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FICTION Brett Favre is


God by Diandra Holmes


scrapes down your throat and tickles your lungs. Spilled beer makes the black bar top shine like a lake that the bartender swims in. She’s still young and tries to be classy with a white button-up and little black vest, but no matter how you sit, you can see down her shirt and into her college fund. Her name is Jordan. You leave her a five dollar tip every night, no matter how long it takes you to get that second beer while she flirts with the men with loose ties. Eventually, you get the beer and a swift moment of eye contact that says thank you for not needing to be important. She doesn’t mind that you insist on paying for each beer as you get it, pocketing the change quickly.


The air is cheap cigarette smoke and The game is on and the wall of men


at the bar scream at the TV. The men with work boots slam their thick fists on the bar, and the lake ripples and expands, while the loose ties chuck peanut shells at the widescreen. The refs always favor the other team. The bar used to be trimmed in green and gold but the green was changed to purple midsummer. No one complained; they switched colors easily.


You’ve never been carded, and,


though at first it was an insult, you’ve realized they don’t card anybody. They definitely didn’t card the ten year old who is playing darts in his purple jersey. Only half the lights on the dart board work and it shrills loudly for a moment before fading into slow garble whenever he hits out of bounds. You’ve seen him here so often that if he took a long drag from a cigarette or a sipped the foam off the top of a beer, you wouldn’t bat an eye. Whenever the men yell, he squeezes his way to the bar and yells too.


Everyone is watching the game


except you, Jordan, and some couple in one of the booths with cracked red plastic cushions. Jordan is too busy popping the tops off bottles and mixing drinks and the couple is leaned in close together conspiring. You’re watching the couple. The girl reminds you of your sister and, for a moment, you think it might be her secretly, meeting with the guy that no one really likes. But, it’s not your sister. The girl doesn’t really even look like her. Her hair is too short and her shoulders are too slumped and your sister would be yelling at the TV along with everybody else. Either that or there would be no space between her and the guy.


14


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