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"Letting It Fly," short story excerpt

Tuesday 4/19/22

A man decided he was going to let it fly. “Enough!” of the stage-management of his words, he thought. All of that effort trying to determine what people wished to hear, or was best for them to hear, or worked out the smoothest for them to hear so that he could have all of these amazingly prosperous and rich relationships that he didn’t have.

“Where the fuck has it gotten me?” he brooded, before answering himself with a wry and painful “exactly,” and that settled the new way forward.

There was this chick—yeah, he called her a chick—on this dating site and they matched and in her profile she said that mini-golf was so boring. She must have been out on a lot of mini-golf dates the newly-minted let-it-fly guy thought, “but not with me!” he reasoned. He could feel little pulses of his blood in his thumbs like they had hearts of their own as he began to text to her. “I love mini-golf,” he wrote, and the “actually” he added felt strong and true, like a new kind of missile that had been launched which never failed to hit its targets in all of the testing the government had done. Then he really let it fly.

“If it weren’t for drinking and masturbating, I’d be playing mini-golf all day.”

“Really?” the woman texted back, so it was going pretty damn well because the man knew a “tell-me-more” really when he saw a “tell-me-more” really. Challenge issued, challenge about to be answered.

“Oh yeah,” the man responded. “If I could combine the three, I would. That’d be a great day, if the weather held.”

He wasn’t sure why he added the last part and thinking the matter over he concluded that a gray, rainy day would probably be best if you were going to drink and masturbate at the mini-golf course because there would be less families and kids and you were likely to make it through your round without being nabbed. Because if you were nabbed the best case scenario would be getting told by management to never come back, which would be spirit-dampening, with the worst being that you’d get arrested by the police who’d been summoned and then put on a sexual offenders’ registry so there were a lot of factors at play.

They get to the mini-golf course and she’s looking fine and like she is amenable to having some ironic fun and the start of their union can be baptized with some cute first date story and he’s doing the boisterous thing, making as many of his remarks as possible full of innuendo. Saying “innuendo” in his thoughts makes him want to say “in your end-o” out loud, but he’s also conflicted because it’s not easy to be this way and despite the masturbation he hasn’t had an erection in months or years because he’s just been alone and when you’re alone you don’t need the erection to orgasm he has realized. Doesn’t hurt, but not necessary. But if he cut out the booze—ugh.

The sun is hot and wants to make blisters on varnish and she starts to tire and wilt because there are a lot of holes at this particular mini-golf course and she sits down on a decorative pig with an open mouth where you have to hit the ball to make it go through a lighthouse on the other side with a hole in the bottom and this planet behind that is on the ground that also has a hole in it encircled by two rings that the man who is letting it fly thinks is supposed to represent Saturn. Grounded Saturn. Or is it beached Saturn because there is also some sand tracked in perhaps from a popular swimming hole that is just across the street?

It’s a crazy course, decidedly non-traditional, with a Dutch windmill being ridden by a puppet of Van Gogh who is pelvicly grinding against it up near the top and on prior visits he’s fought an urge to find the owner and ask him if the course is meant to be a metaphor for life and everything your ball has to go through for you to come out right but he has also figured that the owner is probably a man with chili stains on a Hawaiian T-shirt and not much of a representative from God, but then again, God might handle it that way if there is one.


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