Laughter

Phil Fragasso


I was on Memorial Drive and took an exit to cross the river to the Boston side.

“So you’re taking me to the big city?” Nina asked.

“Perhaps.”

“Come on, Adam. Tell me where we’re going.”

“Why, you getting worried?”

“Not at all. I just have a lot of allergies and I don’t want it to be embarrassing for you if I puke at the dinner table.”

“Shit. I never even thought of that.” My chest tightened and I turned toward Nina with narrowed eyes. “What kind of allergies do you have?”

“Well for starters,” she said, “red meat gives me the runs. Chicken makes my tongue swell up like a python that’s just swallowed a piglet. Which reminds me—pork makes me gassier than the farting scene in Blazing Saddles. I’m okay with most seafood as long as it’s from the Mediterranean or Indian Ocean. The doctors aren’t quite sure why that is. Vegetables are okay but they have to be grown hydroponically. I also get severe cramps from dairy products. But, oddly enough, I’m fine with gluten and peanuts. Go figure.”

“Holy shit. How long have you been living like this?”

“For never.” Nina tossed her hair back and filled the car with a cackle of unabashed joy. “I just like messing with you. You’re always so serious looking.”