The very night Suffolk Aquatics wins district and Kev Drupperman tries to touch my boob, the Kavishnicks (Poppa, Momma, and me)—attempt to outrun bad credit (and general loserdom) and expatriate from New York to Rasthole Flats, Alabama.
First, some particulars: Samantha Kavishnick. Perma-virgin. Alabamian?
And here’s what I’m thinking, from the backseat of the wooly minivan. You must not go to Alabama. Kev Drupperman does not live in Alabama. If Kev Drupperman does not live in Alabama, you must not live at all.
Rasthole Flats. A town so ghoulish it took two Googlings to find. I read aloud from the website: “Chimpanzees Incinerate Rasthole Zoo.” From the passenger seat, Momma leans over the handbrake and punches Poppa in his nuggets. He locks arms to keep from swerving while his mouth puckers.
Poppa shakes his head, counting the ways this bad life might get even worse.
We stop for late supper at a graveyard truck stop.
Momma: “Look at us, on top of the world.” Poppa stabs his meat with a plastic fork and Momma pops his nuggets for ignoring her. I fling my chicken fried steak at the window like a Rasthole chimp tossing a Molotov at the zookeeper.
Did the chimpanzee pucker as he launched?
Does zoo-less Rasthole have a pool to go with its version of Kev Drupperman?
I’ll ask the chimpanzees.
Mike Itaya has published stories in Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Four Way Review, and Bending Genres. He studies fiction at Pacific University.