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I sit having a beer with some friends–well, friends. We were friends the way a banana might be friends with a meat-pie.

One of my friends brought one of his friends; a girl who just got in from Vladivostok with her husband. She is being quite flirty with me. I smile with a mouth-full of meat pie.

Her husband is watching me, somehow managing to chew me with his eyes. I make a joke, his wife laughs a good long while.

I can feel the room grow smaller and smaller until it is only me and her husband’s toothy eyes.

“Isn’t he funny?” she asks him. He says some things in Russian I don’t quite catch. It upsets her. We all sit in silence. Then, for some reason unbeknownst to me, my mouth decides to say, “awwwkward.”

At this, the girl from Vladivostok breaks her silence, bursting with laughter. Her head tilts back and then, suddenly, freezes. The laugh is cut short along with the rest of the world. I look around and realize the whole bar has stopped–the music, the footsteps, the dishware. All silent. Even the smells from the kitchen are no longer reaching my nose.

“What the shit?” I ask, looking back across the table. The husband watches me. I see his actual teeth now–a sick smile, and its growing.

He waves.

“What–”

He holds up his hand. He says some things in Russian; the only word a catch–an insult–meaning something along the lines of “male dog”. He picks up a knife off the table and, before I can move an inch I feel it find a home somewhere in my neck–somewhere warm.

The warmth spreads, goes cold. The cold brings the dark. Someone, somewhere, is laughing.

I sit having a beer with some friends–well, friends. We were friends the way a banana might be friends with a meat-pie.

One of my friends brought one of his friends; a girl who just got in from Vladivostok with her husband. She is being quite flirty with me. I smile with a mouth-full of meat pie.

Her husband is kind of weird; sitting there, whistling a tune.

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A Writer and an artist living in Russia

30 Comment on “A Beer Full of Awkward

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