Home > Woman in a Man's Game > Woman in a Man’s Game

Woman in a Man’s Game

By Robin Brox
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Ivan was my first love.  He had strange, tremendous tufts of blonde hair and a glove compartment filled with napkins.  You would have never thought it possible to shove so many napkins into a glove compartment.

We drove down to the paper factory.  “It’s burned to the ground,” he said.  “There’s nothing to see, really.”  He opened the glove compartment, removed a single napkin and tossed it out the window.  “Hand me those tapes,” he said.  They were neatly arranged in a brown leather case.  We listened to some bullshit– he had terrible taste in music, one of his few faults.

We walked among the charred remains.  A train went by and disappeared into a tunnel.  “You know what that means?” he asked.  At the time, I didn’t.  He let it go and walked over to the car and took out another napkin before I could respond.  He folded it carefully and threw it up in the air.  It landed at his feet.  “Gravity, that shit!” he exclaimed.

He rented a hotel that night under the name “Mr. and Mrs. Karl Koupons”.  Paid cash.  It was a double bed with a yellow comforter and a large painting of a dog above an old television set.  “Why don’t you see what’s on?” he said.  “I’m going back to the car”.  I knew it was to get another damn napkin.  It never ended.

The set sputtered and then flashed on.  A series of spaceship rockets were being launched into a bay.  You could hear a voice over a radio– “The spaceship rockets just fell into the bay.  Mission aborted.”  Then, the show ended.  There was a long pause and then a commercial came on for soap flakes.

I put on some pink shorts.  Ivan came back in with his head down.  He looked terribly guilty of something.

“What?  What is it?”
“Nothing,” he said. “Nothing. Just, those napkins make me so nervous”.

I kissed him.  He ran his tongue along my front teeth.  The sensation was odd.

“I…I’m sorry, I’ll be…just a minute.”  He left.  Those fucking napkins again.

I slept alone.

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    March 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm

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