Iowa Writes

BLAISE DUKE
Speechless


"How much do you fucking love this house, you cheap motherfuckers?"
        Danny, shirtless, stands on the table and shouts while I record debts: Zach, $60 for a bottle of Wild Turkey; Matt, $10 for two forties; Nelson, Reed, Evan, and Schwartz, $15 apiece for Bob to chug and then vomit a bottle of red wine.
        "Let's go, you cheap motherfuckers.  This is a fucking house tradition.  How are we gonna throw a party tomorrow with no money?"
        Danny leans down, grabs a brown paper bag, and looks inside.  "Alright, we got some smooth brews here. $4 each."
        At this point, the general bidding process relaxes as brothers come up, grab a handful of beers, and either hand me the cash or declare their arrears to be written down and then ignored after the party.  The auction's about an hour deep, and everyone is in that awkward stage between sedated buzzed and mind-bendingly, money-throwingly drunk. Danny and I wait nervously for the 40s and smooth brews to kick in.
        "Come on, you cheap motherfuckers.  Who wants to get laid tomorrow?"
        The usual belligerent heckling has lapsed into disinterested side conversations.  We're losing momentum when, all of a sudden, Bob makes the kind of suggestion only imaginable after having chugged and vomited a bottle of wine.  The brotherhood laughs at the absurdity.
        "I'll do it," Fred says. Fred: the one who, at meetings last week, wore only a diaper and tried to drink a cup of yogurt without bending his arm.  Held straight in front of him and rotated upward, the liquid spilled over his face and chest around the 85° mark.
        "Bullshit" the crowd responds.
        After several rounds of assurances, self-motivation, posturing, disgust, disbelief, and the appropriate fundraising, Matt's sent upstairs to retrieve the object to be consumed.
        "Don't do it!" I scream.
        "Do it!" the brotherhood screams.
        Fred, now standing on the table, pauses.  He strokes its fur with his forefinger.
        "Do it!"
        He takes a deep breath and stares into its small black eyes.
        "DO IT!"
        To everyone's horror, or maybe just my own, Fred bites off the head of the bat, freshly killed with a tennis racket an hour earlier.
        "Alright, you cheap motherfuckers.  Pay up."

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


BLAISE DUKE

Blaise Duke is an economics major at the University of Iowa.  Her hobbies include CrossFit and fire spinning.  This is her first publication.

This page was first displayed
on October 09, 2014

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