Mail Game
    John Jodzio
I was playing this mail game with a girl at work.

Hot potato, basically.

Except it was with this 2 dollar bill.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Ha, Ha.

Neither of us wanted the damn thing. We hid it everywhere. Once, she found it in her underwear drawer at her house. That excited and bothered her.

Pretty sneaky, she said.

At the same time I finished learning Spanish. I still had post it notes everywhere in my apartment. Vocab words.

I had wanted to become a flight attendant -- bouncing over the ocean, digging my toes back into solid land -- the airline said Spanish would help.


Look at you, they said during an interview, you are one huge mofo.

You are too big to go up, they said.

I still had all the post-it notes, though, stuck all over my place. The Spanish words for trash can -- cubo de basura. The word for knife, cotello.

Those are ones I could not forget.

During that summer, people came over and ate my food and drank my wine and tried to pronounce things off the post-it notes and even though I hated Spanish, I corrected them.

Cotello, I would say.

Then slower. Co-Tey-O.

Not cut-ello.

See the difference? I would say.

Escucha y repita, I would say.

They left angry, my guests. They called me a pompous ass and kicked the sand candles that lighted my walk.

The girl at work and I finally married.

I told her I might crush her one day.

Really? she said.

Really, I said.

I was so large and you are so tiny, so probably it will happen, I said.

Really? she said.

One night, naked, we found some coins in our bed.

Who knows about these things.

They could have come from anywhere, far away, so close, pockets. They weren't like a 2 dollar bill. You write your name on a 2 dollar bill and pay for something and someday when it returns to your wallet you can say -- see, see, I told you so.

These were coins, though, maybe ours to begin with, and maybe not.

John Jodzio lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is at work on a novel entitled "Six Foot Four with a Pompadour." Past publications include Gordon Lish's "The Quarterly."


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