Everyone Has Their Role in a Fight by Claire Lobenfeld

Everyone Has Their Role in a Fight

I grab the coats. First, I pick up Tamara’s. She’s the one who first got hit in the head by a piece of snack mix thrown by the yuppie skunk drinking his sixth vodka-soda two tables away from us at the bar. Gabe follows. He’s her fiancé, so if she’s going to start swinging at some longbeard dickhead, he’s at least going to pogo behind her shouting “THAT’S MY GIRL!” Now I’ve got Junie’s coat ’cuz she’s jumped up on our table and is howling a treatise on Douchebag Hipster Trash Who Think Their Money’s Worth More Than Culture. I flip Khan’s jacket over my shoulder and grab Mac’s bomber with my teeth. They’ve found another pair of jerk-bros — I’m not even sure if they’re friends with the guy who started chucking shit at our table. Khan and Mac have both of these guys bowled over and keep bashing their heads together, hardly giving them a chance to stand up straight. Everyone is giddy from Jameson shots and pitcher beer. I walk toward the door so that when the bartender decides we started the fight I can hand everyone their outerwear before we run up Seventh Street in a rush. It’s frigid, but we’re all full of adrenaline and boozed up enough that it might as well be a spring afternoon. Junie loops her arm into mine and kisses me on the cheek. “I always feel like I don’t do enough,” I say, nuzzling myself into the crook of her neck. She smells like cocoa butter and Marlboro Lights. “You make sure we can all make a clean getaway,” she says, squeezing me closer to her as we continue to skip up Grand Street. In three more drinks, the two of us still cuddled up like we’ve been doing since Kindergarten naptime, I will whisper in her ear about a dalliance I’ve had with this guy Peter we all know, the one she said just an hour ago she’s been quietly dating but could see herself marrying. My leather jacket is on a hook near the door, easy enough to snatch and retreat in one motion.


Everyone has Their role in a fight


Claire Lobenfeld is the Managing Editor of FACT Magazine. Her work has also appeared in Pitchfork, The Village Voice, Playboy, and more. She lives in Los Angeles.


(Next: When Your Step 3 Dumps You 4 Days Before Junior Prom by Kim Magowan)

(Previous: The Hug Machine by Nikki Donadio)

Feel like submitting? Check out our submission guidelines

A special issue exclusively for Writers of Colour – submission guidelines here


Image (cropped): Umberto Boccioni Public Domain