Larry’s underwear was bunched up in a knot. “Vanessa” or whatever she called herself—his date—didn’t seem to notice as he wriggled his chair back and forth in a desperate attempt to free his strangled crotch. Two books of matches worked their way out from under his chair leg. Seeing her from his new slanted position didn’t make her any more palatable. Yale-educated, she told him.

I didn’t know the Ivy’s trained apes, Larry thought to himself so distinctly that he almost mouthed the words. He eyed her stringy, sparse hair and said a Hail Mary for the stylist that had clearly tried their best with it. He then regrettably glanced down at her bulkier-than-average forearms and cringed as he focused on the faint yet noticeably present layer of hair.

When “Victoria” or whatever it was charged into another story about chamber choir, Larry excused himself to the restroom for what he hoped she would assume was a bump of coke, but in reality was his fourth shit of the week— and it was only Tuesday.

While on the toilet he etched “Kill Me” on the graffiti-free stall. Is fun even possible anymore? he thought.

He snubbed the attendant on the tip, but his Calvin Kleins crawled back up his asshole on his way to the table. Karma.

Vantoria had talked through the entirety of Larry’s absence, and she only broke briefly to take a sip of her 2003 Pinot Noir as he returned to his waiting seat. Had she even noticed he was gone? The couple behind them had ordered the recommended dish of the night, veal for two, and the waiter was carving the meat tableside with a rather large knife that gleamed with fresh and regular sharpening. As the waiter swept his arm back to make the first cut, his elbow knocked against Larry’s shoulder. Larry shot out his best piercing glare, but all he got in return was a rushed and insincere apology.

He sunk down and stared deeply into his carrot gazpacho, only to find a tiny bug bob up to the surface and sink back down before he could show the waiter. Not wanting to make a scene in the only real five-star restaurant in town (her treat, of course), he decided just to push the elegantly off-white china bowl to the side and prayed that the busboy took the hint to get it out of his sight, tout suite.

Larry did everything he could to distract himself, checking his hair in the mid-level faux Rolex he hoped to replace if this date went well enough, but his reflection was warped into disfigurement by the cheap metal. The fact that they were only twenty minutes into their meal didn’t help to change his painfully glum attitude, either.

Picturing himself in Guantanamo Bay, Larry imagined her voice blasting relentlessly over the loud speaker, urging him to give up his war secrets. He knew he would spill everything if they just replayed that one story she told about almost taking her cousin’s virginity at the annual family cookout. “ Jesus Christ,” he murmured. She didn’t look up.

He was attempting to lull himself into a state of meditation when he saw it again. The little black bug floated lazily on the surface of his cast-aside soup. Larry, after a split-second decision, flung the china bowl onto the beautiful, original carpet. The busboy, moments away from clearing the bug-bath, slipped on the orange slime and spent what seemed like a minute in the air before crashing violently to the ground, just in time for the hurried little hostess to trip over his flattened body and chuck her clipboard. The wooden block thudded heavily into the wine connoisseur’s belly, and out of reflex he pushed away his wine cart. This particular restaurant happened to be sinking slowly on the right side, so as the cart made its way toward Larry’s table it picked up quite a bit of speed. Once it had reached a healthy velocity, it hurdled right into the veal carver’s plump behind and his long, sharp knife went whizzing right past Larry’s ear and into Vanessa’s/Veronica’s heart. The blood splatter ruined Larry’s only good suit.

The shock forced Larry to seize up, and the clenching of his butt cheeks left just enough room for his underwear to un-bunch.

What sweet, sweet relief.

Oh, that’s right!

Her name was definitely Amanda.

Katherine Chen is a junior at SVA majoring in Graphic Design. She uses a phone as a clock instead of a watch, and stopped wetting the bed at an appropriate age. She says sorry way too much (popular opinion). She lives in constant fear of death and the impending unknown. Sadly, she is a native of Indiana. She has never seen Game of Thrones, but quotes from it often. Sorry.