Sometimes it was flawless

Lee shoved fries into his mouth as fast as he could, chasing them with gulps of unstirred iced tea. He'd already drained one icy cup of it. I stared and barely spooned at the large bowl of cinnamon ice cream before me, which was the diner's specialty. The 45 minutes it had taken our waitress for the evening to scoop the ice cream and fry the fries made us delirious with the munchies. Lee continued between mouthfuls of mushed potatoes.

"All of them. The one with the cherries, RAM, all the Wings ones."

"Wings? That's why you can find those records for 49 cents."

"I know. But the Beatles are my favorite band. Ever. And Paul McCartney was in the Beatles."

"Does this mean you bought Goodnight, Vienna too?"

"No." He g'thered up more fries but paused to tell me his big plans. "At some point, I'm sure I'll get to Ringo's records. And one day I'm going to buy those weird moog records that George made. But Paul is my favorite Beatle."

"More than John? You have a sticker of John on your car! You wear the same round glasses as him! What do you mean?"

"I know, I know, but 'Blackbird' is definitely my favorite song ever."

"Really? You said it was 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.' Like last week. That it changed your life."

"Well, yeah. It did. I was on acid when I heard it, and...," he started cracking up, "It's why I love the Beatles!"

"And tripping?"

"Well...duh. I love the Beatles and I love doing drugs!" We cracked up and then quickly shushed each other in the same breath.

"Hunh...Sir Paul. Well, are any of those McCartney records any good?"

Lee yelled through his emptied ice tea cup, ice spilling out around his mouth. "No! Wings is terrible! Linda is the worst singer ever! Ever! Worse than Yoko. I still can't believe it!" More ketchup-soaked fries were shoveled in around such a delcamation.

"What's that one record you played the day me and Colin were over getting high at your house? The yellow one, where he's got this idiotic expression on his face."

"Oh... that one. McCartney II!"


Lee was laughing with a ketchup-bloodied bolus balanced precariously on his tongue. "THAT'S THE FUCKING WORST!!! OH MY GOD! THEEEEE WORST!"

A piece dropped off and hit the table. Our waitress couldn't tell if we were complaining about her thirty years of service and popped her beehive and gum-snapping lips up for a quick look-see.

My spoon clanged into the softened ice cream as I leaned towards Lee and whispered, "Do. Not. Ever. Tell. Him. I told you this. Ever." I leaned closer for effect. "Colin thought you were coming onto him that night."

"What night?"

"That night we were listening to that McCartney record."


"I don't know man. He said something to me afterwards about it. On the ride home. Apparently when I went to piss or something, you played him some song..."

"I played him 'Darkroom,' because he's like, taking a photography class and shit."

"Yeah, I know I know. But apparently, since he was tripping, he took it all weird. He said that you had like, turned it up and smiled and then looked at him while you were grinning, eyes all wide or something mouthing the words about 'going into the darkroom.'"

Lee forgot all about his fries as he fought the accusation. "That's the most ludicrous thing I ever heard. Why would I hit on him? I'm not even gay! Ask my girlfriend! She knows!"

"It's just that you mouthed the words to him in some way and he just...I don't know, decided to get all weird about it."

Lee devoured what fries remained and swallowed the last half of his tea. He belched and then pondered the situation for a minute, before reaching a conclusion: "Well... that McCartney record would scare anyone."