Let the World Spin

by Doug Paul Case

It was still dark outside the first time I woke up in Jonah’s bedroom, and I gathered my clothes in a rush. The second time I was still drunk; Jonah later told me I woke him up by drumming his cheeks with my dick.

Still, we kept colliding. And that time, the third time, I slept under his covers until sun pierced my eyelids. I sat up quickly, alone, and I knew I should’ve been anywhere else.

The problem with Jonah is that he’s unsuspecting, obliging. I went home with him because I knew if I just stripped in front of him, he’d give me what I needed. I wasn’t using him, exactly—he was pliable. But if you let him be, he’d assume things were what they weren’t.

Sure enough, before I could wrap a blanket around my waist to go find my briefs, Jonah swept into the room with two cups of coffee. He even knew how I took it: two sugars with a hint of cream. And he wanted to take me antiquing.

“It’s how I found this canopy,” he said, rubbing his hand against a bedpost as if I wanted another go.

I knew then I had to drop him. Antiquing was more serious than what I could handle. I stirred the spoon in the mug, considering my options. I thought about saying something horribly overwrought, like “Jonah, sometimes you just have to let the world spin away from you,” or slowly pouring my coffee onto the floor before dancing naked from the room. I was never good at subtlety.
But then I didn’t need to be. He said, “Look, don’t get all quiet. I just need help moving the furniture.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“A dresser, at least,” Jonah said. “We’ll have to buy some ropes so we can tie it down.”


Doug Paul Case recently graduated from Emerson College, where he edited The Emerson Review. His short fiction has appeared in Annalemma, PANK, Monkeybicycle, and others. He is an MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University.
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