Safe Boys and Eric Clapton
I let my eyes coat him in lemon juice, let it slide into his paper cuts. He did not notice. I
tried to plunge my eyebrows even lower, so menacing that I was sure he’d up and run away.
He continued to hum, periodically whispering I shot the sheriff but I didn’t shoot no
deputy, then humming again. My face was starting to ache. I grabbed the pencil out of his hand,
making the line he was drawing go bezerk on the page.
“EY! Abrahm! I’m glaring at you!” He looked up and smiled, then crumpled up the ruined
drawing and threw it at the recycling bin. It hit the wall, then landed on the floor. We both stared at
it in silence for around fifteen seconds.
“Well. That was a shit toss.” I observed, still looking at the wad of blue lines and smoky
He laughed. “Why were you glaring at me, again?” He crossed his arms and leaned into
the middle of his back, jutting out his knees and lightly brushing my bare feet with his shoelaces.
Sitting in that teenage boy way that they do.
I glanced around the hospital cafeteria, making sure the nurses weren’t watching. So
“You didn’t notice me glaring.”
“I know, but why were you glaring in the first place?”
I thought for a second, cleaning out the edges of my fingernails with my bottom teeth.
“You are an easy person to glare at.” I shrugged, forbidding my lips to slip into the smile
that dug dimples into my cheeks.
“I see you smiling!” He sang to the tune of a pop song that played on the guard’s CD
player constantly, which I found horrible and entertaining at the same time.
“No, you don’t see me smiling, you’re blind.”
“I am not blind.” He beamed. “And you are smiling.”
I flipped him the bird with both hands, then joined them at my thumbs and flapped my
middle fingers so my hands soared around over the table. “Cacaw cacaw!” I stretched my arms
so the bird swerved around his face. “Fuck you, Abrahm!” I laughed so hard that when I gasped
for air my throat made a sound like cars when they break and squeal on the asphalt.
He grinned and wordlessly wiped his palm on my arm.
“Ew!! Why are your hands so sweaty?! Gross, get your nasty blind ass away from me!”
Through a chorus of giggling, I heard him say something about not being blind, but I tuned him
out. I wiped the sweat on my pants, but my arm still smelled like Abrahm.
“Where have you been?” Everything he said had a smile sewn into it, stitched into the
syllables. I had missed that.
“Oh, I don’t know. The usual.” I lifted my shoulders to my ears and made my voice high,
in the way Disney actors do when their characters are bad liars.
“Not the usual, because you’re usually with me.”
“No. You are usually with me. I’m always alone.”