Issue 3: Nonfiction
- Man in Backseat of ’73 Plymouth Duster by John E. Barrett
Daniel Youngsman carved Sally Nestico’s initials into his forearm with a razor blade; scars already zigzagged all the way up his arm. Each new girlfriend appeared like another suicide attempt, more than a dozen girls, captured and preserved, until they slithered into his white T-shirt sleeve. Previous letters had closed in on themselves like puckered but unkissable lips.
I envied him.
The joke circulating around the playground, a joke Daniel himself had proudly launched, was that soon he’d have to start on his other arm. He was running out of skin.
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- The Love Act by Chaz Reetz-Laiolo
By the early 1980’s, my mother had taken her baccalaureate and quit her nursing job in hopes of opening a Natural Food store with two partners she might or might not have been dating (curly-haired hippie men who, before the doors opened, blew the startup money up their noses). These were optimistic times. We were riding a chunk of cash my father’d relented on, as sick as we were of his sending one- and two-thousand-dollar disbursements every six months. Money we’d erupt into the streets with, paying off back rent, gas accounts, one-two-three-bills slap in the palm out the window of our Volvo. My brother and me upright and buoyant in the sunlit cab of the car, headed for sporting goods stores, the finest clothes boutique in town where we’d pick out a shirt, maybe a pair of pants if mom could finesse the owner. We’d spend it in a day. No pensioning. I recall touching the fine cloth of an imported shirt hanging in my closet, the rest of my shirts flung to the far end of the rod. Hearing the neighborhood kids in the street, I pulled an old t-shirt over my head, paused in the doorway for one last look at the shirt, near shivering, and shut the light, three steps at a time down and off the porch. This was Oregon, but Ashland, Oregon. Shakespearian Oregon where Mondale/Ferraro and Keep Tahoe Blue placards stood in front yards.
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