Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Truth or Dare

The evening light tinged the buildings softly orange and the last of summer's dying bugs flailed about wildly in the glimmering air.  "Ugh," Kristi said and thought about spitting in the grate on the sidewalk, "Never play Scruples with your parents.  You find out things you do not want to know."

Jessie giggled and swayed her shoulders back and forth.  Kristi was her best friend, inordinately funny, eminently cool and a thousand other things besides.  

Kristi wrinkled her nose, forehead and lips and rolled her eyes.  "So not kidding," she said and did spit in the sidewalk grate.  Jessie was her best friend, terribly immature and kind of short, but a fantastic audience.

Jessie laughed harder and tried to work up some spit in the back of her mouth.  "What's Shcruples?" she slurred slightly as the spit gathered.

Kristi stretched her neck from side to side, trying to get it to pop like her older brother's did.  "Umm..." she said, her voice pinching and stretching with the shape of her throat, "It's like Truth or Dare in a card game.  Only without the dare part.  And the other people get to accuse you of lying and tell everybody about how they think you're a liar and then vote on it."

Jessie swished spit and squinted at her.  Tipping her head back, she gargled "Whad they asg?"

Kristi wrinkled her nose, drew a deep breath and blew it out hard at her bangs.  "Oof!" She said, "I'm telling you.  You do not want to know."  

Jessie stuck her left hip out hard, jammed her hand down on it and spat in the grate.  Wiping her chin, she grinned.  "It's not my mom!"

"Jesus, Jessie!"  cried Kristi and squinted at her, "Did you get any in the subway, or is it all on your face?"

Jessie blushed, but grinned wider.  "My loogie was bigger than yours anyway."  Kristi could always think to do something cool, like spit right in front of everyone at the bus stop, but Jessie could do it too, and she knew that Kristi was impressed.

Kristi shook her head at her and rocked back on her heels, staring up at the whorls carved into the tops of the buildings high above.  

Jessie watched her for a moment, swirling her key chain round and round her index finger.  "So?" she said at last.  

Kristi stomped forward onto her flat feet.  "You're such a damned busybody Jessie!" she said.  Jessie might know how to laugh at a joke and even how to tell one every once in a blue moon, but damned if she knew when one was over.  

Jessie narrowed her eyes at her, then turned away and looked toward oncoming buses.  "Whatever Kristi.  You effing brought it up."  She checked her watch and ran her tongue between her upper teeth.

Kristi laughed out loud then and grabbed Jessie around the shoulders.  "Oh my God, I'm just kidding.  You're such a Froot Loop!"  Jessie's shoulders were meatier than she expected, and she hugged her closer. 

Jessie shook her head and smiled slightly.  "So.  What happened?" She asked.

Kristi thought hard for a moment, staring at the sidewalk cracks and patting Jessie's arm.  Jessie knew this gesture, and thought she was about to get the superior eye roll and heavy sigh.  But Kristi suddenly squealed and turned to put her mouth right by Jessie's ear.   "Holy crap," she yelled, "My mom totally said that if people were having s - e - x on a park bench she'd stop to look!"

"Eeeeew!" Jessie wriggled away from Kristi and jumped up and down.  "Your mom is a total psycho!"

Kristi sighed, punched Jessie on the arm and said "Don't I know it." 


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