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Violet Piper

Nets and Wings

Night Cafe by Igor Gubskiy

I’m fifteen, high out of my mind off of a weed brownie some kid sold me in our school’s stairwell, and I have no recollection of how we got to be outside a Hooters or that there even was a Hooters in Manhattan, so I’m disoriented, to say the least. I’m droning on and on about how fucked up Hooters is. I don’t know how long ago I started talking, and I feel the words zooming through the holes in all the nets I have set up in my brain to avoid getting punched …Can you guys believe Hooters still exists? God, this place is pathetic. How dystopian is it that a Little League team is here? I would rather work anywhere than at a Hooters, seriously, name a job or a company or an industry, and I know for a fact I would rather work there than wear a push-up bra as a uniform… I’m with my best friend Maya, plus two girls I don’t really like, and all three of them are locking their jaws and bugging their eyes out at me, and I’m thinking: Why is no one saying anything besides me, and is my voice actually echoing down the street or is it just my imagination? One girl gets up for some reason, all stiff and mousy, and Maya kicks me in the shin, like literally in my tibia, and I think: No one has kicked me like that since fourth grade when I was on that soccer team called the Dolphins and we sucked so badly. Maya starts whispering through her teeth. _We are here to pick up her older sister, who works at Hooters, you fucking dipshit._The entire city block rocks forward ninety degrees and back again like a see-saw, and I realize, for the first time, that I do this all the time – I monopolize conversations for so long that I slip into this other universe where I’m completely alone. The girl’s sister ends up giving us like ten free boneless buffalo chicken wings each, and seems happy enough in her push-up bra, and so I’m actually the pathetic one all along.

About the writer:
Violet Piper is a writer from Brooklyn with poems, stories, essays, and experimental works in Devastation Baby, Nifty Lit, Harpur Palate, and others.

Image: Night Cafe by Igor Gubskiy (1954-2022). No medium specified. No size specified. 2013. By free license.

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