“Do you ever think before you speak or do you just let everything come out randomly?”

“A little bit of both, actually,” he said, smiling. “Don’t make me beg you.”

“Why can’t you throw the party at your own fraternity’s house?”

“Yeah…About that….” He cleared his throat. “After certain events that transpired last semester, Epsilon Chi is banned from throwing any parties on campus for the next five years.”

“So you honestly think that shit gives me confidence in you throwing one here?”

“No, but I think if we do everything we said we were going to do a few minutes ago and offer you eight hundred dollars on top of that, you’d agree.”

“You’d be absolutely right.” I tossed my beer bottle into the trash. “Done deal.”

He rolled his eyes and took off his tie while his frat brothers gave each other high fives. “Okay, since we have like two weeks to get everything together, would you mind helping us this weekend? We need to make multiple runs to pick up the tiki torches, some weed, and we have to start loading up on Jell-O and alcohol. It takes four people to hold the torch pieces though. They’re supposedly fragile…and we kind of need to pick them up in a few days…So, unless you want to help us out by driving…”

“I don’t. Ari can drive.”

“Ari?” Josh’s eyes widened. “Arizona Ari?”

“Is there another Ari we both know?” I looked at him. “Yes, that Ari.”

“Dude, you’ve never let me drive your car.”

“What’s your point?”

“Ari is a girl.”

“And you’re a boy. Now that we’ve established what genders are, are we done here?”

“My point is, why does Arizona get to drive your car when I, your male best friend—best friend since junior year of high school—has to beg you to let me throw a goddamn house party …in a house we both practically share no less?”

I shook my head. Once a month, like clockwork, Josh brought up something about Arizona. Like a little child, he would ask why her and not him.

“You’re not going to answer me?” Josh shook his head. “And you seriously have to wonder why everyone that comes around thinks you two are fucking?”

“First of all,” I said, annoyed, “I don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. Even if we were fucking—which we’re not, it wouldn’t be anyone’s business. Second of all, my car is a stick shift, and I would be more than happy to let you drive it if you knew how to drive one, but you don’t. Do you?”

“Oh yeah…” He tried to save face. “Right. I forgot…Ari can definitely drive tomorrow. I have no issues with this at all. Glad we could have this discussion.”

“Likewise. I want the eight hundred dollars a week before the party.” I said goodbye to him and his friends, and returned to my room.

I opened my drapes and looked out at the ocean, at the people who were taking a late night stroll along the beach. Remembering that I was supposed to call Ari’s friend Tina for sex later, I pulled out my phone and saw a message from Arizona herself.

“Get ready to eat crow! The Chris guy (Told you there was a spark!) is taking me out to the movies tonight. Take that!”

“You’re just supposed to have sex with him, Ari. Not go on a date. (Not eating crow)”

“Yes, well…Some of us NORMAL people like to get to know someone first before having sex! Sorry we’re not moving as fast as you and Tina are.”

“Me and Tina haven’t had sex yet.”

“Having problems getting it up?”

“Having problems getting across the bridge at rush hour.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll succeed tomorrow. Meet up for waffles after my date? Ten-ish?”


“Great. See you there.”

Track 5. Sparks Fly (3:23)

Subject: Tina.

Want to know what she’s saying about you behind your back?


Subject: Re: Tina

No, but I would like you to hurry the hell up and get out here so we can get this over with. I thought you got off at noon today? (Why the hell do you still work here anyway? You barely show up and the manager hates you…)



Subject: Re: Re: Tina

She’s telling all of her friends that you have one of the filthiest/sexiest mouths she’s ever experienced on the phone, and that she can’t wait until you finally “fuck her brains out.” (I honestly have no idea why I still work here…Give me a second to figure that out.)

Do I really have to drive?


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Tina

No comment on any of the Tina shit.




I leaned back in the passenger seat of my car—continuing to wait on Ari with Josh and two of his fraternity brothers at the marina. I was hoping today would pass by quickly, as I wasn’t sure if I could deal with the three of them for more than a few hours at a time.

“Did I tell you I started a private cannabis club in my fraternity, Carter?” Josh asked.

“No…” I immediately shot Ari another “Hurry up” email, and looked at him through the rearview mirror. “Did you already smoke too much weed today? It’s kind of early for you, isn’t it?”