Matthew Licht

In the Flush of Life

Wilma’s apartment was full of rock n’ roll junk. She’d balled some low-wattage stars, as a young groupie. Now her walls covered with obsolete concert posters and photos of dead musicians. The shelves were crowded with Elvis figurines and other pop collectibles.

Lucky Pete had been the drummer at a Sam the Sham revival show. That’s how he met Wilma.

She still bore traces of flower-childhood, and some evenings Pete had nothing else to do except go visit her.

On the asshole-colored wall-to-wall carpet, at the foot of a scavenged couch, sat a plastic water-pipe and a huge black rubber dildo. Wilma smoked a lot of weed. Pete imagined her taking hits off her giant sex toy instead of the bong when she was stoned.

Marijuana fought an aerial duel with cat piss in her living room. It’s been scientifically proven that feline fumes cause craziness in mature women. Wilma wasn’t taking any chances, she was going to fry whatever was left of her brains between cat-piss and the pipe.

Pete preferred beer.

He nursed a brown glass baby-bottle, she made sexy sucking sounds with her water-pipe. Pete pointed to the dildo, which might’ve been art. “Where’d you find that?”

“A friend gave it to me.”

“You ever use it?”


“How was it?”

“Great.” She took a hit, held the smoke. A black cat knocked a Kung Fu Elvis statuette off the bookshelf with no books. Thanks to the thick carpet, it didn’t break. The cat jumped down and went to the plastic basin next to the fridge. Wilma blew a Nagasaki cloud. “Taught me something about myself I didn’t know.”

“Like what?”

“Wanna watch?”

Pete shrugged. “I can’t stand up.”

Wilma hiked her suede miniskirt and went to work. A low-tide tang spread. A colorless fluid leaked.

“You just peed yourself a little,” Pete said.

She looked hurt. “You think I’d do that in front of you like an animal?” She started in again with grim determination. She yelped and unplugged. A thicker liquid splashed onto the carpet.

“Wow,” Pete said, but thought: ‘She can’t even tell the difference anymore.’  The bottle in his hand was empty. “Listen, do you think you could get me another beer?”

She made it to the fridge, but stumbled on the catbox and scattered its contents. Slug-trails gleamed on her thighs in the refrigerator light. Foam sprayed when she popped the cap. Frigid drops hit Pete’s lap when she passed him the bottle.

“Thanks,” he said.

Wilma sat back down and got busy again. She was warmed up.

Pete hoisted himself forward on the armchair.

A geyser blasted him back against the backrest.

He dried his face on his sleeve, polished off the beer. Wilma heaved, spent. The dildo fell to the floor with a muffled thump.

“Whudja think?” she said.

A white cat came and sniffed the rubber thing that smelled like the lady of the house, then went to piss on porcelain Elvis. He lifted his leg like a dog.

Pete had to take a leak too, but knew he’d never make it to the bathroom. He was holding an empty bottle. He unzipped and filled it, even overflowed a bit. “Whups, sorry.”

Wilma pulled a face. “I think you’d better leave now.”

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