March 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
At some point, I just accepted that my “natural breath”—to use Frank O’Connor’s phrase—was longer. I don’t think I can understand my characters unless I see them in a complete world, with a distinct texture and sense of place. I like to take the time to build that world, and I like to have them bounce off other characters, and that takes up space, too.
–Jim Gavin, interviewed by Roxane Gay at The Rumpus. Gavin’s new collection Middle Men ends with the story “Costello,” which I greatly enjoyed in The New Yorker last year.
I am easily mesmerized by the greenness of peas. I am easily mesmerized by good china. And she’s nearly through it, too, the kitchen, and on her way to the deadbolt safety of her bedroom when her mother, my wife, stabs through my plate with a steak knife, partly to get her attention and partly to make sure I’m giving mine.
–Mel Bosworth’s wonderful story “Tuesday,” at fwriction : review.
On the bus to school, Lily sucks fat purple grapes through her lips. Ruth tells herself to stop staring, but her eyes lock tight on Lily’s mouth. She watches until Lily catches her watching, then hops across the aisle and squishes into Lily’s seat. Lily clutches the bag of grapes to her chest, snarls, “Do you have to sit so close?”
“Did he invite you yet?” Ruth asks.
“Stop asking,” Lily says.
“Are you sure you’re eating enough?”
“If I eat more grapes, I’ll barf.”
Lily’s eaten nothing but grapes for a month. Chic magazine says grapes boost natural pheromones, attracting the boy of any girl’s dreams. Lily’s got her eyes on Bobby Litchfield, a senior with biceps thick like tree trunks and dimples on his knees. He’s Lily’s number-one hottie, and she’s laid her claim for prom. But as a ninth-grader, she needs him to do the asking. So she’s taking Chic‘s advice to heart. Now, it seems there might be a catch.
–from “Dye Job” by Tessa Mellas, at The Collagist.