste in women. It’s a rigid taste though, restricted and discriminating. So much so that I’ve hardly ever felt Cupid’s arrow. That’s a good thing, too since I’m particularly susceptible to pleasurable sensations, no matter how bad they sting.
I spent so many years hiding from myself that it’s quite a shock to turn the corner and come face-to-face with the man in the mirror. I experienced a guilty recognition, like: What are you doing here? I thought I’d shaken you loose years ago. I barely recognize you, old man. Do you have a few minutes to catch up? Let me buy you a beer. Ah, I knew that would get you. Some things never change.
Hey, could we get a couple of cold ones down here?
So, tell me about the old crowd. You keep in touch with any of them? I lost track a long time ago. Wait – don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. I’m sure I’d only be disappointed. Don’t tell them about me either, speaking of disappointments. But what about you? Last time I saw you, you were still with what’s-her-name – the pretty blond with the chip on her shoulder. Yeah, that’s the one. Married? To a doctor? Good for her. She seemed like a woman it would cost a lot to keep happy.
You heard about me and Claire? Yeah, we split up a while ago. She’s got this new guy – accountant or some shit. He’s a stiff but he treats her better than I did, and she seems happy. You know how women are. They land on their feet. They’re smarter than us.
Shit, I gotta take this. Stay. Finish your beer. I’ll be right back.

Published by mikepowernyc

Named one of New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019, my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House. Other poems and short stories have appeared in various publications, including Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

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