Today, we are publishing excerpts from contributors Nalini Jones and Jeff Parker in anticipation of the Issue 07 Launch Party this Sunday. Join us for a Spring fete of live literature and music featuring readings by Jones and Parker!
We decided to start with a con. She was small, with blonde hair and an unidentifiable accent that gave her voice the warped vowels and ee-haw rhythms of a handsaw. She approached him on the footbridge, made a startled noise, and looked down. His eyes followed hers, and there—exactly midway between them—was a golden ring. She picked it up first, having been, after all, the one who had put it there the instant before he caught sight of her.
The sidewalk in front of my house unfurls enticingly to the north and south. Though its seams have buckled after months of gravel and salt, the walk still leads me to my neighbor’s porch, where I pull eggs and goat cheese from the fridge, take honey from the shelf, and leave cash in an unlocked box. The snow- and ice-narrowed path also still ferries a friend and me to the Bookmill, where we drink wine in the afternoon and squeeze up tight next to the stacks to peer down on the rushing creek below. If the walk’s covered overnight by a hard snow, Don blasts his snowblower through, the cranking assault of the motor a reasonable price to pay for the favor. For the magic of having one’s way into the world restored. That I have a sidewalk outside my door is a fairy-tale luxury, an enchantment.
“Oh my God! I knew it! I always knew it. I was like Julie is so gay, & people were like oh, whatever, you just think everybody’s gay because it’s an all-girls school, but I knew I wasn’t gay, & I knew most of those girls weren’t gay, so I was like fuck you, Jasmine, go suck on one of your Jolly Rancher rings! Do you remember those?