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Where You've Been

LaTANYA McQUEEN

It’s been eight days, twelve text messages consisting of vague openers like Hey or What’s up? or What are you doing?, five unanswered phone calls in which I dialed then hung up at the sound of your voicemail, four drunk dials for which I blame the now empty bottle of Maker’s Mark and the abandonment of my girlfriends to their own boyfriends/careers/lives, and three unsent but very long-winded emails with subject-headings titled The Future Of Us since I talked to you last and I feel now an adequate enough time has passed for me to write you this note to really get to the truth of where you’ve been. In short, I've composed a list of three possible reasons to explain why you’ve been so distant.

– You are still abhorred by my Mr. Rogers comparison to your uncircumcised member (“It’s like he’s wearing a little sweater!”), believing it to be emasculating, and are equally upset that I used such reference for dirty talk during our last night together, as in “I bet Mr. Rogers wants to come inside my neighborhood.” It also doesn’t help matters that I began to sing the show’s ending theme song “It’s Such A Good Feeling” when we started getting it on.

–That flirty waitress from our last night out together who’s basketball breasts you couldn’t help staring at (I bet you thought I didn’t notice but I always notice) was actually serial killer Lady Ladyfingers for her penchant of dismembering the aforementioned (as well as other phallic resembling appendages) before brutally murdering her victims. Therefore I imagine that you have either 1.) died or 2.) managed to somehow escape before the brutal murdering but unfortunately after the taking of all your fingers and your toes and, I’m sad to say, also Mr. Rogers, thus making you incapable of typing/calling/answering any messages for an indefinite period of time.

– In what was to be a glorious attempt at reenacting the final scene from Say Anything as a way of making up, on the way to my apartment and while crossing the street you got hit by one of those double-decker neon-colored tour buses that you were unable to see because the boombox you’d been carrying obscured your view. I suspect now that you have either 1.) died or 2.) severely injured yourself rendering you incapable of typing/calling/answering any messages for an indefinite period of time. The boombox, however, has mysteriously managed to stay intact.

The list actually goes on but you get the idea. I hope that you’ll see this as my admission that yes I love you and yes I need you and yes I am sorry although, in truth, I have nothing to be sorry for but as the saying goes—bygones. All that I’m asking, all that I’m hoping for, is that you somehow get in touch with me. Also, that you forget the incident involving the duct tape. Obviously, Cosmo doesn’t know everything. I’ll be waiting for your response.



LaTanya McQueen is currently in the MFA program at Emerson College. A Glimmer Train and Robert Olen Butler prize finalist, she has been published in The North American Review, The Summerset Review, Rumble, and the Best of the Web anthology by Dzanc Press.