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Choosing Disappointment

It is Valentine’s Day, and I do something I’ve never done for a guy before. I cook dinner. That morning I’d gone to a wedding in a friend’s living room, but I’d picked out my silky blouse and skirt less for that important occasion and more with the tactophobe in mind. Maybe if I looked … Continue reading

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What does dancing get you?

“What time is your final exam?” my roommate asks, poking my shoulder. I open one eye. “Eight o’clock.” “It’s 8:30,” she says. I fly out of my top bunk after three hours of sleep. I pull on a sweater that is on the floor. My hair is matted and tangled. Sheets lines etch my face. … Continue reading

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Are you with him?

“Would you like to dance?” he says. I’m sitting in a country/western bar with my best friend, S., and my dad’s girlfriend. The man standing at our table is tall and lanky. He wears a plaid shirt, a wide silver belt buckle, dusty jeans, and cowboy boots. I assume he drives a pickup or a … Continue reading

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You Are Wasting Your Time

“I like you,” he said. “No, you don’t,” I said. “Why do you say that?” he asked, exasperated. He’d been trying for almost an hour to get me to agree to a date. “I just do.” “No, you don’t.” “You don’t know me!” He threw his arms up in the air. “I know I like … Continue reading

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What happens next?

My traveling companion pretended to be asleep. I stared out the train window and ran over all the things I should say when he bothered to look at me and how I ought to say them. Perhaps he pretended long enough to really fall asleep, but he kept his eyes closed for two hours. Not … Continue reading

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Clueless

“You really don’t know?” my step-sister asked. “How am I supposed to know anything? You were just gone,” I said. We sat in her room. The door was shut but we could hear her mother’s voice from my dad’s room. It wasn’t their bedroom. My step-mother slept in the bed next to the pool table … Continue reading

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Money and Knives

When I returned to America, I decided it was time to sell my mother’s things. Boxes of dishes, clothes, books, art supplies, papers, and odds and ends were piled and crammed in my bedroom in my father’s house. The boxes had once gone from floor to ceiling with only a path to my bed kept … Continue reading