);

EXCERPT FROM ‘ALL PRETTY SORE’ by Alec Berry

David met me at the McDonalds and we bought McChickens before walking next door to buy 40s / Went to his apartment and drank, and then his roommate’s girlfriend came by and she told us how she slept with a dude in his 50s because it’d be something to write about / Ended up drunk late in the evening after the 40s because David kept a case of Hamm’s in the fridge, and then we called Walker, and I met Walker, and I realized Walker was weird, and we ran through the streets to my apartment and partied with the college boys I lived with / A few weeks later David said I should move into the empty sunroom where there isn’t air conditioning or furniture or a bed because I wouldn’t have to pay rent, and so I did this, and I never paid rent, and when we finally moved out months later his other roommate realized this and gave me the silent treatment and insisted I contributed little in my time at their apartment / He was sort of right / I spent a lot of alone time in their sunroom laying out on the hardwood floor, never buying a bed, usually eating those 3 for $2 chocolate chip cookies from the Holiday gas station, thinking about how I fell in love once, or what John Casey might be up to, or the old apartment on Cobun, or how I was happy to be away even though I seriously missed it all / David, Walker and I went out one night to the Otter and got real drunk and depression hit real bad, and I went outside and ripped a gutter off the apartment building on 7th street / We drove through the McDonalds drive through and I bought seven McChickens and ate them in the parking lot, and they laughed and on the way back some radio station played Nevermind, front to back / We had the windows down with the volume up in stopped traffic, and David couldn’t quit laughing / This was about as good as the time on the Fourth of July Walker and I went fishing, and then we came back to the apartment and partied with the roommates and their girlfriends and their friends, and at some point I went into the sunroom, pushed open the doors and blasted AC/DC’s “Riff Raff”, and everyone left, and I laid out on the floor / Towards the end I was eating breakfast and Cori sent me a text to say Alex Gavula died in New York City / I called his phone and an NYPD officer answered, and I broke into tears right then because it was a plain metaphor that simply said you can’t go back / I thought about the last time I spoke with him, when I asked for help covering the rent / the check never came because he wasn’t reliable / Felt bad I ever reached out for this and that I’d been angry about the let down / I think I know despite his troubles he was a good guy waiting for a chance to do good / now i feel bad it may have been another moment of mistake for him / An instance he had to say to himself, “not another one” / It would have been nice of me to say, “hey, I got it figured out. No worries.” /

The above is an excerpt from Alec’s novel, ALL / PRETTY / SORE. You can check it out here.

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