Basic Paranoia

When the county sheriff’s car changes lanes and is suddenly behind you, you start to wonder about all the mistakes you’ve made throughout your life like that time you gave the cat a bath and are sure the neighbors heard it yowling, or when you called your ex drunk in the middle of the night even though he said if you ever did again he’d call the cops. Things like that. Red and blue, sirens blare louder, then pass in sonic arc. You’re still shaken on the side of the road well after traffic resumes. But they didn’t get you this time.

I think the baristas are tracking my movements. They know what time to start my triple shot and whether I’ve been fighting with my office friends, because our drinks are otherwise coordinated. 

Every night I wake up twice and have to check my teeth in a mirror because I’m sure they’ve fallen out this time, like in the dreams where my tongue rubs over knotty gums but no enamel cuts back. They’ve probably exploded again. I’m more shocked when they haven’t.

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