Can I buy you
ladies a drink?
by Sarah Hilary
One was blonde,
the other not. I started in with, Im
it, they both said.
Ive been close to death three times.
I held up my thumb and forefinger. This
I detected a
note of disparagement but I forged ahead.
The third time, it was fire. Terrible.
I didnt tell them I used milk to put it out.
Semi-skimmed, green label. The sofa smelled of
rice pudding for a week afterwards. Id
dozed off there in front of Oprah, cigarette sly
between my fingers. I very nearly
didnt wake up.
sipped at her drink. Oh, my.
about the second time? Blondie asked.
I was actually dead for a full minute.
Id had a craving for pancakes with syrup,
piled high on a plastic plate. When Id
started to choke, the waitress had hurried:
You all right, love?
brought me back, a little poetic license,
with a defibrillator. I whacked my
chest twice, thunk-thunk. Kicked like a
bitch in heels.
snorted her drink. My drink, actually. I paid for
first time? I offered. When I was
born. Dyou know the odds for surviving
birth? They wrinkled their noses at me.
Fourth times the charm. I
stretched, cricking my neck. Im
holding out for a blaze of glory.
Vicious. I emptied an imaginary needle into
my jugular vein. Keith Moon. I mimed
slumped sideways, cheeks puffed out, tongue
Dean. I pretended to steer a car, badly.
the I parked the car and stared at
death of a nosebleed on his wedding night.
Irwin, I insisted, died doing what he
person to die on a Disneyland ride. Not-blonde
was deadpan. Stood up on the Matterhorn
Bobsleds like an idiot, and was thrown to his
she was trouble the moment I saw her. Grey hair
at her temples; shed let herself go.
Wilson, I began, of the Beach Boys,
was diving from his yacht when
Williams choked to death on a nasal spray cap
which fell into his mouth while he was spraying.
true. She picked the cocktail stick from
her drink, removed the olive and made a show of
re-impaling it with a squelch. Vladimir
Smirnov, fencer, got a sword through the eyeball.
Relf, I attempted weakly, of The
Yardbirds, played electric guitar in the bathtub.
nothing. Kenneth Pinyan perforated his colon in
2005 during a videotaped sex act with a full-size
my hand. Dont mind Jude. Shes
an obituary writer. Cant seem to switch it