Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Of Hearts And Other Wages
"Of Hearts And Other Wages"
by Jake Kilroy
"How heavy do you think this city is?" she asked him, setting down her pink martini on the windowsill.
Jerry stared at her for a moment. "I don't even understand the question, Amy."
"Well, suppose I was ambitious."
"You are ambitious."
"No, I'm quite drunk, really."
Jerry stared at her, and then his beer, and then her again. She was certainly in top-form tonight.
"If I were so ambitious," she said, "wouldn't the city kill me from its own sheer dead weight? How long would I last? What would the countryside think of me?"
"Is this a rhetorical question?"
"Only if there's no answer, and if that's the case, then I suppose I'm wasting my time," Amy said, almost with a meow, scratching his lapel. "This party bores me," she added, looking around the loft, with scattered souls and drinks.
"You know everyone though. And your sister has a lot of nice friends," Jerry said.
"When have friends ever helped a drunk girl with ambition? Or a sober girl with drunk ambition, for that matter, as I will be a heaping mess of sanity come tomorrow morning?"
"I wouldn't say that," Jerry mumbled with a chuckle and a shrug.
"Jerry, why have you never loved me?"
Jerry nearly shot the beer out of his nose. He wiped the window he had just sprayed. "What?" he stammered.
"Boy, you've got the parts to make this engine run. You can gun it, floor it, kill it and speed through my highway, listening to your favorite blues song, and you've never so much as turned on your signals. All I see are brake lights, and that's if the car's even on. You've got nothing but speed limit you can ignore when you wreck and ruin my roads. The asphalt was paved for you a long time ago. You can smell the beach and hear the birds and see the grass whipping in the wind. There's a fresh breeze to hit your hair. You can have this wild life, complete with air-conditioning and a good stereo, but you would turn on the ignition. I'll tell you right now that I'll let you drive my highway until the sun sets right on my goddamn stomach, Jerry," she purred. "Now what do you say?"
Jerry, eyes wide and mouth almost hanging off of his face, grabbed Amy's hand and took her to the closest empty room.