Late last night Barney pinged me, a man I barely knew but liked, a bearded farmer I’d snogged once at a wedding.
Nobody can leave so everybody looks out their windows into other people’s windows.
When he goes downstairs, his mother is not in the kitchen. She’s not in the bathroom or the yard.
Per the arrangement, their indefinite work-from-home statuses, they are required to sign documents outlining their necessary functions, their necessary hours, their necessary communications.
Where are they, those bike-men in their tight bright shirts? This time of day they’re always here on the sidewalk outside the sandwich shop.
Putin looks at me with love, then lunges and bites my finger, his sharp little teeth vising my skin.
In the ‘60s—the 1960s not the 2060s—it was said that all you needed to fix any Detroit car was a half-inch wrench.
When the price of eggs went up and up, and then there were no more eggs, that was it. He made a raft from various pillows and a laundry basket, stuck a broom for a mast, enough of a flag.
We’re sitting at a metal park bench, the kind wrapped in soft, protective plastic. We aren’t touching.
I’m self-isolating inside an orange. The shadows of previous tenants kept sneezing in my flat.
Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.
I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.
Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks