Happy Hour of the Wolf
by Michael Narkunski
The innocent start: you’re sitting on the stool, as usual, awkwardly waiting to be seen.
It’s the wrong time again, as usual. Too early to get anything close to the amount of attention that could satisfy you—but that’s just one way to look at it. Another side of you is thrilled with the happy hour hunt, thinks it’s more civilized to meet someone not-so-sloppy drunk (anyway, a bar is a bar). It’s also more charged and surprising, two guys connecting in the daylight when everyone else is in friend-mode, in unwind-mode, in still-a-person-in-the-world-mode.
The Stories That Save Us
by Claire Phillips
“Don’t worry Claire, you have my genes.” This said by my British astrophysicist father when I called to ask why he had failed to disclose my mother’s actual mental health diagnosis for several years A man so reticent I didn’t even know he held the John D. MacArthur professorship at Caltech until I did a bit of sleuthing for my memoir, A Room with a Darker View: Chronicles of My Mother and Schizophrenia.
Clothing I Have Loved and Lost
by Jenna Kunze
I like clothes best when they’re not my own. It’s like a shirt is only just a shirt until it’s on the body of someone I love, or even just moderately like, then it’s The Shirt and I need it now.
by Jeehan Quijano
Home means different things to each one of us. It could be the yellow door of your childhood home, the tread of your father’s boots as he left for work, or how your kitchen smelled of roasted chicken or lentils or apple pudding. Home could be the red brick wall building on the corner of the street, or a distinct sound, say the way the church bell rang or how your neighbor’s rooster crowed early morning. Home could be the crisp air of autumn whose particular scent you have not smelled in any other city you have lived or visited. Home could be a feeling, a state of being, or a city far from the place of your origin, far from a past that evokes longing or dread or ambivalence.
All the Daemons in Paradise
by Mary Burger
I had a skein of yarn—it was nice yarn, a silk-linen blend, hand dyed a deep orange-gold—that I’d mishandled and tangled into a mess. It was a rookie mistake. I’m not a knitter or a seasoned yarn wrangler. I was in the midst of a fiber arts project, and I’d bought the yarn to embroider a piece of wool felt that I’d made. I unwrapped the skein and pulled the loose end, and almost immediately had a snarled mess.
Thoughts in Waiting
by Ró Stack
I check my phone for the umpteenth time. As each hour passes I think I’m probably not sick at all and shouldn’t have brought this situation upon myself. I make a plan to go to the shop, then remember that I cannot go to the shop. Within a day or so, the lady said, as I recovered from the sensation of having a new part of my skull tickled, my left eye watering, the sensation of an almost-sneeze looming.
But then I started to drink with strangers
by Flávia Monteiro
Sao Paulo, 08:40 PM, Sagarana Bar.
“Do you believe we are living in the Anthropocene?” asks the white-haired guy sitting next to me at the bar on this warm weekday evening. I’ve never seen him before in my life, and this is only the third sentence we’ve exchanged — the previous ones being unremarkable comments on the beer and the weather.
How to Break Even
by Kristen Millares Young
I lost my best friend a few years ago.
It was unexpected.
I know what you’re thinking.
No, she didn’t die, but our friendship did.
I thought we would become old in each other’s company.
We used to talk about it.