Since I am presently in the process of procrastinating on preparing for a 4th of July party, I may as well share today’s story, too. This is another one I may expand into a slightly longer story at some point, seeing as it only hints at the emotions and psychology of the character on whose perspective it focuses. I’d like to dive deeper into that eventually.

Since it’s a character who is largely based on me, after all.


 Getting lost was easy, sitting in the back of the bar like he was. Usually, that was fine by him: attention was, generally speaking, not desirable, and crowds were an anathema. Blending into the scenery, being ignored, being alone, that was better. That was tolerable, even in distasteful establishments like this.

 At least, that’s the lie he always told himself whenever he found himself sipping on a diet cola and shamefully stuffing some sort of fried garbage into his mouth—the mozzarella sticks at this dive were particularly good, he’d learned—but more and more the lie was ringing hollow in the recesses of his own mind.

 Surrounding the bar was a herd of obnoxious young twenty-somethings, enjoying their libations and engaging in the sickening posturing and strutting mate-seeking behavior he’d always despised. And yet, looking at their faces, at their alcohol-dulled eyes, he was forced to confront the paradoxical nature of the situation. They were full of life. They were happy. And he, not impaired by their fermented toxins, superior to them in all meaningful ways, felt a deep emptiness.

 He was alone.

 But at least the breading on the mozzarella sticks was crispy and flavorful.