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    Jess Walter

    38. Beneath All that Bone

    By Jess Walter


    It was a minute before either of them spoke. “So what would you do . . . if you only had one day left?”

    He stared at the ceiling, still panting. “I guess . . . that.”

    They’d made it just nine miles after the accident before deciding to get off the freeway and find a room—first hotel they saw, a thirty-year-old converted Travelodge with a working lounge—Tracy stroking his arm lightly as he paid so that Nate expected the sex to be tender and safe. He began that way once they were inside the room, brushing the hair from her temple, but almost immediately they were clinging and grabbing, noises coming from their throats. He fell off as soon as it was done and they lay quietly, staring at different spots on the ceiling, their breathing returning to pace.

    Tracy reached over and brushed his shoulder. “Really. What would you do? If you were dying tomorrow?”

    “I think it’s clear what I’d do. Isn’t that why we stopped? It’s evolutionary, innate. We probably don’t even have any say in it.”

    “I’d eat.”

    “Eat what?”

    “Everything. If I had just one day I’d go from restaurant to restaurant, order the best thing on the menu, take a couple of bites and go to the next place.”

    “Maybe you think you’d do that, but you wouldn’t.”

    “No, I would. I’d get crab cakes first. I’d eat all day, but I’d do it like one giant meal . . . . . . Read More.


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