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[audio:https://killauthor.com/audio/issuefourteen/j_bradley.mp3|titles=Raymond Carver’s Dance Party|artists=J. Bradley]

“Fill me with your seed”, Hillary yelled into my ear between pitter pattering beats, a metallic voice singing something about the beat dropping and the party never stopping. The thin, plastic cup of Malibu, pineapple, cranberry, and ice almost fell out of my hands.

“Where? When?”

“Ten minutes. The handicapped bathroom. Make sure the door guy isn’t looking when you go in.” Hillary danced her way toward the front of the club. I finished the pureed island, looked into the cup.

“What should I do?” I asked the melting ice. The sweat of the cup nipped at my fingertips. “What should I do?” I poured a cube into my mouth, snapped it with my teeth, releasing the ghost of 1992.

No glove, no love. The brain freeze sounded like a mix of Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Madonna, and Rosie Perez.

“What if it’s just her mouth?” The second cube cracked in my mouth. This time the ghost of 1992 crotchet the lyrics to “Another One Bites The Dust” onto my gums. Even if the past was down with such a hot mistake, I knew Hillary wasn’t into appetizers.

If this was a romance novel, the song that played during our first kiss would start once we were alone in the handicapped bathroom. We would use verbs like “ravage”, “thrust”, “pulled”, adjectives like “ache”, “flushed”, “engorged”, “heated”. If this was literary fiction, there would be an internal conflict where I would decide is my love/lust for Hillary worth playing “Who’s The Father?”, seeing how Hillary would never love me back, no matter how many orgasms I give her, how many promises I make her. If this was an after school special, she would get pregnant and we both might survive a STI scare depending on the mood of the writer while writing it. If this was a John Hughes film, we would end up together in the bathroom but not get it on because a) someone would walk in while we were in a compromising position and you would laugh at us being walked in on because being walked in on while your pants are down is funny to everyone but you, or b) we would have a heart-to-heart about why we shouldn’t do this because we’re in love with other people and it wouldn’t work and something from Crowded House would play us out.

When I bit into the third cube, the ghost of 1992 opened a Choose Your Own Adventure book titled A Night At The Club. Hillary and I were on the cover in our club clothes. Page 102 confirmed she said “Give me your seed”. On the bottom it said:

“If you want Craig to follow Hillary into the bathroom, turn to page 73.”

“If you want Craig to stay at the bar, turn to page 67.”

The fourth ice cube said nothing.

This is not how I helped make you, Bobby. One day, I’ll tell you how you were made. One day.