No way. Vagina?
No way. Magreb?
Sounds ugly. Deweydecimal.
He’d be laughed at. Remember, what would it be like in the playground at recess?
Xerxes? He conquered the world, and he could have the initial ‘X’. Maybe Xerxes Xephaphon? ‘XX’.
Cool, but let’s go the other way. Joe.
Mac. Max. Sam.
Have we settled on B? Bill.
Like something you get from the electric company. No way. Bilious. Bituminous. Buttcrack.
Buttcrack? No way.
Joesam Xerxes Malone walked into the lawyers’ office and stood sneering at the receptionist. “I’m here,” he said, simply. She stared at him and didn’t blink. In fact, two minutes went by when they stared at each other, not blinking. Seemed impossible. Then she blinked.
I love you, he said.
Have a seat, she said.
What are you doing Friday night?
Not going out with you, she said.
I love you even more.
The couple’s wedding was held at their favorite pet store. He in a tuxedo, she in a white gown, traditional. The best man just got out of prison, and wore stripes in honor of that. The three groomsmen were hired from a talent agency, a doo wop trio. The bridesmaid had tattoos on her neck, tentacles reaching up onto her cheeks, and enough metal in her noise, ears, and tongue to set off detectors at the airport a mile away. The ladies-in-waiting were all receptionists. They stared at Joesam.
Neither family was represented, which means the parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins hated them both.
Joesam Xerxes Malone, will you take this here Miss Thang to be your lawfully wedding wife,” the minister, a TV preacher who was videoing the whole thing, said. He wore blue jeans and a “Have a Crappie Day” t-shirt.
Yo, Joesam replied.
And will you, Fancy Nancy Dancy Vigarelli, take this dude to be your lawfully wedded hoosbund?
Let me think. Maybe. Oh O.K. Roll the dice.
Does that mean ‘yes’? the minister said, winking at the videographer and his camera.
I now pronounce you, doo doot di doot di doo, Divorce Bait. You may tongue the bride.
Which he did. Dogs were fighting in front of them, cats meowed in their cages, white mice ran round and round in theirs.
Blendo Bondo Buxtahude?
Middlefinger Marscapone Malone?
Because to the surprise of all their families and friends, the Malones stayed together long enough to expect a child. Girl this time.
Fancy Nancy had died her hair into black and white checks to honor her husband. Joesam Xerxes had died his plain brown to honor his wife.
Ah Honey Malone?
Piss on You Malone?
Nebula Quasar Malone walked into the hamburger joint. The girl-woman behind the counter, in her black hijab, shot him the finger. He was stunned.
I’ll have a Double Greasy Burger, Major Type Fries, Caffeine with no drink, and you, he said.
We’ll see about that, she growled.
He was in love. She was employed.
May the circle be broken, somehow, someway, by somebody. But not during this lunch.
David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN. His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher. He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia. His literary publications total more than two hundred. David Flynn’s web site is at http://www.davidflynnbooks.com.
–Art by Magdalena Roeseler