I JUST WANT PALS TO JOSH AROUND WITH by Kevin Richard White

I JUST WANT PALS TO JOSH AROUND WITH by Kevin Richard White

Maybe we could talk about farts.

Maybe we could talk about our wives’ asses while sinking into Wayfair furniture, split an IPA sampler pack with rain looming on the radar. Maybe we could talk about how they spend too much money on the dumb things, the silly things, how much of a goofball they are.

Maybe we could forget to put up the umbrella to keep us from the setting sun and discuss parlays and dick pills, grilling preferences and political opinions. Maybe the bottles get empty quick or maybe we nurse the fuck out of them. Maybe we look back into the house with sad eyes in hopes that another case or a glass of water appears.

Maybe we get lost in our own heads and we talk about our fates and dreams. Maybe we discuss how soft our wives’ hands are, how they look in the shower, how they may or may not love us. How bad their posture is, how bad their pot roast can be. Maybe we get away with it, because we’re out on the back patio doing back patio things, while they’re inside, talking mad shit on us. 

Maybe you can bring your kids, let them tear up my grass and scuff up my furniture, since I don’t have any then. Maybe they can make you watch as they do the same jump and slide forty times over, and you smile and say “Good job!” through gritted teeth forty times. Maybe I laugh and feel sorry for you, or I let it tear through my heart and eat me alive because I’m too lazy and scared about money to have my own. Maybe we spill a beer and laugh in the darkening backyard.

Maybe you want to fuck my wife and I want to fuck yours, but we’re too chicken to say anything, so we let ice hit our teeth and become the perfect pause. Good tactic.

Maybe it’s when I finally bring up that my dad fired guns at me when I was a kid, that I touched my mother’s hand while she lay dying on the couch after an episode of Kenan and Kel, that I tried to commit suicide, that I broke too many hearts. That I got myself into debt over drinking and that I watch too much porn and that’s why I’m scared to have kids because I can’t get it up anymore because I masturbated too much, and that my wife will leave me to travel the world because I’m afraid of airports. Maybe all of this will happen and then some because we live in a society. 

Maybe I’ll bring this up over a 15% stout because I’m too much of a fucking pussy to bring it up sober. Or at all. Maybe then, in the dark, with our teeth hurting from our ice, and our constant pulls on our cigarettes, it will become more of a sermon and a truth than a joke and a drunken rant. Maybe then, maybe then, maybe then.

Or. We just talk about the movies that are playing in the theater that weekend or the best burgers we’ve had lately.

In this, too, we can be right and wrong. And since we’re friends, you wouldn’t leave. You’d only go in to get us another.


Kevin Richard White's fiction appears in Hobart, Rejection Letters, Lost Balloon, The Molotov Cocktail, Soft Cartel, X-R-A-Y, The Hunger, Hypertext and Grub Street among many others. He lives in Philadelphia.

Art by Jaime Goh

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