MY BEST FRIEND
My best friend bought a duvet set from Target, and after masturbating on it, returned it. She said she likes the idea that someone else will sleep on her dirty sheets. Someone she doesn’t know. We’re at the food court in the mall, eating dollar creamies from McDonald’s. Hers is melting faster than mine. She says, I hope that when I buy a duvet and actually keep it, someone has graced it with their pleasure juice. Drips of ice cream are collecting on her thigh, soaking into her jeans.
On Tuesdays we like to play hooky at the mall. We usually start at Bath and Body Works. We test out all the salt scrubs and lather ourselves in caramel macchiato lotion. My best friend likes to steal the lip balm testers. After, we make our way to Dick’s Sporting Goods. We pretend we’re UFC fighters in the boxing section, and my best friend likes to take the nylon socks you use when you’re wearing sandals but want to try on a pair of cleats. She likes to put them on her hands. Sometimes there are kayaks on the floor in the outdoor section, sometimes we take naps in them until the staff kicks us out. After, we go to Target and pick out all the things we want to fill our house with. She always picks furry pillows and I like the lantern string lights. Sometimes we take candy bars and eat them in the bathroom. Sometimes, she kisses me.
Now I’m thirty-eight and I have a kid because that’s just what people from small towns do. My kid is seven and he’s a piece of shit. I signed him up for karate because I thought it would help his anger, but it only made him worse. Now, when I say something he doesn’t like, he does a double leg takedown on me. A part of me wants to send him away to boarding school, but I don’t have the money for that, and I still don’t know if it’s just a threat, or a real place. I bring him to Target because we need more dish soap, toenail clippers, and GTA 5 because he says if I don’t buy it for him he’ll kill me in my sleep. I probably shouldn’t, but I believe him. While he’s looking at video games I wander around the home section. I run my fingertips across all the pillows. I stand in the lighting aisle and I close my eyes and I can see the bulbs burning bright through my lids. Like fireflies. Like tiny moons. I wish it was somewhere I could travel to. I wonder if she’s there. I feel his grubby little hand on my shoulder and I open my eyes to him holding the game to my face. He says, Let’s fucking gooooo, and a woman standing by us looks at him like he just took a shit on the floor.
When we get home he heads straight for his room and I plop down on the couch. I think about calling her. I think about going back to Target and buying a duvet. I think about bringing it home and spreading it across my bed. I think about how it smells like cardboard. Like plastic. Like her. I think about folding it up and stuffing it back in its wrapping after. About returning it, telling the person at the return desk that I didn’t like the color, didn’t like ruffles, didn’t like that it didn’t smell more like her hair when it was spread across my chest, her lips after she ate a ring pop, the gunk in her fingernails, her powdery skin, her wet feet must between her legs neck after we went swimming palm after she pulled her hand away from mine. I think about visiting it later, the duvet, about finding it again among the others.