mega super-sized published fiction recap
(most recent first) (with excerpts)
They say they’ve almost solved The Anomalous Buoyancy Problem. They say we might float to the surface soon. They also say we might sink to the bottom. I’m not sure which I’d prefer.
Bee Boy was neither a bee nor a boy but something new entirely. If you looked at Bee Boy and knew his name, you would think to yourself, “Yeah, okay, I get it.”
As I make them, I imagine I’m the greatest grilled cheese cook in the world. I imagine there’s an award given out every year in somewhere like Zurich or Bern. Connoisseurs from around the globe arrive to celebrate the beauty of melted cheese on bread.
I once bought one of the hairballs just to see how she shipped them. It was packaged so nicely. I could only think Where does she get the boxes? And Is she using my tape? I hid under the bed and waited for her. I know she likes to nap down there.
Unremembering the Tragedy of an Indoor Succulent
(The Catalonian Review site seems to be down, so I’ll just post this whole thing here) (originally published by The Catalonian Review)
My girlfriend collects cactuses or something. They’re all over the apartment. I work at night and in the morning I feel like I find a couple that I’ve never seen before. Every morning. I wonder if she even knows how many she has. I decide to get rid of a few and see if she notices.
Every day I take one or two out. I hide them in my backpack or if they’re small enough, in the pocket of my winter jacket. Some are so tiny that I slip them into my shoes or hold them in my palm on the inside of a glove. I grow my hair out long and tuck them under the eaves. If I forget about them, I find them on the floor of the tub after I shower. She never notices but the cacti still keep multiplying. A week or two later I break up with her.
I’m on the street and I see a man selling a cactus. He keeps them inside of his cart. They’re planted on the inside in a foot of sand. The lid of his cart has a sunlamp shining on them. He tells me the cacti think they’re in the Gobi, but I don’t realize what he says until later since he whispers in a forgotten language.
I describe my girlfriend to the man. He knows her. I start to cry. I cry uncontrollably. I sob into his shoulder. He smells like an oasis. He pushes me away. He tells me I’m trying to kill his plants. He yells at me for wanting to over-water them. I buy a little one from him anyway. I point at a greenish blur through my tears.
I buy five bags of sand on the way home. I fill the floor of my bedroom and bury my new friend’s roots there. I call him Wan and learn Mandarin online.
Years later, I meet my former girlfriend on the streets of Urumqi. I’m wanted by the local government for stirring up some rebels. She has a doctorate in Asian literature. We speak in hushed Chinese through the night in the back room of a teahouse. She flies back to Kunming in the morning. At precisely noon, I ride into the desert and vanish in a storm.