Photo by Lance Grandahl / Unsplash

by Karen Crawford

We’re two pints in waiting for the john, you in a too-tight shirt, reminiscing about velvet ropes, glittery eyeshadow, and teased aqua net hair, shifting from one faded suede heel to the next, wondering why the floor is so sticky and why both bathrooms are still occupied when this dive is so empty, and the door to the ladies room finally opens, and a buzzcut with androgynous cheekbones slips out, and you yell through stop sign lips, “YOU’RE NOT A GIRL!,” and the buzzcut whispers, “but I am a girl,” and you howl so hard, I’m sure the mirror in the bathroom splinters and the buzzcut’s shoulders fold into themselves, and her eyes disappear, and I’m still holding my bladder because my converse are stuck to the floor, my eyes now stuck there too, and you toss me your compact, and tell me, “do yourself a favor, put on some lipstick.”

Karen Crawford lives in the City of Angels, exorcising demons a word at a time. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in Cheap Pop, Bending Genres, 100 Word Story, and elsewhere.