Incredibly Miserably

    Phil hopes to God that the boy will be alright, he just has to be, and he thinks Victoria looks hot with wet hair.

    As the boy lies flat on the sand, Victoria leans over him and checks his vitals.  A distressed crowd has gathered around the two soaking figures.  Victoria flips the hair back, out of her face, and puts her ear to his mouth and listens.  After a few seconds, she tilts his head back and pinches his nostrils together with her red-tipped fingers and administers mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

    Phil closes his eyes and sees her ten inches away from his face.  Soppy whips of her long blond hair drag across his forehead and his cheeks expand with the life-sustaining gusts of Victoria’s own air and he hears deep in his fading consciousness her voice dully pleading don’t you dare die on me, Phil, not now, and it gives him the strength he needs to hang on and he feels, for the first time, that interminable will to live and they both realize that the profound moment would forever alter their lives.

    You’re too good for me, he says to the woman nestled under his chin, whose silky naked limbs weave through his own hairy, coarse appendages.  Yes, she replies tenderly and inexplicably.  But you make me so marvelously happy.  It is a conversation they would have a thousand times, and a thousand times it would be debated among their friends and acquaintances and to each why? and how? he would simply grin despite his best efforts and answer I don’t know.

    “I want to have your baby,” she whispers, snuggling up closer, while the crackling of the fire and his large hand on her shoulder blade and the shooting star answer for him in the affirmative and he rolls her gently over onto the sand and…

    Roy the bartender puts on the fight, and with a click of the remote unknowingly jerks Phil back to the dreary old tavern with its shabby, depressing, ever-present clientele… back to that pesky lingering stomach pain that he ought to have looked at… back to rent and utilities overdue… back to frozen pizza for supper tonight… back to waking up every day for no apparent reason whatsoever… back to zero.

    “Every goddam time,” Phil moans, as he turns to his mug and thinks nothing is possible, everything is impossible.



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