EXCERPT FROM ‘ALL PRETTY SORE’ by Alec Berry

EXCERPT FROM ‘ALL PRETTY SORE’ by Alec Berry

David met me at the McDonalds and we bought McChickens before walking next door to buy 40s / Went to his apartment and drank, and then his roommate’s girlfriend came by and she told us how she slept with a dude in his 50s because it’d be something to write about / Ended up drunk late in the evening after the 40s because David kept a case of Hamm’s in the fridge, and then we called Walker, and I met Walker, and I realized Walker was weird, and we ran through the streets to my apartment and partied with the college boys I lived with / A few weeks later David said I should move into the empty sunroom where there isn’t air conditioning or furniture or a bed because I wouldn’t have to pay rent, and so I did this, and I never paid rent, and when we finally moved out months later his other roommate realized this and gave me the silent treatment and insisted I contributed little in my time at their apartment / He was sort of right / I spent a lot of alone time in their sunroom laying out on the hardwood floor, never buying a bed, usually eating those 3 for $2 chocolate chip cookies from the Holiday gas station, thinking about how I fell in love once, or what John Casey might be up to, or the old apartment on Cobun, or how I was happy to be away even though I seriously missed it all / David, Walker and I went out one night to the Otter and got real drunk and depression hit real bad, and I went outside and ripped a gutter off the apartment building on 7th street / We drove through the McDonalds drive through and I bought seven McChickens and ate them in the parking lot, and they laughed and on the way back some radio station played Nevermind, front to back / We had the windows down with the volume up in stopped traffic, and David couldn’t quit laughing / This was about as good as the time on the Fourth of July Walker and I went fishing, and then we came back to the apartment and partied with the roommates and their girlfriends and their friends, and at some point I went into the sunroom, pushed open the doors and blasted AC/DC’s “Riff Raff”, and everyone left, and I laid out on the floor / Towards the end I was eating breakfast and Cori sent me a text to say Alex Gavula died in New York City / I called his phone and an NYPD officer answered, and I broke into tears right then because it was a plain metaphor that simply said you can’t go back / I thought about the last time I spoke with him, when I asked for help covering the rent / the check never came because he wasn’t reliable / Felt bad I ever reached out for this and that I’d been angry about the let down / I think I know despite his troubles he was a good guy waiting for a chance to do good / now i feel bad it may have been another moment of mistake for him / An instance he had to say to himself, “not another one” / It would have been nice of me to say, “hey, I got it figured out. No worries.” /

The above is an excerpt from Alec’s novel, ALL / PRETTY / SORE. You can check it out here.


Alec Berry lives in Wheeling, WV. He wrote and self-published All Pretty Sore. See more of his stuff here.

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