This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Ate A Bug © 2009 Bryan Costales, All Rights Reserved
by Bryan Costales
Ate A Bug by Bryan Costales
Sally crossed her arms and stared at Tony, just returned from his Amazon Cruise and mute. Normally Tony talked too much. Too much for his friends who claimed they were used to his endless babbling. And too much for Sally, his girlfriend. But here he was, returned from vacation still smelling of travel and sitting on their sofa with his mouth shut. “Was it something you ate?” Sally asked. She was dressed for bed wearing her usual sky blue pajamas and pink robe. Tony had come in late rolling his squeaky suitcase over their hardwood ﬂoor and woken her up. Tony shook his head. He looked at the ceiling, cute and boy-like as if he was thinking. He smiled and made a crawly movement with his tan hand and pantomimed swallowing it. “You ate a bug?” Tony smiled and nodded. His face was tanned too from his trip. His Amazon voyage made him appear healthy, trimmer, maybe even svelte. Even his thinning blond hair looked darker and more lush, and seemed to almost cover his bald spot.
Ate A Bug
© 2009 Bryan Costales, All Rights Reserved
Sally got up and moved to sit on the sofa near Tony. He frowned at her with that I-don’t-need-no-stinking-computer look. not little people like Sally... Tony crossed out the “k” and wrote a “g. She peered at Tony’s tablet and tapped her heels together.” Ate A Bug © 2009 Bryan Costales. Then he slapped the tablet onto the glass-top coffee table with a satisfying ﬂap and sat hunched over it. “I woke up. It looked like it had been made from a coffee bag with pale Spanish logos all over it. Something stunk the inside. then you can draw too?” Tony paused with a yellow legal tablet in one hand and a pencil in the other. But he wasn’t drawing.” she read from the yellow pad as he wrote. but not too near. The hunter-green leather sofa was made for big people like Tony.. He was wearing a cotton shirt he’d purchased on the trip. “How about using the computer. “I swallowed a bug while I was sleeping and it woke me up. It hung loose and large on his frame. “You swallowed a bug but forgot what kind of bug it was?” She asked and watched him fumble for a pencil and paper. he was writing.Tony appeared to think about her question and shrugged.” Sally laughed. All Rights Reserved Page 2 . she noted. Her feet hung over the edge like a child’s not meeting the ground.
He held his throat like he was trying to strangle himself. This time he was more careful and made softer scratching sounds with the pencil and corrected his mistakes before Sally could comment on them.” Sally kept reading. Tony looked at her with doubt in his eyes.“Something stung the inside of my throat. just not swallow. picked up the pencil and wrote again. She pointed at the tablet on the coffee table. Then he tried to kiss her on the cheek but she pulled away. Tony bent over. She watched Tony write. She wrinkled her nose and frowned. Because you couldn’t swallow. She read along out loud. but the gesture felt too weak to be sincere.” Sally looked at him again.” she said. like congratulations. “You swallowed the bug without seeing it!” Tony patted Sally on the back. not because you’re tan like I thought. It was like something swelled up inside my throat. The odor of sun screen and bug juice lingered on him. “That must be why you look thinner. “Write it. I could breathe okay.” Ate A Bug © 2009 Bryan Costales. Tony tried to pantomime something that Sally didn’t get.” Sally looked at him. “The next morning I couldn’t swallow. “I woke up and swallowed it and felt something wiggling down when I swallowed. All Rights Reserved Page 3 . Sally sniffed.
Nothing helped. and oh yes the other painting in the bedroom. “Should I call Kaiser for you?” Tony shook his head and pointed at their communal computer on the table they used as a desk in the corner. its fruit diamonds. He thought it was a spider bite and recommended I gargle with salt water.” Sally tapped his arm to interrupt and remembered the feel of his strength. sure. but Sally scooted away. Sally understood. I would have been better off with a witch doctor. One painting. You already made an appointment on-line.Tony tried to pat her back again.” she said. the one over the bed. They’d gone in 50/50 on that one at the Sausalito Art Festival. What other things might belong to both of them? Some books. Tony wrote. All Rights Reserved Page 4 . had been a joint purchase. The table had been a gift from Sally’s dad. “Oh. tried ice packs on my neck. but that only made it worse. “Simone. The computer. clearly pleased she had understood. The cruise boat pulled into a town and brought a doctor aboard. a wide-screen model. Ate A Bug © 2009 Bryan Costales. Tony tapped the yellow paper with his pencil —an impatient sounding beat. an oil painting of a tree set in a colorful mythical forest. the guide. “Just write. And the DVDs of course.” Tony smiled. Stupid third world doctor. Sally looked around the room.
” “You may have lost your voice. “Just this big old apartment I came home to every night while you were cruising the Amazon.” Tony used both hands to pantomime his heart beating.” Tony picked up the tablet and wrote so hard he ripped the paper in one corner. He still had a paunch. A Tony who couldn’t talk. Come home from a job that wouldn’t give me the vacation time. What an odd and special thought. All Rights Reserved Page 5 . He’d written more: “What are you looking at?” Sally looked at Tony. “You know. Come home to alone and bored. Or say you do. “If you had your voice. “Not my fault. and continued to write. But the news from Jack and your other travel buddies gave me hope.Sally looked. I might be packing right now instead of listening to you. That’s all. He shifted so she couldn’t see. she realized. And not good yacks either. mostly complaints and rumors and unﬂattering news about friends. Never listen to how much you yack.” Sally said.” Tony spread his arms as if to say. Something to be witnessed to be appreciated. But you never seem to listen to yourself. He hadn’t lost all that much weight after all. “I know you love me. Ate A Bug © 2009 Bryan Costales. “But you can still be a jerk.” Tony sat up straight and glared at her.” Sally said. Sally glared back.
“There. “I can change!” She looked at him. All Rights Reserved Page 6 . Sally scooted closer. She read as he wrote.” “Which cure?” Sally laughed.” Tony nodded. I mean look at that pencil move! You’re dying to say something. You hear something you don’t like and you want to rant about it. He looked guilty. “The cure for your gift of gab or the cure for your throat?” Ate A Bug © 2009 Bryan Costales. “That’s just what I mean.” Sally said and pointed at the tablet. “Two days. Sally read the one sentence. “When’s your appointment?” Tony held up one ﬁnger. you mean tomorrow?” Tony nodded again. Then he looked up in thought. Sally scooted closer to him. “One day? Oh.” Tony turned the tablet to face her. He’d written one sentence and surrounded it with a hundred or so tiny hearts. at his usual crooked smile. He picked up the tablet again. First I have to get the cure. this time snug next to him. “And hope to die. “Can you really change?” Tony crossed his heart with one ﬁnger.
” Then he smiled and wrote. END Ate A Bug © 2009 Bryan Costales. But Rome wasn’t built in two days was it?” Sally felt Tony’s hand on her leg.” “We’ll see. She said. All Rights Reserved Page 7 . “Kaiser and you. I mean the world population will grow by half a million in two days. his arm sliding up her back.Tony wrote. “Both. Sally wondered if she should ask him to shower.” Sally kissed him on his cheek still scratchy with stubble from the trip. She stopped rambling. “This talking stuff is contagious isn’t it?” Tony kissed her face-ﬁrst on her lips. After that they didn’t talk much again until the next morning. Then he kissed her again this time with warm passion. And we’ll be two days closer to the end of the Mayan calendar. She looked at Tony and he looked back. “Two days isn’t all that long in the whole scope of things. Sure.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Lo hemos llevado donde lee en su other device.