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hs28150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 28

Paula stood in line at the bar, waiting to buy two cases of beer. The girls gave her enough money for one – and even then they were a few dollars short – but Paula bet that treating the kids to twelve extra bottles couldn’t hurt. She remembered seventeen: beer and sex and wild fights with mom and dad. At least that’s what she remembered of most of the kids in her graduating class back in Calgary. Paula’s teenage reality was more about chat rooms and her blog parents’ house one night, sneaking in past midnight after her first and only date with a third-year engineering student named Chad whom she met online and told she was twenty.

She paid for the beer and navigated her way through the bar, her body pulled down and forward by the weight of the beer.

“Where’s the party?”

“Excuse me?” Paula’s head knocked against Stew’s chest.

“Need a hand?”

She stepped back. His cologne was fresh and overpowering, for an instant stinging her eyes. She looked up at his face. The hollows of his cheeks were pockmarked. He was wearing colourful drawstring pants – the kind bodybuilders wore once their thighs become too thick to squeeze into jeans or tailored trousers — and a ribbed white tank top that showed off his overly developed torso. His nipples pricked through his shirt. Bitch-tits and backne, Paula thought. She’d once overheard at a juice bar back home two women lamenting the downside of dating steroid-addled bodybuilders. And a shriveled little wiener.

“No thanks, I’m fine.”

“Suit yourself,” Stew said.

Paula lumbered through the bar to the door. She caught Jeremy’s eye – he was still sitting with the Sasquatch hunters – and smirked. While he was getting drunk with a bunch of lunatics, she was getting the real story. She passed Tucky Thompson who was making his way back into the room. An appreciative roar from the boys at the bar went up and they all raised their glasses. Paula noticed another man trailing behind Tucky. His hands were shoved deep into his pockets. He didn’t join in the toasts and merriment. She’d seen him before. His hair was thin and his shape was rounded with age, but it was definitely the man she’d seen in the photo with Tucky. But there was no time to think about that now. She had to get the beer to the kids.

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke