I dumped my wilted couch and skeletal box spring at Saint Vincent de Paul and moved into my boyfriend’s North Hollywood one-bed. The whole ten months we cohabitated, his Arkansas mother believed our bodies lay one chaste beside the burning other, a hanging sheet partitioning our bed into twin tombs, praise Jesus. My boyfriend would rinse a 7-Eleven Big Gulp trademarked tumbler, glug it to the rim with Seagram’s Seven, and splash it with a centimeter of 7UP. His southern drawl booze-heightened to a strident preacher’s pitch, he’d say it’s just one drink.
My boyfriend worked in post-production, the insomniac after-life of on-set action. That famous Billy Bob had brought my boyfriend West after my boyfriend worked on Billy’s sleeper hit about a saccharine psychopath who decapitates his mother’s man then turns his blade toward matricide, serves twenty, and upon release befriends a troubled twelve-year-old boy whose violent Dwight Yoakam stepfather Billy hacks to death for the moral manful country music greater good.
We were twenty-nine and my boyfriend still had a best friend and the best friend told me one afternoon I shouldn’t have hiked unsupervised that morning because of my vagina. I laughed the way I do at jokes. In the shadow of my boyfriend’s best friend’s blank expression I saw myself move out. Some months later, my boyfriend and his girlfriend walked up to me at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. I thought about the time he threw a tantrum in the flatbed of his pickup and the time he sat me on the kitchen counter for exquisitely boring sex. His girlfriend had a certain dullness that I thought would serve them both in situations romantic. Two years later, my boyfriend called to say his wife was crying all the time. Alone, I hung up and watched the film again. John Ritter’s Dollar Store manager was the only good guy of the whole fiasco.
Amy Lyons has recent short fiction in or forthcoming from No Contact, Flash Frog, Versification, (mic)ro(mac), and Press 53.