Friday Night Story

Control Your Breathing
  You have to control your breathing. If you don’t, heart-rate elevates. Epinephrine and norepinephrine flood the body from the medulla. Blood vesssels in the extremities constrict, shunting blood flow to the core. You start jittering so bad you can’t hold the stupid thing steady, let alone stay on target.

/Control yourself, Sheryl, he isn’t the President yet. He isn’t even the nominee. Or even that handsome. So why is my stomach so full of… whatever it is. Not butterflies. I’m not even interviewing him, I’m just introducing him. And that crowd isn’t even three hundred people. I talked to more people when I ran for ASB treasurer. And lost. Stop it. The last thing that will help me calm down is reliving my childhood failures. I’m read by a hundred times that many people a week- there, much better. God, what is taking him so long? I spend less time in make up than he does.

/Hail to the Chief, he’s the one they all say hail to, they all say hail… because I am the Chief. Well, I will be. Christ, I hate reporters. They make me feel like… they know things. They always know things, things the oughtn’t know. God help me, she’s bending over to check the mike cord; deep breath. It’s too warm for October; or that skirt of hers hiking up, up, up her thigh is just making me too hot. Deep breath again, can’t step up to the mike sweating like a pig; at least the stress is keeping me from saluting her; one less thing to worry about.

/I think he’s looking at me, and the with the hands kind of looking, not with the eyes. And I don’t think I mind it. Actually, I think I- control yourself Sheryl. You’re representing the paper, here, not just yourself, and especially not just your big lonely Queen size. If you’re still this lonely and desperate after the speech, you can invite him to dinner. God, I’m on my way to becoming the next Monica Lewinsky. Oh, my, God, I did not just make a nervous joke about his sexuality. What the hell? Stupid cow-eyed, blue cum-dress-keeping skank- I am so not getting any tonight.

/What was that crack about? Christ, she didn’t see me watching her bend over, did she? She hasn’t heard… no, stop it. No one’s heard anything about it. Because we made it quiet. We paid everyone their goddamn blood money and they’re going to keep their mouths shut- even extortionists could use a friend in the highest place. Christ. She wasn’t any older than my daughter; she reminded me of my daughter. That’s why I’m fighting back this erection; that whore of a journalist reminds me of my daughter; Christ. If I control my breathing, I’ll look like a deviant, if I don’t, I’ll look like a sweaty little pill popper.

/You have to control your breathing. I picture Richard Simmons, or that hot (well, in an eighties way) woman who worked on Mousercise- in through the nose, good, and hold it, now let it out through the mouth. He’s perfectly centered, sweating like it’s Florida even though it’s Ohio. The cute reporter’s little bit of improv threw him off, and he’s swaying a little as he tries to find his footing. In, hold it, exhale slowly. Brace the butt against the shoulder, curl the finger around to take the shot. In one last time, hold it, let it drift out through the teeth, and pull.

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