Month: August 2017

Harold

Each night Harold and his wife Daisy eat at their yellow table originally bought to be a conversation starter. This is where most of their contact happens. In fact, 1,892 dinners have taken place at the yellow table, 622 spaghetti nights by Harold’s count. When she hears Harold’s sigh, she blames the repetition on one of Harold’s repetitions—like losing jobs or forgetting the first thing she asked by the time she asked the second. Typically, each night at the yellow table is where she goes down her list and asks him questions like: “do you love me and how...

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Zipper

Lauren and I spill out of her mother’s car at the entrance to the carnival. We wear T-shirts knotted at the side to reveal a sliver of stomach, Calvin’s so tight we laid down to zip them. After we buy spiraling strips of tickets, Lauren pulls me into the crowd. The smell of hot oil, of popcorn, of sweat. We’ve got to go on the Zipper, I say. When I was little, I found dimes, keys, condoms, slips of paper with phone numbers that fell from people’s pockets when the ride was upside down. All their hidden little secrets....

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Bluff

My on-again off-again boyfriend was travelling out west and sending me postcards from places with names like Deception Pass and Romantic Bluff. I wasn’t taking the hint. Each afternoon I checked the mailbox hoping for word from him. I usually found disappointment: junk mail and forwarded magazine subscriptions and legal notices. I dutifully placed them in the recycling bin. Occasionally, a postcard came, and then there was a different kind of disappointment. He said little: a capsule description of a landscape, a list of images, a skinny poem, no salutation, no sign-off, only his initial: B. I was staying...

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Ring of Salt

Because she was curious, she’d let him pull down her jeans. They were twenty-one. His fingers dug into her hips as he worked the material from side to side, a smooth technique she noted from somewhere behind a vodka fog. The way his mouth followed every place his hands touched was a skill she would not have assigned to him, even though he was her oldest friend. Since middle school, she’d known all of his girlfriends, was hated by them all. One had attempted to include her in a threesome, a move to entice him, an act of desperation. But...

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