Once, when we were younger, Mr. Shabadogi, Navid and I threw pennies into the water below the bridge and wished we weren’t spending Thanksgiving in Baltimore.
Lucy is pregnant. She calls the clinic and makes an appointment for her fourth abortion. She is twenty-three.
Just because a man shows up on your balcony doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, no matter how agreeable he is.
We talk about you behind your back, Samantha Oswald. In the hallways and the bathrooms and the cafeteria. In the locker room after field hockey practice. You’re very popular.
Life is not how you thought it was. An intruder is in your house. Glassy, unclosing eyes have been watching your most secret rituals.
It had to do with desire, the Eugene O’Neill sort of desire, the sort that you can’t ignore, that you shouldn’t ignore. It would be wrong to ignore.
nothing linear for the learned, no betters, none worse, no caste, but processing, there’s only 10 kinds of people in the world, the on-off switch fires or doesn’t fire for them, the on-off switch doesn’t exist…
I believe in the things that you believe in, he said. You and I are one, he said. That makes sense to me, I said, where do you sign me up, so he took me to the voting booth and held my hand while I pressed the button.
It was during my last year as a graduate student in San Diego that I experienced for the first time what it meant to be the object of someone else’s… how should I put it? “Romantic interest”? “Passion”? “Love”? Until then, love had been for me something I was in, and the object of my affection was either dead, or a literary character, or some other unattainable person.
If he was one of the ghostly dead, he would be able to speak with these spirits, free to wander with them among the trees of laughing bells. Such free places would never be created on earth, he had finally come to understand.
I stared down into the toilet bowl and the thick yellow ring inside. I’d noticed it before, but never so close. I thought about the Dutch girl.
The last thing I remember from that night was dancing on a table with a pitcher in each hand, singing “Sonuva gun, gonna’ have some fun, in the bayou.” Inside, I could hear the bloodhounds coming.
Without my heart the world seems very quiet, hushed, like when a storm knocks the electricity out. I hadn’t realized how loud it had been, the steady beating, the rush of blood in my ears, until it was gone.
Here is a new winter, a season apart from memory, untied from any author’s signature, all but autonomous.