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Gun Buck Before Dawn-Fiction by j. brooke
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A Stab in the Dark-Fiction by Gary Clifton
Run, Robby, Run, Part 2-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Surprise Me-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Here They Come-Captain Jack, Part 2-Fiction by Michael S. Stewart
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Bike Killer-Fiction by Doug Hawley
Home on the Range-Fiction by Liz McAdams
Tickets to Heaven-Fiction by Paul Heatley
Free-Flash Fiction by Andrew J. Hogan
I Hate Dave Matthews-Flash Fiction by Carolyn Smuts
The Journey-Flash Fiction by Oliver Lodge
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in your shoes-Poem by J. J. Campbell
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Art by Cindy Rosmus 2017

I Hate Dave Matthews

by Carolyn Smuts


Bad sex ruins good songs.

When I first heard “Crash into Me” by the Dave Matthews Band, I liked it, but stoner sex got it blacklisted even though it’s a sexy damn song. 

In 1994, I wore my hair in “The Rachel” style. I was engaged to Kevin and teaching at South Torrance High School near LA. I carpooled daily with one of my colleagues, an idiotic pothead named Marcus.

He was physically hot as hell—a swimmer with well-defined muscles and gorgeous skin.  Mentally, he was a box of rocks, a condition not helped by the weed he smoked daily.

Yeah, I was engaged, but Kevin and I had zero chemistry. I already felt trapped by his sterile sexuality and we weren’t even married. Marcus potentially offered zero commitment, no-strings carnality without the threat of liking him too much. We engaged in a few months of fun, back-and-forth, flirty talk in the car which eventually evolved into hand play of every sort during our drives. God, his skin was amazing.

We never kissed in the early days but when we finally did, things progressed past the point of no return almost immediately. 

After school, I followed him to his house and we screwed while Dave Matthews soulfully crooned “Crash into Me” in the background.

It was awful—the sex with Marcus, not the song.

Stoners are the worst in bed—flat and selfish. There was nothing erotic about the way he moved; he pretty much just wanted to stuff his cock in me.

And that he did with zero art or style. He buried his face in my shoulder and thrusted lazily, grunting each time. Too tired to prop himself on his arms, his shoulder pinned me to the mattress. I couldn’t move if I wanted to, which I did not.

Within ten seconds, I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  Sadly, the bong on his nightstand reminded me his senses were dull as hell and I’d probably be there a while. It was the longest twenty minutes of my life and listening to Dave Matthews on a loop made me feel like I was trapped in some kind of torturous fun house—the sexy song punctuating the silence and the actual sex as gratifying as nails on a chalkboard.

The guilt was worse. For years I could not hear the song—the tawdry, secret fuck song—without feeling literal nausea. I learned to love my steering wheel volume controls because they allowed instant silencing of Dave’s plaintive voice without having to reach up and turn the dial.

I can’t help but wonder: If the sex had been good, where would I be today? I’d never have “been” with Marcus—the stupid, beautiful, stoned swimmer—in any real way, but I’d probably never have married Kevin had I known good sex.

Last Friday, I heard the song for the first time in a decade—certainly for the first time since Kevin and I divorced. I forced myself to listen. It was enjoyable and nostalgically sexy in a ‘90s sort of way. There was no nausea, only an excited, sick adrenaline twinge in my solar plexus—it was good; maybe how it was supposed to make me feel, had it not been ruined by pot and guilt.


Carolyn Smuts taught history before trading academic life for corporate America. She’s been writing for business and pleasure more than ten years with recent fiction works published by Intrinsick, Prolific Press, Jitter, Dual Coast, and The Dirty Pool. She spends weekends studying weird local history, running, drinking, and hiking the hills of Southern California with her family.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017