I pointed to the new dad’s tattoo. “L, for Lola,” I said with a smile. “What?” he snatched at the hem of his t-shirt. “What the hell are you talking about?” he demanded. I exhaled. “There is a letter ‘L’ framed with . . . script, on your arm,” I didn’t know how much further to elaborate. “I know! The ‘L’ is for Lorenza which is my daughter’s name! It has nothing to do with you and I just recently met you so why would I have gotten your name tattooed on me when I still lived in Portland?! And that isn’t ‘script’ it’s antlers.” I nodded. Ah, Portland, I thought.

“It was a joke, dude,” the dude coming out before I could help myself, before I bit my tongue to keep the no self-respecting animal in all of nature would sprout horns like that.

Sometimes I wonder if my tongue will develop a hole.


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