Sound exposing floor tiles, drumming to ceiling, embattled floor. Recorded music—Tchaikovsky—wolfs me down. I shut it off and beg myself to play. Baseboards [...]
Months after using my camera, I developed a roll of film and found you on it. I thought of Sontag writing, “The sense of the unattainable that can be evoked by photographs feeds directly into the erotic feelings of those for whom desirability is increased by distance.” I felt obvious and became embarrassed.
He reached into his briefcase, pulled out an apple, wiped it on his shirt, and took a large chomp. He watched himself chew in the rear-view mirror. He ate the apple’s core too because he had nowhere to dispose of it and he didn’t want to chuck it out the window in case the client pulled in at exactly that moment.
If you think I see Sibley, if you think I see Ruze, if you think I see Gran or my mom or Ms. K – sorry, you lose. In Gran’s town, the streets don’t care if you are desperate or sad – the streets, like the dark houses, like the faraway sky, like the trees, do what they’re gonna do. They keep quiet. They keep calm – each intersection on auto-light: red, green, yellow. Stop, go, slow. Green, yellow, red, green. Go slow, stop, go back…or go home.
Under her keyboard was a faint eeee. Feeble warble weakly insistent like a dog shut outside. The eeee was deep in her laptop’s guts. Her brother Mark was on video chat, her famous and handsome brother, mouth-breathing due to his rhinoplasty and making tattoo suggestions. But she could hear it between his sentences, the eeee.
I also occasionally fell into a coma. I would dream of Las Vegas past, when I was a kid, when I flew down with my grandparents and we could still go to the Sands and the Silver Slipper and the Stardust. They would spend six weeks in the desert every winter in a motel two blocks off the Strip with a pool and a large Yiddish clientele. My grandmother, a smoker not a swimmer, would sit out in the sun and trade two-fers with the other ladies from Cleveland and Cincinnati and Saskatchewan. My grandfather was interested in the sports book, the horses in particular. Once we heard on my grandfather’s pocket radio that someone had jacked the bank across the street with a shotgun. I was afraid, but to prove that we were safe my grandmother marched me over to Smiths and bought a six-pack of pepsi and she gave me a can and then drank a mickey of bourbon in the rest of it. Bank robbers never hurt little kids, she told me. Remember, this city is full of people who just want to have fun, they don’t want to hurt some little kid.
Within a few minutes a woman in a red sweatshirt came to collect Tammy. Anisha left soon after, and then, to my consternation, so did Daniel Park. By lunchtime half the class had gone home. At the time I had a strange fondness for carrots dipped in ketchup, and it was this I was enjoying when my father appeared in the doorway.
The grandmothers walk through the front door, two and three at a time, bonding over talk of the weather. They lower their umbrellas, brush raindrops from their shawls and smooth their sheen grey hair, propped up in helmets or draped over grandmotherly shoulders. Cats and dogs, they say. Absolutely cats and dogs.
They weren’t hippies, they were monkeys. I went downstairs to get a soda and they were attacking the vending machines. It was around two in the morning and the dorm was so quiet, like another place completely, an abandoned place full of emptiness and silence, not students and all their useless noise. So empty I probably could have walked downstairs in my underwear except that it was a little creepy all alone in those great big abandoned hallways. Like post-apocalyptic zombie movie creepy especially since it’s always the girl in her underwear who dies first. So I was wearing boxers, a sweatshirt, and socks when I walked in on them. There were glass and candy and chip bags everywhere, the colors and reflected light all piled up on the floor like pirate treasure the hippies were gathering in their hairy arms. At least five of them were monkeys and I’m not sure what kind. I’m not a monkey expert and it was hard to think around the gash in my foot and all that blood. I kept telling myself they had to be hippies because that made more sense than monkeys running around the dorm, but the hair and the eyes made it difficult to call them human. The fact that they didn’t say anything wasn’t such a problem, because it wasn’t unusual for people not to speak to me, especially in the middle of the night since I got Ricky busted for dealing (I really didn’t mean to, it’s my job. Well, not so much my job now as the job I want to have next year -- RA). The small, hairy hands and bodies were probably the most significant indication that I wasn’t dealing with my own species anymore, but I try to be open-minded about appearances. If they don’t want to shave, that’s their choice and their right, right?
First of all the name of the creature who follows me around: Agvagvat. Watching my mouth in the mirror call her, “Hey, Agvagvat,” I can’t stand it—Agvagvat isn’t an attractive word to say. When my mouth makes those guppy sounds I look very middle aged.
In Marko and Ana’s living room in Astoria hung a framed piece of Paška čipka—Pag lace—attached to a piece of creased cerulean paper. Last year when they were packing their bags to leave Croatia, Marko told Ana not to put it in her suitcase but she was hurried and stuffed everything in.
"A morbid streak runs through the whole of my family, but for you I could put it to rest." — Vampire Weekend Survive Low hums [...]
He was the winner of everything in the universe. With a glorious head of hair coiffed into a state of perfection, and a magnificent [...]
The bark of the apple tree is black; alone in the garden, black. It cuts into the winter like calligraphy. The winter paints white [...]
Mom and I pick him up from T.F. Green in Warwick. He’d left us at 195 pounds but now he’s around 165, face skinny [...]