Friday 17 November 2023

Magellan by JD Clapp, cheap beer

 They’d spend all-day each Saturday at Murphy’s, sitting on the same barstools at the far end, under the red, white, and blue glow of the PBR neon sign. On the big screen, they’d watch football in the fall, hockey in the winter, baseball in the spring and summer. He kept an open tab. He always paid.

            When dark came, she would take him to her apartment over the garage on the alley painted with gang graffiti, home to the homeless, and a nation of rats. She felt safe with him walking the three blocks from the bar to her bed.

In bed she called him Magellan. “Who?” he’d ask, as his hands roamed clueless of any desirable destination. As he grunted atop her, his whisky breath winds carried her away to white sand beaches, lapped by tepid aqua marine blue waters. In her mind she swam, and her body came alive. She basked in the warm embrace of salt and sand.

After, he’d cough and shiver. They would lay silent for a while, then he’d ask “hungry?”

“Sure,” she’d answer. He’d cook her eggs and toast and clean the kitchen while she ate. When she finished, he’d kiss her forehead and say, “early morning at the meat plant tomorrow,” and before he closed the door, he’d say, “next week.”

            Alone on her couch she’d watch the travel channel until she fell asleep, happy for a full day of dreaming ahead before the clock reset on its endless countdown to next Saturday.

About the author

JD Clapp is based in San Diego, CA. His story, One Last Drop, was a finalist in the 2023 Hemingway Shorts Literary Journal, Short Story Competition. His stories have been published in numerous outlets. Twitter @jdclappwrties; 


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