Two women sit together on the sofa in the hotel lounge, bent over and deep in conversation. I am walking through, on my way to my room.
One employee at the Chinese restaurant chops the heads off ducks.
All the terrible things were the same size. They were furred over with dust and seemed to slouch in the heavy sunlight.
When there is a New Sport they find the players to fit: Elongated for basketball; sleek for swimming; flexibly jointed for golf.
John Wayne Gacy buried twenty-three victims in the crawl space of his house. But when Carol Hoff, Gacy’s wife, was asked if she smelled anything, she said Gacy told her the smell was because of mice.
My pet peeve, I told my writing class, is a story that starts with, I woke up and . . . Why not start later, in the middle of the morning, with the action? But after my class, at 11:59 a.m., I reconsidered my writing teleology.
The Library’s closure went largely unremarked, apart from a segment or two on the nightly news.
They had to live, didn’t they? Well, didn’t they? Didn’t they?
Matanzas is called Matanzas because of the Matanzas. I’m not being flip. The first killings took place when Cuban fishermen upset the boats on which they were ferrying armor-heavy Spaniards across the river.
The woman strode into the room. She was followed by many men—her supporters. On tall heels, she strode across the room.
Sam told us it was a free for all and we believed him. We always believed what Sam told us and this business with the free for all was no different.
The doors snap open on Addison, and the kid in dirty hightops and a sleeveless denim jacket that shows off a blue pitchfork tattooed on his bicep jogs forward beneath a backward baseball cap and grabs the purse off a babushka’s lap.
With the population now well aware of the physical and mental benefits of asceticism (low cholesterol, bradycardia, a delicate sense of happiness, spiritual fulfillment), everyone wants to become a hermit.
The slick booklets are spread out, and he is looking at snapshots of young women, my father, late in life. (Four wives later, two in the ground—my mother was his first.)
He couldn’t say what he wanted to say, so he decided to write it—but that didn’t work either because he had to make big spiraling motions with his arm before he could get the pen down to the letter he wanted to write.
In the barren cold camp, you wear a dusty cape and top hat, wave my cane as if it were a wand and tell me your dream-stories, one after the next, your words spun and tossed like tethers into the air.
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.
The old man fell asleep in his car, his nostrils pressed softly against the steering wheel, but the car kept going, because the old man’s foot was not asleep, was still pressing down hard, and later they would say, it’s not really his fault, he’s such an old man.
It’s been twenty minutes since the first bolt of lightning ripped a scar through the purple night sky. Since my mother said to swim in the rain ― it’s fun. Since her boyfriend Colin said he’d join us― to check we’re ok.