And What If This Happens?

by Bill Cotter

It's early morning, you're alone, you can't sleep, so you get up to see if Ysidora emailed you about who the chickens are gonna be in the chicken fight tonight, but she hasn't, so you go sit on the commode to see if anything happens (there's been a dark, interior wailing since those smelt tacos at your stepdaddy's sober-singles fish-fry & book swap yesterday), telling yourself you're not going to check the email again for thirty minutes, and to kill that long, ugly thirty -- twenty-nine and fifty seconds now, by god -- you grab the '58 Kokomo Yellow Pages on the floor by the sink because it's all you can reach, and just when you find the page with the pop-up of Suzanne Tamim winking at you from her diamondplate Catherine wheel, you hear a knock at the door. Not the front door. The back door. What then, huh? Fool, you left your pistol in the bed of Huey's El Camino, your pigsticker's still buried point-up in Clay Shaw's sideyard, and those peckerheads from the steamfitters' union still have your sweet, sweet cordless Paslode Impulse nail gun. No, no, wait -- lemme guess: you're gonna do what you always do: trade your long, spinel-black Breck-Girl hair to the wigmaker for a bogus diplo passport and a new set of thumbprints, then vanish like medical oxygen down some dying queen's throat.


Bill Cotter lives in Austin, Texas. His first novel, Fever Chart, is coming out this spring on McSweeney's. He doesn't like to go outside if he can help it.