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Articles tagged "Relationships"

Very Cheesy and Also Rather Blah

carefully giving it some thought the lines on my palm[1] have deflected for you some now I suppose my dirty beard, my fiendish leg hair will graduate in time that someone of my years should care about minutiae but it’s true I never held you in my arms those training grounds where one prepares for hardship even the most majestic backdrop wouldn’t be a match for this bucktoothed “Cheese” into the camera ke-cha! then good-bye good-bye no one can...

The Hole in the Garden, Part II

The woman showed up exactly one month to the day after the pigʼs arrival. I had just finished cleaning the house and was thinking about feeding the pig before I started waxing the floors when the doorbell rang. The woman on the intercom video screen looked like she was some kind of salesperson. I decided to pretend I wasnʼt home. Then, however, she leaned forward and brought her lips—caked thick with lipstick—up to the microphone. “Iʼm Hanamura, I work...

Holding Pattern

I’m so uneasy with reality that I find planes comfortable. I surrender myself, resigned, to movies I don’t want to see and food I don’t want to eat, as if practicing a disciplined spiritual routine. A samurai with headphones and plastic knife. Suspended, my cell phone off, I enjoy the nirvana of having nothing to decide. That’s what flying is to me: a way to postpone the numbers that get through to me. The last call I got before take-off was from Clara. I was at...

And If You See That I Don’t Come Back

Look at you, you’re soaked! I’ve been waiting hours for you. Out to buy cigarettes in the middle of all this! We need to talk. What about the cigarettes? Don’t tell me you didn’t get any . . . Actually, no, I decided it would be better to come back without them than to just take off. I figured the cigarettes would find their own way back. But I knew you’d be upset to see them coming home alone so late, as dangerous as the streets are and all. Don’t...

The Map

In one of Ankara’s forgotten streets, there is a narrow, dark bookstore. I stop by there every now and then to look at the dusty old books. The moldy old books interest me; the smell of dust gets into the back of my throat there, I chat a little with the old bespectacled bookseller, who sits in a corner at a worm-eaten desk , then I go out into the sunny streets again and walk away. Late one afternoon I went into the bookstore, where the sun rarely penetrates and which has a kind...

Diary

At eight in the morning I looked at my watch and it was eight o’clock. At nine-thirty I looked at my watch and it was nine-thirty. At eleven in the morning I looked at my watch and it was ten to eleven. At twelve noon I looked at my watch and it was twenty to twelve. At one in the afternoon I looked at my watch and it was twelve-twenty. At four in the afternoon I looked at my watch and it was twelve-twenty. And at quarter past five when I looked at my watch it was still...

The Algerian and the Moroccan

This is my private diary from the year 2002. A large notebook of ninety-six pages with a deep-blue cover. I had lost it. I found it yesterday while cleaning, forgotten, abandoned for I don’t know how long behind my dresser. In the middle of this notebook there was, there is, an envelope on the back of which is written this title: “The Algerian and the Moroccan.” I knew what it contained. Words, words written as a couple, the Algerian and me. The tale of our...

Moving Like Geckos

I study him while he smokes, lying back, arm behind his head. I watch him release the smoke, breathe it back in and out, thinner now. He’s focused on something in the room but I can’t tell what, maybe my family photos—my mother, my father, the twins—or maybe the cubist still-life painting Donatella gave me. Or maybe he’s not looking at anything at all, just as high as his eyes can reach in this room that’s only twenty meters square. I study him, study...

The World of Men and the World of Women

Walter had no luck with women. He had tried to write monologues and essays on this subject, and had even pulled off a noteworthy sentence here and there, but on the whole he came up with only commonplaces, of which he later felt ashamed. It occurred to him that he basically did not understand women, that they fascinated and irritated him, and even though he had now and then been lucky enough to be with one, he could not shake the feeling of expecting too much of them. At first things had...

I Went to See Her, Pa

I bent down, cupping my hand over my eyes, as if shielding them from the sun, and I whispered to him, “I went to see her, Pa. I went to see her.” * The last time I visited him, he didn’t look so good. My younger sister had just left, and as usual, she had kept on harping about how he seemed to be getting worse. I felt I should keep things light and so I asked him about the women who had marked his life. That’s how we ended up talking about the Spanish woman....

Welcome to the Club

It was a spring evening and Dylane had invited us to her apartment in Rosemont, which she’d bought a few months earlier. It was the first time we were going to see it, so Hélène suggested we buy a plant she could transport by car, and we’d all contribute what we could. The choucroûte garnie on the table was ridiculously outsized, and we wondered how we’d make our way through it. With summer on the way, we were all watching our weight and picked at our...

Unagi

On July 16, 2009, a young woman who was dining out with her husband in a Japanese restaurant in downtown Montreal died instantly when a concrete block fell from the front of the building and landed exactly where she was seated. This is not her story. She looked at her watch (5:15 p.m.), then brought to her lips the glass of water the waiter had just set in front of her. There was a small stain on the cuff of his white shirt that could have been soy sauce. The smell of chlorine filled...

A Line in the Sand

  Ruth was making mountains with a foot. She dug with her big toe in the warm sand, made little mounds, tidied them up, carefully smoothed them with the sole of her foot, contemplated them a little. Then she destroyed them. And started all over again. Her feet were red and stung like solar stones. Her nails were painted from the night before. Jorge was digging up the beach umbrella, or trying to do so. "I have to buy a new one," he muttered as he struggled with it. Ruth pretended...

Lou’s Last Letter to Feri’s Wife

See here Christine, don’t you give me that crap alright? Don’t go telling me what you told me Christine, ‘cause I’m not buying it, the thing about Feri going to T-Mobile and having them tap the voice mail on your cell phone. Don’t give me that. Feri’s not like that, alright? Feri’s got a head, but he ain’t got no fuckin’ brains to go with it. He’d have never thought of it and I’m not buying it. That, what was it, that...

Farniente

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"If I died, would you find another woman to marry?" "Do you want the truth, or do you want me to tell you what you want to hear?"


Dummy Run

He liked his supper at six. To come home from the office, briefly look at the newspaper and then find his meal on the table, that was the way he liked it. When they were just married, Margaret had fitted in with that routine. She had never known anything different in fact; her parents had done it just the same. But a few years ago her attitude had changed. Often it would be seven o'clock, half past seven or as late as eight. Sometimes she wasn't even in when he came home from work....

Immolation

Husband and wife contemplate the silhouette of the tower. The woman feels particularly affectionate, and she hugs her husband. "I really wanted to make this trip." They kiss. The husband caresses his wife's hair. They look at the tower again. "What time do we have to be in Florence?" the woman asks. "In the evening. Are you hungry? Should we get the car and go have lunch someplace close by?" "Yes, but let's go to the top of the tower first." "The tower? No way."...

from “Inside a Girl Like You”

October 27, 2006 Tamara, I’m writing to send you my new address. In case you’re still getting mail for me, you can forward it here: Katina Mela, Erodiou 8 (off Euripidou), Athens. I’ll find out the zip code and send that, too. The apartment here is smaller than ours, the main bedroom is more or less connected to the living room. Well, it’s separated by a sliding door, but you can hear everything if someone’s in the living room. (Not that there’s...

Islamorada

During the twilight hours of one day in January, the professor and his wife arrived at a small motel on the beach at Islamorada, and checked in. After the New Year’s Eve parties, the place had emptied of guests.  It was hot and humid. Seaweed and snails piled up along the main road. Alongside the boats that docked in the marina, pelicans stood like statues on beams of rotted wood. The couple were exhausted and sweaty after their long drive.  They showered, changed into...

from “Man Angel”

Endless, the levee. Endless, the dead straight path. Endless, the whirring of the bicycle tires on the asphalt, the whistling of the wind in their ears and the high, bare, immutable blue of the sky over their heads. Endless, the blazing hole of the sun, the shimmer of the heat over the fields and the cruelty of midsummer in the afternoon, when the greasy coating of sweat, dust, and sunscreen begins to drip from their faces onto the handlebars, and each revolution of the pedals climbs with...

from “Baby Jane”

The office building across the street lit up like a Christmas tree every morning. The fluorescent lights chased each other pling-pling-pling, lighting up from one room to the next, pulling the people along after them. I watched the same performance every morning while smoking a cigarette in my robe at Joonatan’s unpleasantly sun-filled window. I only woke up that early if Joonatan was going to work. I didn’t have to wake up, but I did anyway, got out of bed, put high-strength...

Damned Spring

Before Vanessa, I had other girlfriends, but none of them was memorable or worthy of appearing in my scrapbook. Actually, I never needed a confidante because I had an imaginary one. Sometimes I talked to Tatum O'Neal, a redheaded actress I admired for her role as a precocious adolescent capable of falling in love with Richard Burton, who was old enough to be her grandfather. Vanessa was the first girl, and possibly the last, who earned the right to be a part of my world. She began to...

from “Dukla”

One Saturday the summer vacationers appeared. The village was slowly becoming a tourist spot. A few cabins, a woebegone hostel, a kiosk selling Wyszków beer in its special bottles. The locals were used to it, and nothing special was going on. The Tonette was playing “Seven Girls on the Albatross.” The guys hadn’t gotten into the swing of things yet. They were standing huddled in groups, smoking Start cigarettes. A few girls were milling about in pairs. In the...

Prague

Let’s not talk about Prague. We spent a lover’s weekend there, Madeleine and I, around Easter, in an almost windowless attic room which gave the impression of being in some tawdry flophouse, with its mezzanine floor and half-closed blinds, dark, dusty, a bit smelly (we left an envelope with a couple of deutsche marks on the coffee table for the little racketeer who’d sublet it to us when we left). And yet the trip had started off well enough. In Berlin, full of hope...

from “the workers’ apocalypse”

               God is our cleaning woman                                         Adília Lopes                  for nélio paulo at...

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