On Friday Nights

Ernesto Trejo

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On Friday nights I go to the bakery two blocks away and talk to the woman behind the counter. When the customers leave, she moves around pretending not to see me, which signals that it is time to put on my act. I will talk too much or not at all, I'll pretend to be a salesman, a customer shopping for a birthday cake, a detective taking fingerprints, or a blind man who has lost his cane.

She smiles, unimpressed.

Sometimes she will join in the act when customers walk in, like the time when, pretending I had fainted, she let a woman smear perfume on my nose and an old man slap my face. One time I pinched her infinite ass and explained I was shopping for watermelons. Isn't this the supermarket?

I know that when I leave she writes down who I have been and has a grading scale of 1 to 100. Late at night, walking home I feel relieved. It's over, but who will I be next week?

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