Hank Kirton

Breaded Chicken

Driving through the drizzling night with the woman I share a home with and she’s reminding me I’m a fool. If I drank too much at the party why am I driving? She’s balancing a box of chicken nuggets on her angry lap. They served appetizers at the party but she can’t eat shellfish for reasons of faith and I’m allergic, so we drove through a drivethrough and came out the other side with a box of breaded god knows what parts of a chicken. I hear a lot of fowl anatomy gets granulated into the recipe; feet, liver, rectum, beak. Gizzard, feathers. The martinis I poured down my gullet scramble in my guts with these slaughtered thoughts. I picture terrified chickens toppling into a giant blender and I emit an accidental chuckle and she looks at me with a poison stare. I make a point of keeping my gaze on the road. She resumes telling me what a fool I am. I just agree with her, Uh-huh, and she tells me not to get cute. Don’t get cute, she tells me. Being cute wasn’t on my mind. Like, at all but I say, I can’t help it if I’m cute. It’s beyond my control. Isn’t the fact that I’m cute the reason you loooooove me?

She doesn’t like that. Like, at all. Her silence feels like another passenger in the car. We drive through seething rain, without speaking, for a long time. Then I tell her to give me a piece of chicken and ask her to open the sweet & sour sauce for me. She doesn’t like that. Like, at all. She looks at me and looks at me. What? I say. She says, You want some chicken? Yeah? You want chicken? And she’s rolling down her window and I know what’s coming. Here, here’s your fucking chicken! And she hurls the box into the moving night. So, there it is, the end of the breaded chicken and the story.

***

From: Everything Dissolves

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