What are friends for if not to spread rumors about your bowel movements?

I have, for the second time since landing in this country, accidentally ordered an entire large cheese pizza for myself at a restaurant. I continually forget that they don’t serve in slices, and don’t know how to ask them to take back 75% of the meal they have just served me. And so I finish the entire pie. And it fits in me more easily than it should, so that when I brag or complain to friends later, I wonder why I don’t feel it pressing on the inners of my belly like a growing child.

I think about all of the movies I need to watch.

I push play on the next episode of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast.

I finish the pizza, looking around at the restaurant to see if anyone has noticed the girl in the back by the window not wearing a bra under her sweater and eating the last three bites of her seventh slice of pizza.

Halfway across the room, my eyes get stuck. The small table, one square foot, covered in half-sipped tall glasses of beer and delicate white mugs balanced on baby white plates. There are four large-headed Czechs squeezed around it with their knees tucked in a puzzle with each other. Each carries a cigarette like it’s heavy, resting it on his arm, resting it on his knee, resting it against his beer.

They talk low and close, close enough to feel the air from each other’s lips. Low and close. Dyed hair, balding on the back, holding each other close with words, with tradition, with eyebrows that move in angles.


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