In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Stinky Fries: Ten for Today

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Saturday night, stool-side at my usual digs, the corner wine bar. I come here to write in the evening, when it’s time to switch from coffee to beer.
 
“I have Stone on tap. Interested?” The bar tender knows me. I’m past the initial flinching at that recognition.
 
“Looks like you have two.”
 
“Yep, this one has pineapple and tangerine with a…” Jason, I think I call him (I hope that’s his name).
 
“Whoa, no fruit in my beer,” interrupting his pitch.
 
“Agree.”
 
That first sip…not sure which bliss compares aptly, not quite orgasm, but not far below. Not three steps, anyhow.
 
Uh oh, the guy next to me peers over at my screen and squints.
 
“How do you see that tiny print? I mean it’s so…”
 
“I manage.” Yeah, I’m a bitch. Pick a different intro.
 
My stinky fries arrive just then, anyhow. The sirracha-ketchup is the bomb.
 
Long day nerding over AI and healthcare. Auditioning a piece for a real journal. I’ve claimed expertise in the area, but it’s really just gushing sci-fi enthusiasm. Yes, I’ve written a few thousand words on it for my weekly health tech start-up gig, but this is big-time. My head’s a bit spinny.
 
“Ready for another?”
 
Shit, I washed down half the fries with an entire tall one already?
 
“Okay.”
 
I still have a half plate of stinkies. It’s the melted cheese over them that lends them their title. Ah, I’m going to hell anyhow. As my father reminds me daily, “I’m going where it’s warm.”

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