Three Short Shorts by Nicolle Elizabeth


Road To Where

The day I started acting like I was worth a damn was the same day my car died five miles in the middle of nowhere off the highway. I walked to a gas station and I said, “Can you give me a jump?” The guy behind the counter said, “You don’t have a man in that car to help?” “No,” I said. I walked three more miles in the sun to a garage, I walked right into the shop, I stood under elevated cars, I asked the man, “Can you give me a jump? About three miles north.” He put me in his truck and I looked in the rearview, thinking about how the tow parts on these trucks remind me of the tin man. We got to my car, frozen. The man saw the look on my face, said, “This called a cable.”

 

All I Wanted To Do Was Dance

All I wanted to do was dance. I got a job working as a bartender in one of those clubs very corporate-employed people go to. Where they drink Red Bull and sweat out hair gel into all hours of the night. I didn’t even mind the bikini bottoms to be worn as uniform, what bothered me was the way the other women were so mean to each other in the bathrooms. I wanted to say, “It doesn’t matter the shade, it’s all the same lipstick,” but instead I was quiet while I washed my face and women scoffed each other over shoes. One of the DJs took a liking to me and now and then I’d sit on the couch behind his booth and this didn’t do much in the way of helping my popularity problem. The jealousy oozed like purple haze and I tried to say, “This isn’t my life, I’m a writer, this is an interlude in my life,” but didn’t get the chance, and saying so seemed like it would come out in another way and then I’d find myself saying, “That isn’t what I meant. I didn’t mean your life isn’t legitimate,” and so instead I poured drinks and tried not to cry while people stared at me, dancing, miserable.

 

Real Music

you say that you hate new york at 103 degrees I say no I love new york in the heat I can forget that I can’t forget, thick air gin in ribs slow moving no electricity for hours dirt hanging low sweat all over the place, hydrants busted up rainbows running through cab windshields wet feet a bag of oranges and two beers on the stoop roof dancing eye makeup rolling you kiss me in an alley I say this heat brings out the devil we need to run

 

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Nicolle Elizabeth is a five foot tall diva. She is the poetry editor in residence of Word Riot and has a bunch of fiction all over the place. Someday, she will become an astronaut.