“Hey, man. You ready to play?” he asked, referring to the new shooter game we bought last night for the Xbox. He was a little out of breath—more so than usual for someone so incredibly tall and thin. Our bathroom door is pretty flimsy so I heard him purging the Cheetos he ate that afternoon.
“Everything okay, dude?” I nodded in response, politely trying to steer my nose away from his breath, which still smelled a lot like vomit despite how he always brushes his teeth for a really long time afterwards and then gargles Listerine for a few more minutes on top of that. “Okay, then let’s play!” He slapped me hard on the back. ‘You’re going down, loser.” He smiled real wide and I could see that his teeth were nearly entirely gray from enamel erosion.
I picked up the controller and looked at him, but he had lost focus. He was staring at the half-eaten bag of Cheetos on the floor. I scrambled to say something to fill the silence but I couldn’t think of anything quickly enough. He tapped me on the shoulder, still staring intently at the bag, his face expressionless. His voice had become vacant and quiet. “Do me a solid, man, and pass me that bag of Cheetos?”
After I handed it to him, he immediately began to pack handful after handful of Cheetos down his throat. His cheeks could barely contain them and moist crumbs slowly began to gather at the corners of his mouth. In seconds, the bag was empty. He crinkled it up, using his tongue to dislodge the last few chewy bits that were stuck to his teeth. After one long swallow, he threw the bag over his shoulder.
“Thanks, bro. Fucking love Cheetos, you know? Love them. We should get more.” I nodded again and he got really mad. I couldn’t stop staring at his fat, orange lips. “Why do you keep looking at me like that? What is your problem?” I didn’t say anything. ‘You know what?” He threw the controller down on the futon. “I don’t want to play anymore. I’m going to go for a walk down by the river. Alone. First, I’m going to go into that bathroom for a few minutes, but then I’m going for a walk by the river.”