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The uniform skirts were heaped in the corner, almost all of them unbuttoned so that they didn’t even really look like skirts anymore but kind of like very large, very ugly party garlands. One skirt stood impossibly up on its own, its pleated frame starched into a kind of sentience. “I left everything in there,” […]
So I landed this gig and I started taking my little dog out to Rancho Mirage for the weekend, for some quality-time weekends, just him and me. And I lavished one-on-one attention on him with food and treats and playing and cuddling in a nice, clean, cool hotel room, and it was his little spa […]
Shirts (049. The Six Swans) I took in mending while you were gone. At first, it was a selfish endeavor: I stitched up both our clothes, repairing holes and frayed hems, so that when you came back we’d look smart enough to deserve our happiness. Then the neighbors took notice, and I began mending shirts […]
Coop leaned against the new quarter-panel and watched out the barn as the light fell onto the still-wet grass. He looked down at Tyler’s legs, sticking out from under the front of the vehicle. “Dew’s not burnt off yet,” he said. “What? Say something that makes some sense. Hand me the wrench.” Coop slid it […]
Sometimes his apartment smells of mold, soured milk, dirty socks, the piles of laundry, but really it is the forest-animal musk of a man who has lost some power. I add soy wax candles, my underwear in corners, a wood-handled hairbrush, and dozens of DVDs—Eraserhead, John Waters—things he hates to watch. We met on the […]
My mom has narcolepsy so she bought a student driver car with a steering wheel in the passenger side seat. Whenever she drives anywhere, I ride shotgun. If she falls asleep while she’s driving I’m supposed to elbow her awake. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes when she nods off instead of hitting […]
But likely you don’t believe in God’s truth.
They talked about writing important things. Some wrote very popular things and could talk so as to make the very popular things they wrote seem important. They winnowed. They channeled. They allowed for marginalia. Brown water, vomitus, sloshes up running boards, foams into door cracks, saturates floor mats. Engine side of the F-150 sinks first. […]
I almost don’t go to the the reading of my grandfather’s will, but it’s important to my sister. The lawyer reads my name and adds, “Scrimshaw, one,” and with both hands passes me a carving of a caribou antler—not one from a large bull, but a simpler cow’s. Tracing my finger along the almost-ivory, I […]
Fifty drunk teenagers in a backyard. The girls pair off by height: tall with tall; short with short. The night is balmy, blameless. Jonah Tate, whose backyard it is, makes a ring with white masking tape. Becky Brady stands in her corner, gloves limp at her sides. A boy whispers something in her ear and […]
My doctor always asked how I would prepare it, the placenta. Powdered and encapsulated for my Yuki—two, three, four or more a day depending on my level of sadness and how much I believed the vitamins and hormones within the tissue would make me whole again. Pan fried and stuffed into dumplings for Toru. A […]
I was at the hibachi restaurant in the dream.
Elliott Holt teaches us our ABC’s.
The Bishop leaned toward the vanity, tweezers poised, and considered two uncomfortable truths.
The art teacher’s wife left him, and their two sons, for another woman two years ago.
It’s the future. It’s been the future for a while.
First we filled the holes, each only nine or so millimeters wide. The maintenance staff had tools on hand.
When people ask me something, I’ve a principle: always say yes.
He came back from the war with a little bit of money and the helmet of a man he had killed with a knife in a burnt-out house
We were the sons and daughters of busy working men and women who couldn’t afford crèches, of half-lost souls, of feckless unemployed folks who had some betting or drinking or TV-watching planned on our schoolless Wednesday afternoons.
All birds around here were dead, and we stared, slack-jawed, at their piled carcasses along the road.
But more of the chicks survived than you thought, and dozens upon dozens of them now scurry around the room, shitting everywhere.
Six candles on the chocolate cake, one for each of Sherman Moon’s years, and as Mrs. Moon carries the cake into the dining room, Mr. Moon says, “Don’t tell us your wish, son.”
It’s not that I didn’t try to help. When Annemarie flailed, sleeping, I was the one who always shook her until she sat up, sheet-tangled, still half-caught in her dream.
Two dung beetles leaned back on their hindquarters atop a napping tortoise . . .