Excerpt, The secret of succulents (my own short story)

“Platinum Dupont lighter embossed with an ancient Roman’s face, sitting in the cupholder. New World Order bumper sticker––slapped on crooked. Matte white convertible Rolls Royce Phantom with french fries between the seats. 2 cold beers in a plastic orange Gatorade squeeze bottle. Dirty cleats on the back row Navajo white leather seats. White on white. And he’s just an American soccer player but he’s got this. He makes like maybe 60 K according to Google. Maybe as much as 300 thou~ if he’s elite. I wouldn’t know. The car reeks of weed. It’s in need of a washing and a cleaning––he just doesn’t care. I look in front of me. I open the driver’s side door. I pause to speak before I drop my spiel because, he’s in another universe. He’s got a brunette man-bun and an un-taut bang strand blocking his left eye. He is tall, thin and halfway jacked––well framed. He’s wearing like 6 or 7 black rubber spaghetti bracelets––straight out of Hot Topic, I assume, if not from Amazon. He’s just this white man, and he’s rapping horrorcore verses by Juicy J in a generic black accent underneath his breath in front of our black valets who all think he’s the man, that is except for me––I’m indifferent––I mean he’s basically faultless on the surface but, I don’t really know him: what I was thinking, doctor. That’s Right by 3-6 Mafia is playing on his CD player. He proclaims out loud there is heat under his seat, but this was just him rapping the song. I think he must be on acid, or something because––just how seemed––he may have not been––he seemed in control of himself entirely––but once again I wouldn’t know. Scraped up rims on the driver’s side of this beautiful car––on both giant wheels––terrific gouges––half moons––or maybe not that big––but they clearly chomped all the way down a mondo curb. The car’s body is unscathed. He gets out of the car, somewhat finally. Acknowledges me, somewhat finally. He hands me a hundred dollar bill. Looks right past me. Tells me to park it wherever. When I saw this happen while working as a valet in Miami, I decided this man understood something right off the bat. I’m sorry but if you’re gonna live your life like that, you damn well better expect to receive some respect. If you’re ever gonna feel self conscious or fake about your rolex, you shouldn’t have bought one in the first place: what I decided. He was everything I wasn’t. An American soccer player born into huge money. I think that’s mostly what it was. But what I still don’t know is, doctor––was it the money that made me realize he was who I decided? Indeed it became less than what he is. I swear he became my favorite guy at the hotel, and I have to say I defended him with my best of reasons. I just let him become that Guy––I enabled him to be whoever he wanted. I believed in his musk. Or something crazy like that.” -Chauncey Henry, in The Secret of Succulents.

#fiction #literature



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