It’s the upright colored-in triangle with the colored-in matching bar smack dab below it. This is the button he keeps hitting three seconds after every first track plays. And the tray spits the disc out and he Frisbees the thing across the room and the thing bounces off the peeling wallpaper or bounces off the cracked head-to-toe mirror or bounces off one of two cracking windows. And the disc lands on a growing heap of discs recently Frisbeed. And this he’s doing with the entire collection.

Not his own, mind you. These are all hers.

And she has hundreds. And this is also her component system, in her apartment. And what he’s doing is, he’s seeking out the most appropriate song to set on repeat to blow her speakers out on.

And that’s when she walks in, right when he’s come upon the perfect song.

And she wants to know, “The fuck is this?"
And he wants to know, "The fuck you’re early?”
And there they are, blinking rage at each other.

She picks discs up off the cat-furred-over carpet and she flings them hard at him and she is really determined to know, “The fuck is this, Gerald?”
And he says, “Please, don’t call me: Gerald.”
“Is it your fucking name?”
He tells her, “I was about to ruin your speakers.”
He says, “I was about to ruin them with Journey. With their greatest hits. In particular, with track four.”

She shakes her head at him and she’s trying real hard not to smirk evil and she tells him he’s such a schmuck. Tells him, actually, that he’s such a fucking schmuck. And what she’s feeling in her stomach is poison. And not the band Poison. Though, she prefers them to Journey.

And he nods. Because he knows — not that she prefers Poison (because it’s a detail she’s always left out), but that, indeed, he’s a fucking schmuck. He drops the disc into the tray and presses the upright colored-in triangle with the colored-in matching bar smack dab below it, anyway.

And she advances, shiny blood-red nails poised to claw out eyeballs. For starters.

Smirking the smirk, she says, “Crank it up, baby.”
She adds, “Then stand still.”
Because, he’s nothing if not obedient.

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