Another Relationship Story

Flash Fiction by Rob Reynolds


I’m pulling out of Fresno late one night when this baboon waves me down.

He wants to know how far I’m going. I say I don’t know.

He shows a fifth of Jack.

We’re on our way.

I wonder sometimes why I keep this up — the stench, the hair, the hangovers. But it’s late in the game for those thoughts. I lean over and kiss the beast. His lips are soft, a hint of passion. He pulls away.

After a while, he asks me what kind of music I like.

“I like the three-word, one-syllable bands.”

He snickers. “Goo Goo Dolls?”

“There you go.”

“Third Eye Blind?”

“Yeah, yeah.”

My kind of primate, but I don’t tell him that. I tell him to pop the glove compartment, see if there’s anything he likes.

His big paw burrows beneath the owner’s manual, finds a Snickers bar.

“No, I mean the CDs.”

He pulls out Miles Davis’s Some Day My Prince Will Come. It’s the only CD I own. But I own ninety-six copies.

“Faith No More?”

“Jesus, give it a rest!” I run my hand through my hair. Humans, baboons. Give ‘em an inch, they want two.

I cue it to the title track and steer us toward the desert. Miles blows away the miles. We pass the bottle between us.

He tears the wrapping off the chocolate bar, slides it between his lips, sucks each long, beautiful finger. Says, “We never talk anymore.”

Rob Reynolds‘s comic novel Wire Mother Monkey Baby was published in 2017 by Outpost19, a small, independent publisher in San Francisco. His stories have appeared widely including the Tampa Review, Kennesaw Review, Vestal Review, flashquake, Mad Hatter’s Review, and Hobart Pulp. “What You Can Learn in a Bar” was anthologized in Ooligan Press’s You Have Time for This: Contemporary American Short-Short Stories.  He’s a former Contributing Associate and Contributing Editor of the Harvard Review and the Boston Book Review.

In what seems like a previous life, he taught English at Tom Petty’s alma mater, Gainesville High School. He’s lived in Austin, Texas, since 1994 and is a big fan of cats, dogs, and children.

Check out more of his writing at robreynolds.me.

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