Matt Forney
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Life During Peacetime: Epilogue

Read First: Life During Peacetime: Part Four

“… and then I left the airport.”

“Holy shit dude. Where do you find these girls?”

“I don’t. They find me.”

“I don’t get it.” Rich took a swig from his Saranac. “Even when you were ugly as shit, you always had these clingy virgin girls coming on to you.”

“And you always get those weird black chicks.”

“Well, good job man.” Another swig. I never could beat Rich when it came to drinking. “You gonna write about her on your blog?”

“That’s what she wanted me to do.”

“Fuck her. What do you want to do?”

“Well yeah, I want to write about her. I have to. I mean, virginal groupie flies out from the middle of nowhere to sleep with me? How can I not write about that?”

“Including her freakout?”

“I’ll probably run it by her first, see what she thinks.”

“Getting permission to write about a girl you fucked? Ha.”

“I’m not asking her permission. And it’s not really a sex story. You ever read The Things They Carried?


“You know the story where O’Brien writes about how one of the members of his platoon tortured a water buffalo, then he talks about how a woman he met told him that while she liked the story, it made her sad and he should find new stories to tell? And he thinks, ‘it wasn’t a war story, it was a love story.'”


“Well this isn’t me bragging about fucking some girl. It’s… a horror story?”

“Yeah, teenage groupie bangs you and cleans your house for free? That’s real fuckin’ terrifying.”

“I thought she was going to try and kill me at one point!”

“But she didn’t. Instead, she went and swallowed your cum even though she didn’t want to.” Rich looked at me funny. “Dude, you’re too smart for this bullshit.”

“Eh, point conceded.”

“Matt, stop being so damn uptight. Just relax and take this thing as it comes.”


The next day, Audrey called me. I’d emailed her the story I’d written and asked her what she thought about it. Not that I was looking for her approval, but I wanted to give her a heads-up before I introduced her to the world.

“I liked it… mostly. But you’re calling me ‘Audrey?’ As in Audrey Hepburn?”

“Audrey Horne.”

“Wow, I love that show! And why Minnesota?”

“Because you sound like a Fargo extra.”

She giggled. “That’s only because of my dad. And where’s Duluth?”

“It’s a college town on Lake Superior. Never been there, but I hear it’s a nice place.”

“Did you have to write about our… fight? People are going to think I’m crazy!”

“You flew all the way to New York to lose your virginity to me and you think that’ll make you look crazy?”

“Come on!” she whined.

“Audrey, I’m not going to pretend it didn’t happen. You said you wanted me to write about you? You got what you wanted.”


“What do you care what people think? It’s not like anyone’s going to figure out who you are… unless you start bragging about it.”

Audrey sighed. “I suppose you’re right.”

“I am right.”

“When you are coming out to visit?”

“Gonna try for November, but nothing’s definite yet.”

“It’s gonna be freezing here then.”

“Well, I’ll be sure to keep you warm.”

More giggles.

“Of course, you could always come back out here. I found a hostel in Brooklyn with good rates on private rooms.”

“We could go to Times Square and see the ball drop!” she squealed.

“Like I said, it’s up in the air right now,” I cautioned.

“Oh shoot, my mom’s knocking on my door,” she replied. “Talk some other time?”

“Of course.”

“Love you, bye!”

“Yeah, bye.”

I hung up and put the phone back in my pocket.