Dr. Jacoby, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, FBI Director Gordon Cole of the Sunset Boulevard Gordon Coles, Hawk, and Margaret Lanterman (a.k.a. the Log Lady) were sipping double espressos in a pure café in the south of the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris not far from the rat’s nest I never called home.

Jacoby gripped his gold, shit-vanquishing shovel. Cooper was impassive. Gordon bienveillant and very David Lynch. Hawk august and ear-ringed and massively out of place. The Log Lady ecstatic with the joy of not being dead.

Everyone wore tube socks. The stripes were blue.

After a few unprecedented moments of the most serene silence, Gérard Depardieu and his magnificent fat strolled by, ordered us another round. The man’s a prince among swine.

Then a voice—a booming contemptuous voice from the bleakest beyond—shouted:

“YOU!”

It shouted again: “YOU!”

I looked at my friends, but they were all looking at me.

As their disbelief hiked towards its ominous peak, I frantically searched for Depardieu because nothing bad can ever happen when Depardieu is present, his fat being like sunshine, like doves, like Joanna Newsom and jungle sex. But Depardieu was long gone.

“YOU!” went the voice a third time.

I sheepishly raised my head.

“Are you seriously writing fan fiction now? I thought we had a deal. Granted, a tacit deal, but a deal nonetheless. I mean, what in the fucking fuck, Kevin?”

I woke, anguished and ashamed. Though thankful. Thankful I was spared the archbishop expressions on my friends’ faces.

In the bathroom, coward’s eyes averted, I thought about Cooper and Bob, Cooper and Cooper, evil with a lower-case ‘e’ and Robert Louis Stevenson while the whoreson mirror waited patiently as whoreson mirrors do.

I hoped to God not to see my me in it.

 

***

 

Kevin Tosca is the author of The Hug and Other Stories (Červená Barva Press, 2019), Ploieşti (Červená Barva Press, 2019), Revelation #2 (Iron Lung Press, 2019), The Sage-Femme and The Whore (Analog Submission Press), Questions Are My Only Answers (Alien Buddha Press), and My French (Analog Submission Press). He lives in Berlin.

 

 

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