ANSEL

I want to take you to a coffee shop and seduce you. I was walking down the street when he said this. I have a boyfriend, I said.
    Don’t bring him, the man said. He was walking alongside of me. You’re a fast walker, he said.
    I have to be somewhere, I said.
    I know. Getting coffee with me. And you’re right on time.
    I’m meeting my boyfriend, I said. He’s big and he has tattoos.
    Did he just get out of prison? He was smiling.
    Yeah, for killing a man who was hitting on me.
    So it’s true, he said. Girls always go for the nice guys.

I went to 14th Street Bagels. I ordered an everything bagel with cream cheese. How you doing, baby? the cashier said. He had absurdly hairy arms. The hairs were black and curly. I wanted to touch them. Sort of. They also made me sick. I wondered if his whole body was covered like that.
    When are we gonna to get married? he said.
    I’ll just give my boyfriend some sleeping pills and we’ll go off to Vegas together.
    Anytime, baby. Anytime.
    I got my bagel and Snapple Iced Tea and went back to the office.
    Where were you? my boss said.
    Getting lunch, I said.
    Tell me when you’re going, he said.
    Alright, I said. Jesus. I sat down and unwrapped my bagel.
    He looked at me. Come eat in my office, he said.
    Why? I said.
    I want to tell you something.

I’m getting a divorce, he said.
    Oh, I said. Did you tell Clara?
    Clara was the receptionist.
    No, not yet, he said. I’m going to tell her tonight. I was going to surprise her. You think she’ll be surprised?
    Yeah, probably.
    It’s what she wanted, right?
    I guess, I said.
    He stood up and looked out the window. On his shelf was a picture of him and his wife and their daughter. Her daughter was bald in the picture. Bald babies always freak me out. They look like little concentration camp survivors.
    He was looking out the window. Everything is shit, he said. Just shit.

I got home. I opened up a can of chili. For some reason I was in the mood for chili. My phone rang. It was my mom.
    I was just going out the door when I realized that I hadn’t told you about Ansel.
    What about Ansel? I said. Ansel was my dog.
    Oh, so I didn’t tell you did I? I’ve been so busy I don’t know who I told what.
    What happened? Is he okay?
    He has to have a little surgery, sweetie. It’s not a big deal. It was a bad tooth infection and there was a little complication or something. They had no idea what was but now they do.  He was in so much pain, I felt terrible for the little guy.
    When is it going to happen? I said.
    Tomorrow.
    Alright. I hope he’s okay.
    Oh he’ll be fine, sweetie. I don’t want you to worry. It’s going to be okay.
    How is he now?
    Oh, he’s still doing pretty bad. He’s sleeping now, we gave him some pills.
    Okay, I hope he’s okay.
    Sweetie I have to rush out to Clarissa’s now but I’ll let you know how it goes love ya sweetie bye-bye!
    
I turned on the TV. It was Seinfeld. Ansel was going to die. I knew it. He was going to die. I started crying. He was going to die. He wouldn’t make it through the operation. I saw his furry dead body on the metal operating table. I got out some red wine and drank it. I felt worse. I wanted to hold him. I couldn’t stop crying. He was going to die, I knew it.