`I was so tired. That sleepy kind of tired when ya
can't think of anything, but being sleepy and
how good bed would feel and how long it would
take me to get home on The Bus, but well I
was here, might as well stay to the end

The other 75 people in the humid auditorium
seemed wide awake. I - didn't like any of them. I
saw some people I knew-Sam, the Asian big
businessman who came out as gay about a year
ago and always wore the same tight shorts and
style of tank-top. I tried to smile at him
weakly, but it didn't really work as he was
enraptured, with mouth slightly open, listening to
speaker. Sam never spoke except to say, he felt

I saw my new friend Vincent, the Hawaiian Kahuna,
he wasn't really a Kahuna, but that's what
his mainland buddies called him. He was sitting at
the end of the row in front of me, so I
moved down. There was more air and I could
stretch my legs at his end.

Everybody seemed to watch me kiss Vincent's
cheek, even the speaker. I figured they all
probably knew I was tired and maybe someone
would give me a ride home.

The chairs were that folded metal kind found in
conference rooms world over. They make a
lot of noise if ya scoot them, but they are good for
resting your head on. I was almost asleep,
rather comfortably, leaning on the chair in front of
me and smelling Vincent's corn chips, when
the speaker rudely interrupted my thoughts of

The speaker's voice drifted into my head, "I told this
to a MADD convention- Mother's
against Drunk Drivers- and, man, a woman came-up
to me and demanded, 'how could you do
such a thing!'".

The speaker was dressed in kahiki shorts. He
looked white and well-off. He had killed
someone while driving drunk. He went on to say, "I
told the woman I was doing my best to
replace what I had taken away, but there was
nothing else I could do. She must've had family
killed or something."

I shivered awake. Across the auditorium sat that
beautiful blonde that seems to pop-up
everywhere I go. I had told Claudia I was hit in a car
by a drunk driver, and my grandpa died.
She had said my outside disability was like the way
she felt about herself inside. I had yelled
nothing but the facts into her answering machine. I
was angry. I had asked her to the zoo. She
called 3 days later to tell me she was disgusted by
my messages and since I wasn't going out
with her, I should make a list of why I was alienated
and tell her. I hastily made my list and
yelled it into her machine. I had to call back five

Grandpa and I were driving home from the San
Diego zoo when the truck hit us. I guess it
wasn't much of a romantic date. But I like zoos and
had had fun at the squirrel monkey cage
with Grandpa.

We petted their heads. One had a little tan circle, like
a crown.

Claudia was nonchalantly listening to the speaker.
She had her denim baseball hat on
backwards. I've always hated that style, but I liked it
on her. It always made me laugh to see
her try and look ugly. She was slouching with legs
stretched way out and taking up a lot of
floor space the way I do when I feel small.

The speaker made a joke. I crinkled Vincent's corn
chips to get his attention. I don't know
why. He was busy listening. I felt ignored. I think I
fell asleep. I was in the backseat when our
car flew off the highway. I saw pictures later.
18-Wheeler tore the front trunk clean off.

Claudia had seen me. I knew it.

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