The Dream of Mitch and Melody
Derick Dupre

Mitch and Melody met and made out at Jason’s foot worship party. They’d been dating for a few months when they decided to get serious. Outside the drugstore Mitch made garlands of smoke with a cigarette. It was three in the afternoon. There were kids with cokes asking him if he liked to drink cokes. One of them said, That man said he likes cokes, as though they’d trapped him into revealing a buried secret.

He imagined a life crammed in a paisley bandana. The Razr and a razor. The fleamarket Hohner. A skipole for a bindle. I bet he loves cokes, said the tallest one. Mitch flicked the cigarette at them and they scattered. He wanted a coke. He loved cokes.

Melody was inside. They were two lovers on a ring run. She sidled up to the pharmacist’s counter and helpfully pointed to where they kept her prescription. She wondered if Mitch would have something to say about that. She thought about getting them a drink to share but only had enough on her card for the ring. Just a coke could cause an overdraft. On the store p.a. Christine McVie crooned about magic and miracles. What a time. She paid and left.

You. You make loving fun, Melody lied, swinging the bag in her hand.
You make loving weird.
It’s all I want to do.

Mitch eyed a drugstore rose wrapped in a hard plastic cone. The jaundiced blossom made his heart feel fake. He picked up the rose and thrust it at Melody, feinted for a little. From what she could tell, she wasn’t impressed. In a mock dramatic gesture Mitch slung the flower through his beltloop. Melody burst out laughing. In the process she dropped the plastic bag and Mitch hurried to pick it up.

Jesus christ.
It’s just contraception.
It’s unnatural.
Then what would be natural contraception, then? Not fucking?
Not that.
Then what?
It’s just weird.
It’s normal. You’re just weird.

The drugstore rose lay on the ground. Mitch said, Shit. Just head tonight, maybe nothing. Melody had strict rules when she was pissed. She has the right, Mitch thought. She earns the right through dealing with my shit. He thought about the bandana.

Usually during sex, Melody thought, This is the same as making music that sucks.
Mitch thought of the national anthem, of a flag bedazzled, snapping in the velvet wind.
Anarchy in the boudoir, Mitch thought aloud.

What? Melody rolled off.
Did you just say.
I didn’t say anything Mel.
Anarchy in the boudoir?
Like I said, it’s nothing.
Have you been saving that?
It was originally my first band’s first album recorded in my mom’s garage.
What was the band’s name?
The Crystal Pistols.
Oh my god. The.
Oh my god.

Months later, Mitch and Melody eloped in a bathroom on a cruise ship. They set sail for anniversaries.

Derick Dupre’s most recent work has appeared in Miracle Monocle, Hobart, and Entropy. His website is here and he tweets @derickdupre.