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by S. Brady Tucker

It sounds like Nadal and Federer are fucking, very slowly, in the living room, and my coffee is getting cold so I stop with the writing which is really obsessively checking Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads and Gmail and Amazon and Gawker and Flavorpill and all the university job boards, and head the two steps into my tiny living room, and find that my girlfriend of two years is masturbating quietly on the couch, watching Nadal and Federer at Wimbledon. So in a way, you could say they are fucking. And so let’s call my girlfriend Hilary is slowly swirling herself in slow beats to the grunting volleys and serves and approaches on the television, and when she sees me she is startled a bit, but just turns back to the match and keeps right on going, without a word. I stand there for a moment, wondering if I should join in, but before I can get my mind re-engaged with what I am seeing, and take appropriate action, she pauses and says, (let’s call me Mike), “Mike, can you give me a minute. Jesus. I just want to finish,” and just goes right back to swirling herself slowly to the grunt-pock!-grunt-pock! of the match. I go into my narrow kitchen, put a kettle on, and start grinding some beans (Ha!) for another cup of coffee, and can see that she’s been into my drugs again, even though we fought about it last night and she had even thrown the remote and busted my lip with it. And no, I didn’t hit her, even though she deserves it most the time, and is getting more and more violent every time she steals my drugs, as if that makes any sense. And it’s probably the drugs. So, she fights with me because she likes the drugs, and we fight because I am trying to keep her off the drugs, which she then steals and smokes or snorts or mainlines and then fights with me over anyway. But now she is apparently also going to beat off when she does my drugs so we can fight over her beating off when she does my drugs without asking now. I finish grinding the beans, which isn’t funny anymore, and pour everything into a French press and then set the timer for a steep time of exactly three and a half minutes because this ensures the perfect cup, in my experience.

I’ve been trying to get clean, haven’t touched the stuff in three weeks, but realize it doesn’t matter now, and probably will never matter, so get my kit together and tie off and give what’s left of my stash a whirl. The coffee is ready, so I stir it with my spoon and it looks like the cup is eating my spoon, and I realize I don’t want it anymore, and I don’t want any of this anymore. I stand against the wall in the doorway to my living room and pull myself out of my pants and start jacking it furiously in front of her, ready for the final fight, the final moment for everything between us to come crashing down, but I can’t even get hard, and it is just me tugging on my flaccid noodle, Hilary sagged against my pillow on the couch, asleep, and Jimmy Connor saying that Nadal is always going to get to the balls that you think are winners, and that if Federer wants to win this match, he’s going to have to play through every point as if it is his very last one.