Issue 29 Nonfiction
The Last Maharajah
by Aishwarya Jha-Mathur
In the interests of full disclosure, I must state at the outset that I don’t drive. At all. I don’t know how. I can’t tell first gear from fourth or clutch from suspension, and the only kind of brake I’m familiar with is the kind that it is argued Ross and Rachel were on. My primary interest in cars is their ability to get me from one place to another and, preferably, to do so in style. Deeper emotion has mostly been reserved for books, flapper dresses and the rare expressions of affection I receive from my dogs; the baffling—and, if I am to make a clean breast of it, boring—world of automobiles has impinged little on my own world.
Your Boyfriend's Back
by Lisa Romeo
In the waiting room at physical therapy, where my teenage son was receiving treatment for a knee injury, I was casting about for distraction, and landed on a thin regional sports magazine. I scanned the table of contents and editor's note. I recall that it was the first week of September: leaves hinting at color change, "School's Open––Drive Carefully" signs, the smell of pencils and renewal. The editor's letter, however, was about endings, three recent deaths of adult athletes: a marathoner, a triathlete, and a super long distance runner.
For the Phoenix to Rise the Bird Must Burn
by Steve Durham
Magic Marker fuck-yous and sketches of cock and balls decorate the port-a-john walls. On a crowded jobsite, the outhouse is a rare private space, and I’m in here taking a call from my wife. Anna’s voice is small and flat. I know by its sound she’s done crying, that she’s crossed into that weary calm that sets in after months of non-stop, high-grade depression. The calm comes when she remembers the way out, when she quits fighting. The calm comes just before the razor or the pills.