Kirk Novak: James Ellroy Eats a Sandwich

Drinkers with Writing Problems

Jimmy opened the plate glass door to the deli. He let it swing free and slam close behind him. It went bang. The doorbells jingled in time with his footsteps. The sandwich artist saw him. He stopped mopping. He leaned in hard on the countertop. His biceps twitched. He popped his knuckles one by one. He put his full weight on his elbows. He grinned wide. He was missing teeth.

Jimmy looked in the glass case. Deli meat was sweating under fluorescent lighting. It glistened. It shimmered. It cried. Jimmy licked his lips. Jimmy bit the inside of his cheek.

“What’s good?”

“It all tastes like lips and assholes.”

“I’ll take a tongue sandwich.”

“Excellent choice.”

The sandwich artist slapped two pieces of rye down on the cutting board. Crumbs scattered. Fennel seeds rolled. He grabbed the hunk of tongue from the case. His biceps flexed. He put it to…

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