by Margaret Eaton
He told her he worked with Cesar Chavez. She said he was living a life of consequence. I told her the only grapes that pretentious prick ever picked was choosing a wine to seduce idealist babes like her. She said she wasn’t being seduced. He told her she should read serious writers. She said she knew she really should. He told her to come to his place so he could lend her some books. She said she would.
I said: This guy is so obvious why can’t you see it? She said professors are supposed to open our minds. I said: you know you’re not the first fair maiden he’s laid his messianic bullshit on. She said that I’m jealous because I don’t believe in anything. I said: I don’t believe in using my beliefs to lure people more attractive than me into my lair. She said the professor was the more attractive one because he had a deep soul and a fine mind. Upon hearing this I said: I’m going to vomit. She said she was not being seduced, that she was not that predictable or that stupid. I said: I don’t think you’re stupid. She said, but you think I’m predictable. I said: I think this situation is so pathetically predictable that vomiting is not a persuasive enough display of how sickened I am by it. She said she bought him a Che Guevara beret from an ad she saw in The New Yorker. I was dumbfounded. She said she put the beret on his head and hasn’t seen him since. Disgusted and relieved I said: Because you realized how totally full of shit he was when he rubbed his sagging 1970s Maoist tenured ass up against you. No, she said. Then why? Scalp odor.
– Margaret Eaton’s stories have been published in Opium, Matchbook, The Collagist, The Quotable, Pif Magazine and Barrelhouse. Another is forthcoming in Grey Sparrow Journal. She was an early contributing editor to Dowser, an online news source for social entrepreneurs. She lives in St. Louis.