He hums as he runs, the 80s Spotify playlist keeping his pace. Those were indeed the best days, singing out loud with his friends, laughing and punching each other until their stomachs and arms hurt, bragging about waking up rock hard, never cum or sweat soaked, hiding sheets from their moms. They’d say nocturnal emissions to science it up a bit, like saying vagina instead of pussy, which always got them giggling and punching each other again. The hours they’d spent talking about sex and bragging about who they were going to fuck filled up late nights of comic book reading and horror movie watching, sleeping far enough away from each other that they never really knew who might have in the night, but really wanting to know. Eventually, an older brother told them after hearing them screaming the lyrics out in the basement that it’s not about a damn sex dream at all but about a stupid guitar, and that Bryan Addams is a loser, and they should be listening to real fucking music, not this pop radio bullshit. And they did, he remembers as the next song plays, his feet chasing those memories away.
Melissa Llanes Brownlee is a native Hawaiian writer, living in Japan. She received her MFA from UNLV and has fiction published and forthcoming in Milk Candy Review, Claw & Blossom, Bending Genres, The Lumiere Review, Micro Podcast, (mac)ro(mic), and selected for Best Small Fictions 2021. She tweets @lumchanmfa and talks story at www.melissallanesbrownlee.com.
image: Jesse Hilson