Fiction and Drama

Horse Soup

Horse Soup

“This is na-a-a-a-o!”

It was 1982. Brezhnev died. Ready also died, after eating rat poison. Olya started her senior year at the Institute and bought herself a violin made by the German master Schneider for 1,600 rubles, telling her poor parents that a girlfriend who’d dropped out of school and married a Georgian had given it to her. She continued to meet Burmistrov at the same apartment. She was so used to Horse Soup’s screaming that she no longer paid any attention to it, focusing only on the food in front of her. 

Compensation

Compensation

Your emotional income report

Or perhaps the joy lay in the way they loosened the world, suggesting that nothing was really so important. Lions and bears were insulting each other on the playground — and still, she was carrying this weight? The weight of the husband? Of the shag carpet?

The Groups

The Groups

Name one way you have resisted youth-culture hegemony?

Other groups went in for home arts but in more artisanal directions than the folk crafts women, with steampunk-looking excursions in beakers, copper stills, and bell jars, making hand-cultured vinegars and ciders but also shrubs, wassails, tonics, and bitters, which could be used to cure colds and doubled as craft cocktail ingredients. A further subset of these had a religious bent, albeit Wiccan and New Agey, with bespoke homespun potions, poultices, and other herbal remediations for illnesses, as well as plasters and pastes made from grinding seeds and oils by hand with a mortar.

The Sexual Translator

The Sexual Translator

“I want to borrow your embodiment.”

Most books, he discovered, were about sex, whether or not the author knew it. The translator’s job was to uncover what the original author could not divine. I befriended the translator late in his life, approximately ten years before his death. His funeral I didn’t attend, because I took pleasure in inverting the social rules—just as I had violated the rules by befriending this august personage in the first place.

Rumble in the Jungle

Rumble in the Jungle

“Google it! Google ‘hedonic treadmill.’”

At the same time, I can tell that something big is about to take place. Something extraordinary. If Ralf manages to beat Sune while Sune’s playing full out, it’ll be a gift to the three of us present to witness it. It’ll be a tribute to what human beings can achieve when they’re at their greatest and best. The boys must feel that way too. They’ve come to love Ralf, as I now have. And that’s why Sune is playing as hard as he can. Only then can Ralf show us what a human being can be.

Regression

Regression

Perhaps it had been so fantastic that she’d assimilated it into a dream

Other memories appear: the afternoon she accompanied Tamara to her iaia’s house. Every day, she’d see the grandfather, a yarmulke on his bald head, collect Tamara after English class. They didn’t attend a religious school, and when her friend confessed that her family was Jewish it gave her a strange feeling. There were so few Jews in Spain, it was as if her friend were special, a rare jewel.

Yell: A Documentary of My Time Here

Yell: A Documentary of My Time Here

WHITE PEOPLE SAY THE WORD PEDAGOGY TO ME

How I hate that I ignore more calls from my mother than I answer. How I can’t leave !!!!!!!!!!! even though I feel unfulfilled in my second week. How that would be its own sort of tragedy for my mother, because at least for the next three years when I ignore her calls she knows where I am. How I want to KMS but I’m too much of a narcissist to go through with it. I’m too afraid of what my mama would do if I did. So I’ll just do it here. On the page and see if I still feel the same afterwards.

Banana Bunch Challenge

Banana Bunch Challenge

The whale is based

The mistake was not the iconography: the flag of Kekistan, the pride flag, and the US flag, all of them woven into one. I knew I’d get flack for it from antifa, the helmet and shield, the spandex bodysuit, they laughed and took their videos and those mean girl Proud Boys called me a faggot and a freak. And so I marked off my own territory, and I spoke to them — I preached — of what I knew. As a faggot, as a freak! On my milk crates, during that gathering of Proud Boys and antifa. And then I tripped and fell. But that wasn’t a mistake either. I didn’t make any mistakes, not that day. Maybe not ever, in some sense, if here’s where it’s led.

The Remainder

The Remainder

He knew the sympathy he felt was a kind of trick

As Guy walked back to the compound now, his flashlight stabbed into visibility tunnels of the night woods, tangents along his curving path. Somehow at every step it was surprising that there wasn’t anyone but him in any of the tunnels. Like everyone else, he had fantasies of his own of living for himself in the years that were remaining — of giving up law, in his case. The trouble was, the remainder might stretch for as long as a century; no one knew. And Guy had reached the age past which it is no longer in one to become a different person, not even one’s true self. 

Middlegame

Middlegame

Her daughter, my daughter, our daughter

My daughter was my reason for waking each day, and I wanted to kill myself for having in some fashion already resigned myself to losing some part of her. Selfishly, I saw my world as illusionary, fragile, existing only because others allowed it to exist. I realized that I was ever awaiting such a moment of loss, that I was, in fact, daily resigned to death but had never resigned to life.