by Bailey Powell Aldrich

I met Holden two weeks after my 21st birthday. “Like Caulfield,” he smirked. He must have thought I was too dumb or drunk to notice the faux nonchalance he dripped while he played his ace, clearly impressed with his own literary reference. “Okay,” I acknowledged. He wasn’t particularly handsome, but he received full marks for height – 6’5″. He told me he was from Connecticut and I wondered how he found himself in Any College Town, Texas. My skintight black and white cotton dress had gotten his attention, and he leaned his arm behind me against a high-top table as he gazed at my profile. I could feel him considering whether my short, shiny brown hair and high cheekbones were adequate to warrant his attention as I looked up at the boxing ring, lights reflecting in my eyes. Two 150 pound undergrads were throwing unskilled punches at each other: Swing, block. Swing, miss, swing, miss. Swing, lightly brush opponent’s face. Boring. Drunk trash talk came from the unlit crowd as my lips closed around the straw of my third double well vodka soda with lime. It was Sigma Chi Fight Night.