cacophonous love 

"so what's your favorite movie?"

"who me? oh, that's easy. 'krull.'"

i wanted to laugh but i needed to cough first. but, i couldn't cough because my chest hurt. the expectorant hadn't kicked in. i didn't want him to hear the sorry violins of my wheezy lungs. instead, i panted.

"are you okay?"


"i need to cough."

jesus, i thought. krull? watching it as a child, i thought of it as a poor version of excalibur. a really sorry version of it. it was a bad mix of romance, fantasy and extra terrestrial creatures. the only element of its ridiculously long and boring story that was worth watching was the giant spider. i had long ago decided that there would always be a special place for arachnids in my heart (as long as they stayed out of my ears).

"does this help?"

he started to pound my back. i wondered if he thought i was choking. is this an attempt to touch me? sly guy. but wait, i thought. maybe he'll loosen up the mucus clogging the aveoli in my lungs. i decided to give him a minute of drum practice.

"krull, huh?" but i didn't stop there. my "huh" continued into twenty more huh's of laughter and i was soon wheezing and coughing again. the orchestra in my chest was playing shamelessly loud. i must have sounded delicious to his ears.

"so, who's your favorite beatle?"


the music and laughter stopped. i thought he would admit to paul. he had shown me his vinyl collection on our second date. i had never met anyone who had a full collection of wings albums. was this a test? well, i wasn't going to fall for it.

"george, huh? hey. can i call you, 'tone' or 'tony'?"


"i dunno. i think it's cool you got a name like 'anthony,' since you can come up with so many nicknames."

"you only came up with two."

again. the orchestra burst into song. this time, my laughter encouraged my eyes and my nose to run. i couldn't see his reaction as i got up to excuse myself so that i could discreetly spit in my toilet. his drumming worked. i thought, from now on, i'll keep him around whenever i'm sick and congested. he was better than walgreen's generic "wal-dryl," rexall's generic "w-tips." i would secretly think of him as "tony-tussin."