I’m pulling out of Fresno late one night when this baboon waves me down. He wants to know how far I’m going. I say I don’t know.
He shows a fifth of Jack.
We’re on our way.
I wonder sometimes why I keep this up — the stench, the hair, the hangovers. But it’s late in the game for those thoughts. I lean over and kiss the beast. His lips are soft, a hint of passion. He pulls away.
After a while, he asks me what kind of music I like.
“I like the three-word, one-syllable bands.”
He snickers. “Goo Goo Dolls?”
“There you go.”
“Third Eye Blind?”
My kind of primate, but I don’t tell him that. I tell him to pop the glove compartment, see if there’s anything he likes.
His big paw burrows beneath the owner’s manual, finds a Snickers bar.
“No, I mean the CDs.”
He pulls out Miles Davis’s Some Day My Prince Will Come. It’s the only CD I own. But I own ninety-six copies.
“Faith No More?”
“Jesus, give it a rest!” I run my hand through my hair. Humans, baboons. Give ‘em an inch, they want two.
I cue it to the title track and steer us toward the desert. Miles blows away the miles. We pass the bottle between us.
He tears the wrapping off the chocolate bar, slides it between his lips, sucks each long, beautiful finger. Says, “We never talk any more.”
This story appeared in The Dillydoun Review on November 16th, 2020.