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What You Could Catch Me Bumping

Story by Craig Davis (Read author interview) July 26, 2010

art by Galen McKamy

A woman can never really understand the state of undress. You’re never truly naked, covered by gazes. I said as much. She finished pulling her underwear down and turned her head up to me. Her makeup made a face.

“O, come on,” I said, “you paint your face on. Every day.”

It made sense to me. To say it, I mean. I had heard other people say things like that, and they sounded true.

“Fuck you. You have tattoos all over yourself.”

She had a point. I nearly got it. She stepped out of the pile of her pants and panties. I thought of the paper wrappers on plastic straws. Somehow I wanted to see her even more naked. Maybe I could look inside of her. Not metaphorical, either. Like, look inside of her mouth or something else. If we kept talking, this was improbable. So I pretended to understand her point.

“You got a point,” I said. I touched her then, of course. Somebody had to put a stop to it, before it was too late.

All this was in the last year that rap mattered.

We were way the fuck out in the country. It was a lot noisier there than I’d thought. The bugs, the wind, even the grass was noise. It must have been spring or fall cause the heat wasn’t pushing down on you. Or maybe the sun was setting or rising. I was all twisted around. There were no land marks. Just land. Plus the sky. People had mentioned this sky to me before. It must have been sundown or sunup since you could look out across the land or up into the sky and both of them appeared to be moving, just at different speeds. She lay back on the blanket and the few clouds held their ground.

She stretched her arms out above her head. You know what that does. The grasses jostled for a better view, the wind bent to brush up on her. The world let out a soft whoam. I think I could hear other things. There’s no way it was a radio, we couldn’t even see the car. We’d walked until we thought no one could see us from the road. Then she’d shed her clothes standing up and lain down on the blanket. If there were bands of shadow across her ribs or light in the fine hairs on her skin, I can’t recall. I was sure I’d never forget what I was seeing. No one else could see us, I was sure.

I can remember what was playing on the radio then. In town the stations were playing the sunset of rap music. But we were way out in the country, a long way from the car. It’s too late to stop it now is what I kept hearing. I remember I promised myself I will not remember this song when I remember this. This was when rap was wonderful and there were even fewer trees out that way. Since then, it’s got so I can’t barely stand to see a tree anymore and the music now is straight bullshit. Since then I have seen the insides of a woman in a lot of different situations and I should of just probably stopped it now.

About the Author

Craig Davis is from Topeka, Kansas. His stories have appeared in or are forthcoming from The New York Tyrant, Hobart, The Southeast Review, PANK and elsewhere. He lives in Kansas City.

About the Artist

Galen McKamy is an avid artist and illustrator, who has exhibited work nationally and internationally. Works have been on display in LA, NYC, SF, Chicago, Seattle, Mexico, Australia, Barcelona and more. He has collaborated with music industry leaders to create album art, merchandise, and music videos. McKamy is currently located in Boulder CO, where he works and plays within the creative marketing industry for some of the worlds’ leading brands.

This story appeared in Issue Twenty-Eight of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty-Eight
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