How old are you? Twenty-one. Ah, beautiful. How old are you? I asked. Thirty-five, he said. You’re going to Chicago? Yes, to visit a friend. Come home with me. You can get a cab to your friend’s later. Where does your friend live? Evanston, I said. Ah! I live there, too. When he placed a hand on my leg, I flinched. Don’t worry, he said, I don’t bite. When I came to the next morning, naked and wrapped in expensive high percale sheets that were not mine, my clothes hidden as if in a movie from the 1940s, where the boy gets the girl by wit and subterfuge, there was a curious taste in my mouth, the taste of copper. Digging around in my mouth with a dirty finger, my nails crescented with working class dirt, it only took a moment to determine the blood was my own.

James Nulick

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