It started with a chinchilla named Gizmo and something approximating 500 condoms. Well at least it did if by “it” you mean us: the two amigos, the burger with a side of fries, the sub-legendary duo Mac and Cheese. If by “it” you mean the mountainous lizard currently redecorating the Boston skyline (and I imagine you probably did), then I don’t know what to tell you. I guess sometimes lizards just like to fuck shit up.
But let’s rewind for a second. That’s an archaic term. It means wind the tape back up for those of you joining us after the new millennium. If you’re confused don’t worry about it. What’s important is that Cheese and I were best friends from the very beginning. Of course she wasn’t Cheese back then. Back then she was just Brie, haughty Brie with a penchant for mimosas and shitty homemade guacamole. She was fabulous and wonderful and she annoyed the ever-loving crap out of me.
It went like this:
“Hi, I’m Brie. I guess we’re roommates?”
“Good guess, Brain”
“I got ya. Hey help me with this will you?”
“Ooooh Champagne? Oh do you have any OJ? I love mimosas.”
“Sure, invite yourself to my champagne.”
“Oh I’m sorry…I mean…uh”
“I’m shitting with you”
“I mean I’m fucking with you.”
“Also, Grandmother’s drink mimosas. Grab that bag of condoms will you?”
As you can see, it was love at first sight. Brie and I were thrown together by the gods of the random housing selection process at Boston University. Who were we to stand in the way of fate? So as not to keep you in suspense, I’ll tell you that Cheese DID hand me that bag of condoms.
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“I’m mostly trying to decide if this is a step up or a step down from skipping school.”
David’s dad stood in the doorway, hands on hips, surveying the scene before him. David was sitting up quickly, a thin blanket balled at the foot of his bed where he must have kicked it in the night. To his right was a bedside table, his lamp guarded by a series of action figures. Just past them, the window looked out on some jagged branches and a street that was empty but for a couple of early morning joggers. To his left was a low bookshelf topped by a fire engine red alarm clock and a thrice-read comic book. Beneath that, his sneakers peaked halfway out from under the bed and, oh yeah, a girl was wrapped up in his comforter like a burrito, asleep.
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David & Taylor Chapter 3 is up and ready for reading at http://www.appleandoranges.com/read.
“David went to the bathroom to nurse his newly irritated wounds and rehearse a look of confident indifference in the mirror. Today, he would have to go back to school, the same school that Knuckes went to, the same school that Knuckles gave him a beating at the day before. Excuses ran rapidly through David’s head. He could be sick. He could be too injured to return for the rest of the week. He could run away and join another school district. He could make friends with the janitor who would proceed to let him spend his days in the school basement. He would make the basement cozy with blankets and books and small battery powered lamps. He would never have to see Knuckles again.”
David stopped cold when he heard that voice behind him. He didn’t need to turn around to know who it was. He did anyway, slowly, trying to look brave. Knuckles had always been big for his age. He was wide and solid with huge arms that seemed to hunch forward. His whole body seemed to grow out of the ground like a fat tree, a fat tree that wanted to kill David.
“What’s the matter baby boy? Don’t you want to hit me?”
Of course David didn’t want to hit him. Why would David want to hit him? Why couldn’t they be friends? They could hang out together. They could go get some pizza or play some video games. They could be best buddies and do all of the things best buddies do.
“I dare you to hit me.”
Dare. Dare. What did that word mean again? David couldn’t remember what that word meant. Had anyone ever used that word with him before? They must have. It was such a simple word. Dare.
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Catch up on Taylor & David at http://www.appleandoranges.com/taylor–david.html.
Check out the first novella at http://www.appleandoranges.com/apple–sparky.html.
“Clint was known universally as “Knuckles” because he rocketed to elementary school fame by wearing loose key rings around his fingers when punching some kid during afternoon recess. In reality, the damage was minimal. The key rings were weak and pliable, making them poor substitutes for the brass knuckles they were intended to imitate. But by the time the story had made it around the school, Clint had apparently tore a gash so deep and so wide in “some kid’s” cheek that the kid needed ten stitches. Days, weeks, and months turned ten into twenty, fifty, and a hundred. Regardless of the truth, Clint was quickly dubbed “Knuckles” and nobody was going to argue, least of all the “some kids” of which the elementary school was full.”
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Or catch up on Apple & Oranges Book One here.