THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN IN RACHEL AND MIKE'S PLATONIC FRIENDSHIP
THE FATTEST MAN IN THE WORLD
Rachel and Mike ate some gemelli. "Which eyebrow do you like better?" said Rachel. Mike threw a squishy world ball against the wall. "You're an athlete," said Rachel encouragingly. She'd brought over two microwavable vegetable dishes which Mike didn't eat. Together they talked about literary realism, the fattest man in the world, and Dorthea Lasky's new chapbook from Transmission Press, Tourmaline. In the year 2008, you could buy Torumaline by PayPaling Logan Ryan Smith $3.50. Logan Ryan Smith lived in San Francisco and was entitled--like most Americans--to certain favorites: diners, teams of baseball. Rachel and Mike both agreed they were entitled to hate a mutual classmate who refused to "dive into" gay stories that weren't "gay stories." "He kept saying he didn't understand the Olympic protesters," said Mike. "And I just kept yelling 1936, 1936, 1936." Rachel put on her coat. "I left you that green bean thing," she said furiously. "Wait," said Mike. "When am I going to have a meaningful relationship?" Together they looked at a somewhat confessional blog. "That's obnoxious," said Rachel, "to put *'s for peoples' names like that, like duh of course these people know who they are." "I think it's like mythology," said Mike, which felt like an overly ambitious characterization, like naming your pet balloon Jupiter. "I don't know," said Mike trustingly. "I don't think she's out to hurt them." "I mean," said Rachel, "it's also like I'm a woman! That's good." Three thousand miles west, in San Francisco, Logan Ryan Smith invented nicknames for his favorite shortstop. Chelsea Martin logged onto AIM and logged immediately back off. A polar bear slept on the cover of an online literary magazine. Alex didn't answer his phone. Bryan took a shower, thinking of Crispin Glover. Kyle set a date for his wedding. "Epic," Mike thought exhaustedly. Rachel left for real. Mike opened a can of broken Airborne and sprinkled the Vitamin C dust into his heater vents. Citrus volcano. End of an era. That was the year 2008 and the trains would carry us past the tennis courts four or even five times a day, God willing.