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” This was Shelby, a woman who could not see a crisis if it slammed her in the head and then rode over her. For the next week I drove her to At a Fast Clip where she bleached hair and cut bangs and generally made women happy for what remained of their day.When her car was ready I didn’t tell her, instead making up stories about a faulty part or a failed alignment test.” “I’m sure she’s great,” I said, exhausted before I put the first bite of cold, wet noodle into my mouth.“But I don’t want to start anything—” “She’s not asking for a marriage proposal. Maybe she won’t even like you,” she said almost hopefully before placing a warm glass of RC Cola beside my hand and lowering herself onto the chair beside me.“Easy,” I said, not to her but as a warning to the porters—a couple of high school punks who spent their lunch hours smoking weed out back—not to let her see them laughing. So we went to Joe’s Crab Shack and watched apathetic teens sing uninspired versions of “Happy Birthday”to tables of senior citizens who looked by turns confused and ecstatic.
I tried to predict what the excerpt would say as I shuffled to the kitchen for another beer: “Jack stared at Keira’s bosom for a moment before saying, ‘That’s quite a pair’” or “Keira slid her tongue across Jack’s throbbing abs and said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll raise you’.” ~ I met Shelby when she brought her car into Merrick Chrysler where I manage the body shop.Bojangles, who seemed to have materialized from her outstretched hand before regarding me with steely eyes. ” She shook her head as if having a silent argument with an invisible antagonist. “She was such a nice girl.” “She was—is—a nice girl.I just wasn’t ready for, you know.” I swirled my fork in the air. “I appreciate that you’re doing something nice for me.“I’m sure she won’t.” “Oh, Johnny, you’ve been so negative since—” “Since what?” She ignored my question, serving herself a congealed mass of pasta while patting Mr.