If there ever was a book that had me at hello, this would be it. In The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls’ exact first words are, “I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.” She’s headed to a swanky New York city party when she accidentally comes across her vagrant mother. In fact, both her parents are homeless. A unique pair of individuals who chose to live on the streets repelled by conventional standards and beliefs. Her story starts from the very beginning, as far back as she can remember. A fight with a fire in the desert. This is Jeannette’s adventure story. Her secret is out, and it’s good.
This guy stood facing the wall, like all guys do. Head forward, one hand holding his pants, the other steadying his penis. This is why I never park against the wall. During daylight, they wedge themselves in between parked cars. They spray down the rims and tires of BMWs and Audis. Sometimes they face the cars, pretending to have the keys in hand while getting their piss all over the door. Then they zip up and walk ten feet to the bus stop checking their phone.
I tried to blame my mother for what I did to you.
“Bull shit.” You told me. “You’re stronger than that.” You said.
We just laid there above your covers, staring at the ceiling. Mascara plastered to my cheeks. Your arm under my neck. The morning sun creeped in between the vertical shades, moving the shadows like bars in a cage. I wanted to give it a reason. But you pointed your finger at me.
“It’s ok. We can move past this.” You finally said.
You shouldn’t have bought me breakfast. You should’ve let me go. Now there’s a break in your dry wall from that burning in your fist. A crack to remind you, I was never strong enough for this.
I don’t remember Harmony’s funeral. Wait, I lie. I do remember some things. Like the plain room, the color of churned butter. The metal chairs with carpeted seats. All aligned facing the open casket. The slow stream of weeping people, that treaded down the center. Reluctantly out of obligation, respect or whatever, to stare into her empty face. A mask. But this is every funeral. I wondered how many people were genuine. I tried to look into their eyes, but I was the one who looked away. I was her favorite and I didn’t feel a thing.
Today, I terrorized my kitten. Max is 7 months old and knows by now “no” means, “NO!” He continues to chew on my potted cacti. Knocks them over spilling dirt and roots all over my window sill and floor. Today… twice he knocks them over even after a spray in the face with a water bottle (which my husband and I thought would be a fair training tactic but rather leaves a trail of slippery water on my concrete floor.) Sigh… I don’t think it works. Or he just doesn’t give a rats ass. That’s it.
Hey there! If you have a few minutes to spare please take a moment to read my surreal short fiction under 600 words. It will literally take you two minutes. Leave me a comment here… good or bad, I don’t mind. :) Thanks so much!
Middlesex is a fiction Pulitzer Prize winner written by Jeffrey Eugenides, also the author of his first book, Virgin Suicides, which later became a Sofia Coppola movie. The main character Calliope, who is also the narrator, was born and raised as a girl with too much boy hormones and a little something extra between the legs. This all thanks to a well kept juicy secret between her grandparents, Desdemona and Lefty. But this is not just a story of a girl coming of age, in search of her own identity. It is like a tragic Greek tale of misfortune and adventure. This is an account of the Stephanide’s lineage and their screwed up history that eventually comes full circle. A girl at the age of fourteen who discovers love and lust in all the unlikely ways. A girl who has to deal with fancy doctors who attempt to solve her identity problem. Her genetic problem. Her secret problem. A problem her parents are too ignorant to see, cos they’ve in fact never seen it.
There are five cities – Artana, Valencia, Lleida, Barcelona, and Madrid. Our Spanish trip begins in Artana, where his family lives. We had left Paris to enter Barcelona by train, where Iker’s parents wait to pick us up. From there we enter the small town by freeway, which looks like any freeway in the States. As soon as we exit, the streets grow narrow. The sidewalks and even the stores look barren. The only thing full are the rows of dotted orange trees. I roll down the window and I can smell the sweet citrus in the air. Trees here are green and plenty. But for the empty town, I think ‘siesta,’ but it is Saturday at six pm.
The spotlight is on a city. A man in a thick wool coat sits and lights his third cigarette, sipping his coffee. The camera slowly pans out and you see that he is sitting in a crowded outdoor patio. Everyone is holding a cigarette. The camera pans out some more and you realize that they are all facing in one direction. Out. I sit at a corner table alongside them. Today, I am a part of this audience. The spotlight is on the city, and Paris is the most anticipated show.
How can such a beautiful city be so painfully cold and distant? I can’t help but to close my jacket and wrap my scarf a little bit tighter as I walk over to Piccadilly Circus. So tight, it’s difficult for me to soften up to the city. What good is beauty when I can’t bare to be in its presence.
Some say there is beauty and wisdom with age, and it is clear that London ages well. The majestic buildings with its molded pillars and chiseled facade line the streets of London, wide or narrow. Proud and strong. But not only is it cold in temperature but also in its pale complexion. Been here three days and not once have I seen the sun. And this is normal they say. A city forever hidden under the clouds and doused by rain. The concrete bleeding its color onto everything in its arms-length, maybe even onto its people.