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Fiction #390
(published July 10, 2008)
Her Own Lagoon
by Nathan Tyree
Her shoulders are hunched in a way that suggests some sort of psychological pain beyond imagination. The plate of spaghetti in front of her is untouched and she fails completely to look at me as she speaks. Her eyes have the look of someone starring out across a large body of water, but there is no water near our table. She picked this restaurant. I don't care for it at all. My lasagna sucks.

She tells me that Luke has been cheating on her with her fat friend Stella. Stella's main draw is that she will fuck anyone at any time. I've done her once or twice, but there's no way I'm going to tell Anna that right now. Mostly I nod and make comforting noises. I'm wondering how nice I have to be for this to end up with us having meaningless sex.

Anna shakes too much parmesan cheese onto her spaghetti and takes the first furtive bite. She chews for about ten years and swallows in a manner that makes me think of sheep. Her eyes suggest a lagoon where mysterious birds come to feed on fish that no man has ever tasted. She's leaving Luke. I take this as a good sign.

Toward the end of the meal I ask if she wants to come to my apartment for a while. She doesn't seem to hear, but just stares past me into the distance. I can see the reflection of water in her eyes, but there is no water nearby.

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