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Paul’s Night

He watched them laugh. They laughed with their whole bodies, heads back, mouths wide. Loud, open, fearless laughter. It reverberated around the room, bounced off the walls, surrounded him with love, caring, fearlessness, hilarity, bitterness, frustration, all at once. [...]

Name That Tune

“Taco Bell is my favorite post-bar meal. What about you?” “Sounds fine. I don’t have my car…” “That’s okay,” he interrupted. “I can drive, and then after we eat, I’ll take you home.” “I don’t know…” I hesitated, more because of what I knew Carli’s reaction would be than because of any fear I had of getting in a car with a total (nearly) stranger. “You could be a serial killer.” “Tell you what,” he said, negotiating. “I’ll let you drive, I’ll ride in the back seat on the passenger’s side with my hands folded together, and I won’t say a word.” He smiled. “How’s that for a compromise that even your own mother couldn’t find fault with?” [...]