Brett Biebel ~ Lighthouse Inn #6

Days I spent at the Surf Ballroom, wait­ing around for girls.  Sometimes I read books about war or foot­ball or how to suc­ceed in busi­ness, and some­times I just sat.  I’d find some booth in the cor­ner or else off to the side, and it was always spon­sored by Community Bank, or maybe the Clear Lake Super 8, and the only time it ever worked was Lydia.  Or Lauren.  I can’t remem­ber, and she must have been 37 at least and danc­ing to Tommy James and the Shondells, and then we got back to the motel, and she made me wear these Buddy Holly glass­es and said I should call her Peggy Sue while we rolled around on the floor and found each other’s tongues.  Hers tast­ed like cof­fee grounds spiked with casi­no liquor, and when the clothes came off and it still wouldn’t work, we ordered piz­za from this place called Uncle Angelo’s or Cousin Billy’s and sat there using the car­pet as an ash­tray and talk­ing about car wrecks and ice cream and whether or not we had any kind of a future.

Maybe,” I said.  “Probably.  As long as you don’t leave right this sec­ond, and let’s just go ahead and see what comes.”

What’s so great about a future any­way?” she said, and so I told her, I said, I don’t know, but I was always gonna end up all full and flop­py beside some nowhere inter­state, and maybe that wasn’t so bad, and what did she think?  Maybe this one could be just good enough.


Brett Biebel teach­es writ­ing and lit­er­a­ture at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. His (most­ly very) short fic­tion has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, the min­neso­ta review, The Masters Review, Emrys Journal, and else­where. 48 Blitz, his debut sto­ry col­lec­tion, is avail­able from Split/Lip Press.