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Fiction #30
(published March 8, 2001)
Why I Don't Explain How I Lost My Sweater
by Terence S. Hawkins

So I lost a cashmere sweater at CBGB. And I guess it only served me right. I mean, what the fuck is a guy whose prostate is going doing there anyway? So I'm standing there and I'm pouring sweat and I take off the bomber jacket thinking well, at least I don't look too much like a J Crew manikin now and I'm still pouring sweat and I realize I'm standing there wearing a cashmere sweater and everyone else is wearing snorkel coats like the one that got stolen out of my 1972 Dasher in 1979 and so I peel off the sweater and I think Jesus why not wear a sign on my back that says kick me I'm from Connecticut and I grip the Foster's bottle in my teeth and I drop everything on the floor.

And I don't know, I guess I got distracted.

I got distracted because I'm standing right in the middle of this major traffic lane and no one there is old enough to drink. Actually, I guess what I mean is that all the teenage girls knew it was going to be really really hot so they cleverly prepared by wearing T shirts and no bras and they kept passing behind me as they went to buy crack or get their navels pierced or whatever and it was a really tight fit and well my back felt like it was getting pelted with water balloons, boomboom.

And I guess because my buddy Leo was playing and he was really good or at least really loud and anyway I was really proud of him and I forgot that I can't dance so I started kind of hopping and swaying around the way nervous white guys do when they're drunk but know there's something they should be doing right now that everyone else but them can do. And I kind of drifted away from where my stuff was and I kept trying to drift back into the traffic lane again hoping against hope but no luck. So I got another Foster's and then I came back and my stuff was still on the floor so I thought it was okay. And then I got tired and I backed into a corner and there was this girl wearing the kind of clothes that used to drive me crazy in about 1972, when my Dasher got built: hiphuggers and a white tank top. But in 1972 there weren't any Thai girls in Flinderation, West Virginia, and you know there still aren't, and she was kind of dancing, and I kind of noticed that her nipples kind of looked like Oreo cookies, and my girlfriend noticed me noticing her and instead of getting pissed off she kind of noticed her too, and I always kind of wondered about my girlfriend that way. So my girlfriend was kind of swaying around and the next thing I know my girlfriend is dancing with this 1972 West Virginia Thai girl.

So I go back to the bar and when I get back with another Foster's there's no Thai girl and no girlfriend so I figure it's a good time to go take a leak. And they're still not there when I get back so I drink another Fosters and keep an eye on my stuff and as I'm going downstairs to take another leak they're coming upstairs from the lady's room or women's room— or whatever they call it there; basically it's just a room with a drain in the floor anyway so why bother to call it anything?— and my girlfriend grabs my arm and says come with us. And I say something smart like what? and she says you're only young once and I say yeah well maybe that was about ten years ago and so all of a sudden we're out of the heat and the noise and the smoke and we're on the curb and we're in a cab and I'm wondering what to do about the Fosters and the Thai girl has my girlfriend pushed back in the seat and they're making out and my girlfriend first seems to be a little awkward, resisting— maybe this is an odd case of date rape or something, except that I'm her date— and then I see that the Thai girl must really like my girlfriend because her Oreos look like Hershey kisses now, and I yell stop the cab stop the cab and the guy with the turban up front hits the brakes and all of a sudden my girlfriend and the Thai girl hit the plastic barrier with the turban guy's license and I say sorry sorry I just remembered I forgot my sweater.

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