Male Bonding

Male Bonding

Switching lanes at eighty without a signal, you bite the Baby Ruth to the wrapper, snap fingers, press play and shout, “Yeah! I don’t care what people say—Nugent’s got balls!” Raising your voice to compete with “Cat Scratch Fever” you ask, “Did you hear what that cocksucker Davis said to me? God, he jerks me.” You’re pointing out the window. “Is that a guy?”

Knoxville spreads ugly and gray below the overpass. A man as tiny as a bug falls between skyscrapers, arms and legs flailing, and then he’s gone. I almost wonder if I’ve imagined him or if he’s just another insect on the windshield, but you’re smiling and I have the urge to say Don’t.

“O.K., I know I didn’t just see a dude fall off a fucking building!” You whoop and punch the ceiling.

“They’re going to have to resurface the road,” I say. “That guy’s applesauce.” I force a grin as cars whip past.


About the Author

John Talbird is the author of the chapbook, A Modicum of Mankind. His fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Juked, The Literary Review, Ambit, Serving House Journal and elsewhere. He is on the Editorial Board of Green Hills Literary Lantern and a frequent contributor to Film International. An English professor at Queensborough Community College, he lives in New York City with his wife. His story “Girls” appeared in Bull in Winter 2014.