Lauren Aimee Curtis

A Woman Barking, a Man Crying


What I remem­ber is dry desert wind, dirt all over your body and mine, and the pool that looked so good from the high­way, up close was sprout­ing green and snot-like around the edges. There was music blast­ing from somebody’s car radio as we parked but all we heard was bass. After we’d show­ered there was noth­ing left to do but drink so that’s what we did. It’s what we would do any­way. We’d already scanned the super­mar­ket ear­li­er for some­thing that would real­ly fuck us up and found a bot­tle of whiskey for four dol­lars and sev­en­ty-eight cents, some cheap beers, some oranges. The fan in our motel room was bro­ken and the blan­kets itched, but every­thing was salmon pink and kitsch so it didn’t mat­ter. We sat on the stained car­pet and drank while we sang along with the radio and smoked cig­ars. We danced – that was always the good part, the danc­ing. We took pho­tographs and then we took turns squeez­ing the juice from the oranges into each other’s eyes. We argued. We got dis­tract­ed by sounds com­ing from the next room – a woman bark­ing, a man cry­ing, then remem­bered we were argu­ing and argued over who for­got first. Sometime between mid­night and sun­rise when the tem­per­a­ture dropped but our bod­ies were fresh­ly cov­ered with sweat we watched a cou­ple have sex on the bro­ken deck chair beside the pool. Neither of us had seen sex so close and so real. It was ugly. It was big, white flesh angri­ly pump­ing, it was clenched teeth and cel­lulite rip­ples danc­ing all over their bodies.


Lauren Aimee Curtis is a writer from Sydney, Australia. Her short fic­tion has appeared or is forth­com­ing in Two Serious Ladies, Going Down Swinging, The UTS Writers’ anthol­o­gy Hide Your Fires, and Spineless Wonder’s anthol­o­gy Writing to the Edge.