Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

I walk into this thing. The big ugly sign calls it a private bar and it smells like badly washed groin and fizzing plastic.

The wound on my shoulder and the one at the back of my right eye pulse and I unintentionally lean forward and take a deep dark breath of the nonsense that here apes as air.

This is a new world — one I have but no other choice to frequent. They are all so very small in their massive gentle axial grind and I eternally hope better for each being that I meet upon them and I place my splayed broken fingers upon the greasy screen before me.

– Are you a man or a woman?

– Repeat…

– Are you a man or a woman?

– Who asks?

– I do and I am the asker.

– What gives you right?

– Interesting…

– What is?

– That you are perplexed by my simple question. You are not from here I see.

– How is it a simple thing to shelve one entity above or below or alongside of another?

– You shun the word that defines you?

– Am I allowed but one?

——– Beard
————- Coat
—— Penis
———— Fingers
——— Lint
——– Vagina
——– Breasts ——–

– You stalled.

– I was just wondering, scanning… no…no… no, I wasn’t.

– Is processing such a bitter word for you?

– We don’t do that any more.

– You do not think?

– No, we do nothing of the sort. It… singes…it grates into my… my face.

– Why? Oh… inter-face. I’m rusty on your slang. Though I have read many of your founders collected works. Genius. That is why I am here. Their words they spoke and spiked my dreams and screamed up at me from the never drunk tear drop that distilled in the bottom of my flask.

– You think to much and to be sure nothing good ever came of a good thought.

– Whoever said that?

– Me.

– What are you?

– What am I?

– Yes.

– I am your waiter and the very best and the sum total of all that is or ever will be… what are you? A man or a woman?