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Jim Meirose

Jim Meirose

Jim Meirose lives in central New Jersey. His stories have been published in such literary magazines as Witness, the Fiddlehead and Alaska Quarterly Review.

At 104 Degrees

—exactly—maybe eleven—maybe nine—early—sunrise—

What time will we go tomorrow?

Oh I don't know. Maybe eleven.

That won't be soon enough.

How about nine.




But she's sick, he said—she's too sick—


I got something against you.

What? What's your problem with me?

Never mind - let me speak in tongues; ala babble ala babble ala babble.

You're a jerkoff. You know that?

Ala babble ala babble ala babble.

Jesus Christ—

WHOOOOOOOOOP! Ala babble ala babble ala babble.

Come on act right—


Oboeist CECILIA stated: What time will we get up tomorrow.

Violinist LOU stated: Oh I don't know. Maybe eleven.

Violinist BARRY stated: There won't be enough time if we do that.

Viola player GEORGE stated: How about nine.

Cellist RAVEN stated: No. Sunrise.

Come on, act right—


Stop it. You act like there's something wrong with you—

Ala babble ala babble—like what is wrong with me?

It's like you've got some kind of speech impediment—and I know very well that you don't—so stop the fooling around—

WHOOOOOOOP! Ala babble ala babble.

Oboeist CECILIA stated: Sunrise? My God—

Violinist LOU stated: No! I need my beauty sleep.

Violinist BARRY stated: I need the practice pretty bad. But sunrise is too early. I vote for nine.

Viola player GEORGE stated: That's a good compromise.

Cellist RAVEN stated: I go along with Barry - I need the practice. But it has to be sunrise. Else I won't have enough time.

You know what? I feel like I want to strangle you—strangle some brains into you.


I know, ali babba ali babba—c'mon, cut it out.

I can't cut—WHOOOOOOP—it out.

You never talked this way before—what has happened to you? Tell you what—how about I use this knife and cut the damned tongue out of you. That'd shut you up—

Ala babble ala babble WHOOOOOOP!

Oboeist CECILIA stated: Sunrise is a little extreme—

Violinist LOU stated: I too think that's a little extreme.

Violinist BARRY stated: I go along with George - we should rise at nine.

Viola player GEORGE stated: There you go—two votes for nine.

Cellist RAVEN stated: Well I'll tell you what—you guys get up at nine. I'll still rise at sunrise. I need to do my scales.

Oh please—PLEASE—stop this fooling around. It's not funny any more.

It's not—WHOOOOOOP—funny? Why is it not funny?

Because you're making fun of people who really have a problem—

Oh—what kind of problem?

Problems talking.

What's—WHOOOOOOOOOOP—a problem talking?

It's when you can't talk right. It's like how you're acting. Cut it out. Please—

All right I'll cut it out—I'll do it softer—whoop—whoop—whoop—how's that? Better?


Oboeist CECILIA stated: I'll tell you what — I'll vote for ten.

Violinist LOU stated: Well — ten is better.

Violinist BARRY stated: I'm not budging off of nine.

Viola player GEORGE stated: two votes for ten, two votes for nine — Raven; you're the tiebreaker. What do you think?

Cellist RAVEN stated: I don't care. I'm getting up at sunrise, I don't care what you guys do. Don't put me in the middle—

I want you to cut out this behavior entirely.

Okay. I won't do it anymore—but you ought to try it—it feels damned good. Go on—give out one whoop—you'll see how good it feels.

I don't want to.

Why not?

Please, please, please—do it one time—

All right—whooop. There. You happy?

No—do it louder. Like I do. Do it louder, or I'll start doing it again.

All right—WHOOOOOOOP! There you are.

Didn't that feel good?

Not really.

I'm surprised. For me, it clears out the lungs.

Oboeist CECILIA stated: Nobody's putting you in the middle Raven—

Violinist LOU stated: So guys, guys—we don't have a tiebreaker.

Violinist BARRY stated: Why do we all have to get up at the same time anyway?

Viola player GEORGE stated: Because since we formed this quintet, we do everything together.

Cellist RAVEN stated: That's a little sick—

I got to do it—WHOOOOOP! WHOOOOOP! Ala babble ala babble ala babble—

Stop. Stop now.


Stop. Stop now.


That's enough—enough.

He came over the table.


But she's sick, he said—she's too sick—




How about nine.

That won't be soon enough.

Oh I don't know. Maybe eleven.

What time will we go tomorrow?

—exactly—maybe eleven—maybe nine—early—sunrise—


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