My dad is a politician. He’s four decades older than me and I’m 10. He hates the police. Maybe just the police in Colombia. Or all over the world. I don’t know. I’ve never been in a car with my father anywhere else. When I’m in a car with my dad, he’s always giving me advice on life. He has four decades full of advice to give. Sometimes he talks to me about God. Sometimes about power. He likes those two words very much, especially God. These drives are boring as hell. Read more →
It came to me late at night. I was asleep, and then I wasn’t, and then it came out of my mouth and that was that. I didn’t notice because it was late and dark and I was, as I said, half asleep. But the next morning there was a strange taste in my mouth. Something earthy and foreign. There also was a change in the air. The apartment felt stuffed. Rarified. Do you know the feeling of being observed you get at airports, or malls, or the subway? It was like that, except that I couldn’t pinpoint why. In those places, airports and malls and the subway, you are actually being observed. I guess I was too but, at first –at least first thing in the morning–, I couldn’t notice. There was no way for me to see it. It would take more space, it would become visible, just not then. Not at that exact moment. Read more →
my mom bought me new tights as an obsession because she knew the loss of luster that comes with overusing. she wanted me to look held together, like i was taken care of by the consistency of clean thread. as they bound my legs, their thin hairs and discolored bites, they knew what it means to overstretch and survive the fleshy orientation of the leg. Read more →
Surrendering, I read, is a one-way door. It has a window but no handle, and when you’re through, you’re through. I met Karen at a St. Hubert just off the 40. She had requested the meeting spot. It seemed like an odd place for someone like her to request, but people can surprise you. They generally don’t, but they can. The St. Hubert was one of those franchises that looks like a barn, with a slanted burgundy roof. Inside it smelled like fried chicken, naturally, and bubblegum. The second smell was incongruous; it must have been a cleaning product or the collective odour of the teenagers that worked there. I ordered potato wedges and a diet Coke. Read more →
Fifty feet up, beachcombers pad their handbags with sand dollars, sea glass, sun-bleached urchins; honeymooners share a bowl of stewed conch across a gingham tablecloth; a mother washes her infant in the tide while Dad crams five quarts of discount rum in their safety deposit box; a dentist’s wife sleeps under a sea grape tree; Dicky Jr. slingshots butterflies; a perfume of parrots shakes from the banyan; the beach is a shock of white sand; three NASA officials and two behavioural psychologists crowd a bank of video monitors inside a mobile trailer. On the screens, four women in bikinis eat enchiladas around a hide-a-table.
Margot had been waiting for a sign from God, and now the ice was coming. It unfurled over the grey horizon like a flower in expedited bloom, moving over the lake towards land. When it reached the edge of the backyard it crawled with frozen fingers over hardened earth, covering dormant grass and the tulip beds Margot had been monitoring for signs of spring. Watching…
Because for now you are happy, puttering along beside the thoroughfare in all that taffeta and lace. The boy is a neighbour, and you’re the only girl he’ll be seen playing with. They all want to be seen playing with you. At school, they gather around where you eat lunch, try to swap for your baloney-and-mustard, giggle as you crack jokes about the teachers. T
He’s there again. I can hear him before I even look. It’s been two years that I’ve walked past this man playing the same tired old tune. The notes come out his strangled trumpet like shrill screams. The only time he’s gone is when it rains. Day after day, the same people walk by with their limp pockets and empty shrugs. Most times…
The old man unlatched the gate and slipped into the fenced yard, cooing at his prey. The first two he caught easily, one under each arm. Out by the chopping block he passed one of the roosters to Jack. Jack held the struggling bird like a bellows and prayed it wouldn’t wriggle free. He watched his grandfather press a slender head between two nails on the stump and heard the chicken’s shallow hiss. A jewel-like eye twitched. The old man turned to look at Jack.