Yeah Write #188- Tempted


I see my bus pull away from the curb fifty feet away. I am too tired to even try to run.

“Fuck me.”

I realize I said that out loud when Big Ed the 85-pound crackhead giggles.

“Well if you’re gonna twist my arm.”

I laugh.

“Hey Big Ed, how are you?”

I plop on them nearby bench; he stands a few feet away, smiling.

“Waitin’ on the man, you know how it is. I was wondering where you was at. New bus schedule is a bitch ain’t it?”

I give him a cigarette.

“Yeah. You stay safe.”

He thanks me and scurries away. I watch the other crackheads and play a game with myself, drinkin or smokin’. Drunks tend to stumble. Crackheads usually shuffle because their feet hurt.

I remember. Your feet get fucked up when you spend all day and night walking from Belltown to Pioneer Square and back looking for a fix.

I’m not really one of them, crack was never my thing but I am one of them. I know them.

A woman approaches and smiles at me.

“Mind if I sit too? I don’t want to sit by myself.”

I smile back.

“Go ahead.”

From a foot away I can feel the thrum of her need. I offer her a cigarette; I really should stop doing that. Cigarettes are way too expensive.


She takes it with shaking hands. She reminds me of the bad old days. I tilt my head closer.

“Are you okay sweetheart?”

Her eyes are blue, her hair dyed jet black. She’s pretty in a drawn almost wasted kind of way. She tries to smile again it crumbles around the edges. She takes my hand and I can feel the bones in her fingers, she has a desperate cracky grip.

“Do you know Frames?”

I think it over and have to shake my head.

“I’m sorry I don’t. He your connection?”

She smiles at my hand.

“Strong hands, so soft- are you an artist or something?”

Before I can respond she starts crying. She puts our linked hands to her mouth, murmurs.

“What if I can’t find him?”

I want to hug her and slap her.

“He’s probably around somewhere. Have you tried over by the alley on 6th?”

She jumps up. She only remembers to let go of my fingers at the last minute.

“Stay right here.”

She darts into the convenience store and I take a deep breath. It would be so easy to score and take her back to my place. We could get high, get silly and I’d seduce her. Fuck my life up and fall into those blue eyes. Probably wind up dead.

When she comes back I think would kill a motherfucker to have her.

She presses a cup of cocoa into my hand.

“Here. It’s cold out. I’m gonna go find him okay?”

I want to pull her down next to me and put my arms around her. I want to suck smoke from her plump chapped lips.

“Thanks. I’ll be here for another half hour if you don’t find him and want to hang out.”

Her kiss is hot and quick. My cunt quivers.

I sip my cocoa and wait. The bus comes as she trots around the corner beaming.

The bus pulls away without me. I’m caught in her eyes and I’m going to be one of them.


12 thoughts on “Yeah Write #188- Tempted

  1. Meg

    Your dialogue is so natural and languorous. The buildup to the narrator’s caving in to addiction and lust is heartbreaking. And so real — never had a drug problem but I can talk myself into a cigarette in no time.

  2. The pace you’ve set with the clipped dialogue is so perfectly suited to the plot. And your descriptions of the details (the shuffling or the tilting, the too long linked hands, the quivering cunt) really enhance the grittiness and reality of the scene. It’s lovely to see your writing as part of Yeah Write, Shannon.

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