McCann bee-lined it home from the gym with a mean swell on, still red and tense when he got there. He tiptoed from room to room, quickly scanning the corners from the doorway and moving on. Returning to the living room, house confirmed empty, he faced the ceiling and yelled, “Fuck yeah,” arms up in victory.
He went to the kitchen. With one hand on the refrigerator handle and the other fingering the coiled hair around his navel, he stopped to read a note on the door: Shane–please please please get the groceries? Tommy needs Squeeze-Its for school. Also, VA # is 1-800-273-8255…think about it? He snorted.
“Sorry, babe. Traffic was killer.”
He opened a can of light beer, chugged half of it and recovered, sucking wind, lips wet. He went back to the living room and sat on the couch and checked Facebook. Somebody was raising dough for a nine year-old boxer mix. Been squatting at a shelter for a couple years, and they were going to put him down. He clicked through to the shelter’s page and photo album, dozens of pics of the boxer and other critters, mangy, fur matted bloody from abuse or run over in the street. The boxer was gray in the face, even for its age. Dark tear ruts from its eyes. McCann thought about institutional life, a knuckle between his teeth.
He scrolled past a message from his father to one from Cassie sent at 2:11 A.M. “Haven’t heard from u…hope ur doin good J.”
He snorted again.
“Hey yeah hope ur good. C u sometime.” He hit Enter. The window said ‘Cassie is typing…’ and he said, “Woop!” and snapped the laptop shut.
He finished the beer and went to the hallway. Standing in front of the floor to ceiling mirror, he flexed out hard. He turned around and looked back over his shoulder, admired the sharp curves of ink across the muscly creases of his shoulder carriage and along each arm. He snapped a picture on his phone and uploaded it. “Seen these lats, bro?”
Back at the coffee table, he paused in front of the computer and ran a finger along the surface of the table, held it up to see. “Lazy ass…” From under the sink he took the Lysol and a roll of paper towels and went back into the living room. After setting the laptop aside on the couch he sprayed and wiped down the table and then again, leaning this way and that to catch the light, hunting down streaks.
He brought the Lysol and the paper towels back into the kitchen. Another beer. He sat on the couch and opened Facebook again. No Likes on the lats, yet. He scrolled past vacation and baby pictures, gave the dog $20.