Theme IX: Weakness, “Rent”

By Sebastian Muriel

I held his rent money in my hand. It was moist with sweat

and reeked of feces.

“It’s great living on your own, you know.” One of his teeth

fell out. He caught it and put it back in.

“But it’s New York.” I handed him back his smelly wad of


“It’s so convenient.” His dick ripped through his joggers

and spit out mildew. He put it back in.

“Don’t you have to buy your own groceries? Pay all the

bills? You’re 19.”

A kidney bean-shaped piece of poop bounced behind his heel.

He reached down and put it back in. “I live super close to a

Duane Reade. Just walk down every now and then. So easy.”

I held a finger to my upper lip and sniffed. Smelt like

college. I patted him on the shoulder, but it broke off. I shook

his hand but it rotted in mine. I smiled at him but he was dead.


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