BY MICHAEL McCLELLAND
Painting by Casey McClelland
As the door shuts quietly behind Christopher I throw my bowl of raspberries and cream at it, hoping for a cathartic explosion of porcelain and blood red fruit pulp. But our damned loft is so huge the bowl arcs limply and thuds onto our wine-barrel floor, a single crack down its center releasing the little raspberries. They skitter across the floor like hermit crabs searching for a new home.
After fifteen years, Christopher has just announced he is leaving me, saying he didn’t want to, but it was what we need for our next album to thrive.
“We’ll be like Fleetwood Mac,” he said, casually, like saying “we’ll be like the Thompsons in 2B.” (We won’t actually be like the Thompsons in 2B. They smell like asparagus and are worth a hundred million.)
BY CARLA SARETT
Bathroom Sign by Shelly Prevost / Flickr
First of all, I need you to understand: Glen was just an OK boyfriend. Merely acceptable. He was not, and I have to stress this, superior. For example, he never sent me roses on my birthday, which I happen to feel is a basic requirement of a “real” relationship. He felt that flowers are corny, even on Valentine’s Day, and only Midwesterners send cards.
“I am from Indiana,” I pointed out.
“You are so funny,” he said.
You see what I mean? OK, I’m an accountant, but I need more. Anyway, the problem was how to break up. There hadn’t been much of a spark in the first place, so I couldn’t exactly say it fizzled out—and we were a fixture at the office. As the song goes, breaking up is hard to do.
So one day, Glen treated me to lunch at a fancy place downtown—and Glen never picked up the tab. I had a mouthful of wild salmon when he announced, “I think you should know, I’m not a guy."
BY JAMES WADE
Dick Candy by Marc Diego / Flickr
My co-worker told me to eat a bag of dicks. I should have been appalled or pissed or offended, but instead I started imagining these boxes filled with like, mini, snack-sized dick bags. All these assorted flavors of dicks started running through my head. Cheddar dicks, sour cream and onion dicks, spicy barbecue dicks, the works. I even imagined the hypothetical Bag-o-Dicks company having one of those competitions where customers come up with a new combination of seasonings that taste like weird shit.
“Liz, do you even care that you just cost our team the Jefferson account?” The co-worker, Samantha Somebody, was still standing in the doorway of my doorless cubicle.
“Buffalo and blue cheese dicks,” I murmured, lost in thought.
BY MICHAEL FRYD
Cinema by hundrednorth / Flickr
The Surrey was packed with people eager to escape the stifling August heat, and luxuriate in air-conditioned comfort for 39 cents. The crowd dressed just south of modesty, and reeked of sweat that impregnated the worn cloth seats. That smell, and not the sand, surf, sun and bikinis of Sandra Dee-Troy Donahue California beach movies, was what Jake associated with summer.
He had just been promoted to evening relief manager for the J&J theater chain after a year ‘s stint as an usher. It was his first time sitting in the manager’s office, dressed in his high school graduation blue serge suit, master for the night of this dark, and blessedly cool, magical domain. The job wasn’t much, but in the two years since they had immigrated to America, his father had been unable to get a steady job and Jake’s paycheck helped his family survive. Besides, it was just temporary, his first stop on his journey to a brighter future.