Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Flash Fiction: Pico De Gallo

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of flash fiction. This week, we celebrated drunken American interpretations of Mexican holidays...

Pico De Gallo
Word Count: 600

The young man was moderately cute, so Seline gave him half a smile. Clearly drunk, he staggered over and leaned on the bar, bedecked in a kitschy sombrero, tie-dyed t-shirt and—for some reason—an eye patch.

“What’s your name, beautiful?” he slurred. “Happy Pico De Gallo!”

Definitely drunk. Seline returned to her drink.

“Hey, Señorita, aren’t you going to tell me your name?”

“I’m Italian,” she said.

The young man nodded and then frowned. “Did you just say your name was ‘Italian’?”

“I’m Italian,” said Seline. “My name is American.”

“I’m confused.”

“You called me ‘Señorita’. I’m not Mexican; I’m Italian.”

“What’s ‘Señorita’ in Italian?” asked the young man.

“Signiorina,” said Seline.

“Well how do you know I didn’t say that?”

“Because it’s Cinco de Mayo and you’re a drunk white dude trying to get with a Mexican girl,” said Seline.

“Maybe I’m just calling everyone Señorita on account of this festive occasion.” He was over-pronouncing his words—probably in an attempt to make him appear soberer. “I’m Steve,” he added.

“I don’t think so, sailor,” said Seline. “Ply your wares somewhere else.”

“Aw, come on, give me a chance,” said Steve. “You don’t even know me.”

Seline gave him a once-over. He was skinny, although the beginning of a paunch was peeking over his belt. He had a three-day beard and really ragged nails. Nice smile, though. But not enough to make up for bad nails. Seline had a thing about nails. “I know enough,” she said.

“Well, I find that offensive,” said Steve.

Seline gave him what she hoped was a condescending look. “You’re offended? Mr. Happy-Pico-De-Gallo? In that ridiculous outfit and that eye-patch?”

Steve’s lip began to tremble. “Is it my fault I lost my eye in a bicycle accident?”

Guilt and panic mixed in Seline’s stomach. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry,” she said.

“Do you want to see?” asked Steve.

“Is it okay if I say no?” asked Seline.

Steve pulled up the patch to reveal… a perfectly healthy, normal-looking eye. “I’m just messing with you,” he said.

“You son of a bitch,” said Seline. “Why would you do that?”

“It’s a conversation-starter,” said Steve. “Makes me seem mysterious. Girls see it and they want to talk to me.” He paused, waiting for a response. “That’s the idea, anyway,” added.

“How’s that working out?” asked Seline.

“Hit or miss,” said Steve with a shrug.

“Hard to imagine why,” said Seline. “Although the eye-patch is not nearly as troubling as that ridiculous hat.”

“It’s traditional Mexican garb!”

“Have you ever even been to Mexico?” asked Seline.

“Lots of times,” said Steve. “Well, once, at least. I spent two weeks in Guatemala.”

“Guatemala is not Mexico,” said Seline.

“But it’s in Mexico,” Steven asserted.

“I’m pretty sure it’s its own country.”

A wave of confusion flitted across Steve’s face. “I thought it was… Is Guadelajara in Mexico?”

“Yes,” said Seline.

“Then that’s the one I’ve been to.”

“Yeah, we’re done here,” said Seline.

“I just want to buy you a drink,” said Steve.

“I have a drink,” said Seline.

“Appetizer?”

“Go away.”

“You’ve got a boyfriend.”

“Nope, just taste.”

Steve recoiled. “That hurt,” he said. “That was very hurtful.”

“Expect more of the same if you don’t leave right now.”

“Fine, I’ll leave,” said Steve. “You don’t have to tell me twice.”

“I’ve told you like eight times.”

“For what it’s worth, I didn’t think you were Mexican,” said Steve. “I just wanted to know your name.”

Seline turned back to her drink.

Edited by Carolyn "Hi, American!" Abram

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