Eighties Night Feels Like Halloween / by D.M. Jerman

Eighties Night feels like Halloween. The dishwasher girl as Madonna. She swings her ass in fishnets around the dance floor busing tables. Hall and Oats are begging everyone to ”Say It Ain’t So.” Back in the kitchen two industrial fans push around air at 110 degrees.

Her boyfriend is serving kamikazes dressed like a zombie from Thriller. All his carefully orchestrated fake old blood trickling from his forehead to his cheek.

Later they take his motorcycle across downtown in a summer drizzle that seems so cold.

In the wet, the city is like a shining toy. Or a barricade flashing. Battery operated.

She gets in the shower with some wine. Breaking the slippery glass, she nudges the pieces into the drain with her toe.

He leans half naked into the railing of their 5th floor apt. Makeup off, contacts out, glasses on, bloodshot. His thick cigarette enduring soft drops plunging from the August black.

The bartender and the dishwasher. They go to bed early and make wishes into each other’s warm hair, into the three-paddle ceiling fan, out of their window that looks out to other windows.

Out on the street they left only moments ago, the light pollution makes the stars into squinted pinpricks. Anti-reflections of amber streetlight in a prostitute’s tar-dark eyes as she sits low in the passenger seat of a car that belongs to a man whose name she does not know.

The city is like an awkward teenage boy who wants a first kiss, or that same attention. The city is writing a letter to itself on itself. Each letter in the shape of a drop of rain. The littlest prayer for the certain hope that tomorrow keeps becoming today.