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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 49
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
Nice Guys Finish Last
Mattie Bono
Nice Guys Finish Last

I'm sitting in a musty old bar where prostitutes linger in the shadows and greasy old men decide which piece of ass to pay for. A man comes through the doors; he looks exactly like the pictures, but aged about five years. Peter Stein. His fat stomach protrudes over his belt, and his head is shining under a bare lightbulb by the door. I practically smell his desperate loneliness from across the room. God this guy is even more smarmy in person. I keep staring, while he scans the dim room with squinted eyes; finally he spots me and gives a weak toothless smile. He walks in a rushed, embarrassed kind of way as if he is completely out of place. Well, he is out of place. I could see the other men at the bar smirking at his genuine stupidity, and I wanted to join in the ridicule but that wouldn't go well with My Plan.

Eventually he made it to my corner, slightly out of breath, and he stuck out his stubby fat little hand and said, "Wow, you're even more stunning in person."

To be completely honest, I didn't give a shit about his ugliness. He's simply a tool in My Plan, and tools don't have to be pretty, only functional. Nothing is more functional than a thick wallet sticking out of a back pocket.

His voice is like a squeaking mouse, maybe it's from the nerves, and he keeps chuckling in an awkward and uncomfortable sort of way. I just make sure to maintain eye contact with a smile plastered on my face, and I can feel the hollowness behind my toothy grin. Occasionally he pauses in the middle of sentence and looks to me for affirmation, and I respond by girlishly giggling as encouragement.

I keep ordering gin and tonics (mine without the gin, since he can't understand Russian anyways) and he progressively gets more and more drunk. I hope that when he slurs an invitation to his hotel room tonight, he will pass out before I get done "freshening up" in his bathroom. He tries to be gentlemanly enough not to mention his paying for my hand in marriage, but he comes across as weak. This man is going to be so easy to kill it's laughable.