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Fiction and Drama

The Conference

The Conference

She seemed to have thought about something that he hadn’t thought about much

He felt like somehow Livy had taken him in hand. They ran into others, an American who was spending the year at Wolfson in a small group of Oxford people, and Livy knew everybody and didn’t mind repeating herself. She said, “Why is everyone obsessed with Dennis Galway?” And also, “I’m obsessed with Dennis Galway.”

Three Stories

Three Stories

These rooms have been touched by the vanguard modern

Our safety, we were told, was the primary concern and we were told to be careful going up and down the stairs and that we should regard ourselves as if we personally lived here.

Everything is aristocratic and stylish and I could barely recall our hasty morning departure from Little Neck—from bitterness, political stresses, and from our immoral conduct. That was all blurred and misshapen.

Serra’s Verbs

Serra’s Verbs

To buy so much—what it assumes!

A woman’s friend buys toilet paper in bulk. Dozens of rolls line a section of wall in the basement, stacked hip-high and four deep, a snowbank against the stone wall of the foundation. The supply’s position, and its volume, makes it the first thing the woman sees as she descends the stairs, sent by her friend to retrieve a jar of jam and a bag of coffee beans. Her reaction to it arrives with an intensity that surprises her.

The Vocalist

The Vocalist

Lots of times they buy the rights but never make the movie

No. He argued that this was altogether different, and maybe he was right. Grace hated musicals herself. She’d had to sit through My Fair Lady one year because Josh was operating the sound board. It had made her feel restless and a little violent. 

Every Soul Ever

Every Soul Ever

It’s on the side of good, it’s basic freedoms, this is important stuff

Some people think it’s fake, her eyes are fine and it’s a trick, and some people think her eyes are legit fucked but not because of the vax, and some people think her eyes are fine but the vax could theoretically do that, and basically every mathematical permutation of these possibilities you can think of.

Horse Rider

Horse Rider

It was too symmetrical, how we were sitting

“The writing is clunky. He tries to say too much in each sentence,” I deduced he’d said to S, his college friend and acquaintance of mine, when S commented, on a blog post I’d posted about my walk: “Love this! His writing isn’t clunky! He doesn’t try to say too much in every sentence!”

Mammals

Mammals

Just clench that pelvic floor

She called all the local doulas and hired me because I was cheapest. I still wasn’t sure whether this was a pastime or calling or business or what, but I was leaning toward pastime/calling, as I had neither the desire nor the bandwidth to hustle in this realm. So I asked for the tiniest of honorariums. 

My fellow doulas got wind of this and read me the riot act, because I was undermining the whole community. We all had to charge within the same ballpark. No one cared whether this was my calling or pastime or what; just please charge the standard goddamn rate. I apologized. I hadn’t wanted money to be a thing, but money is always a thing.