All posts tagged: February

Neighbors

By NICK STORY

Image of a figure down the hallway.

 
The Rectangle

When my marriage ended I moved to an apartment building that was mostly uninhabited. I never saw the other tenants. There were traces of them here and there—a sock left in a dryer, muted weeping down the hall, ambulances flashing out front—but I couldn’t have told you what any of my neighbors looked like.

There was a serious cockroach infestation in my unit. In the kitchen, the roaches chewed through boxes of crackers, fresh fruit, bags of rice. They crawled over the counters, peeked up through the sink drain, and burned in the oven. In the middle of the night, I’d spot them on the ceiling, circling the kitchen light like planets in a model solar system.

Neighbors
Read more...

Pandemic Diaries

By JINJIN XU 

#1
New York City    March 17, 2020

For the past few days, I’ve vacillated between panic, helplessness, and feeling like a prophetic, burning witch. I spent the first two months of this year watching the pandemic take hold of China—from the arrest of Dr. Li WenLiang for spreading “false rumors,” to Wuhan and the whole country going into lockdown, to my friends mailing masks back home to their families in China—sitting in my NYC apartment as the virus swept across Korea, Iran, Italy, making its way across the globe towards me.

Pandemic Diaries
Read more...

Translation: A Trip to La Paz

Essay by HEBE UHART

Translated from the Spanish by ANNA VILNER

Essay appears in both Spanish and English.

Translator’s Note

Hebe Uhart’s “A Trip to La Paz” is delightfully misleading in that we never arrive at our destination; we never see the city that touches the clouds. This essay is concerned with a different kind of beauty—the getting there, the buzzing potential of travel. It encapsulates why we embark on grueling car rides, on flights, on long train journeys, in the first place.

Translation: A Trip to La Paz
Read more...

Ode to the Floor

By SUFIYA ABDUR-RAHMAN

My boy is on the floor again. I’ve just told him he has to get in the shower, before dinner, after homework, after only five minutes of TV.

“What?” he protested in a drawn-out whine that contorted his face into a buskin tragedy mask before collapsing onto the floor. His body, prone and straight, swivels from side to side. He pulls his knees into his chest. Now he thrusts his feet down, then back, and almost behind him, as if doing a hamstring stretch. However he moves, thrashing, flailing, it is not vertical. To move up or around or about—even if stomping, even if screaming, even while crying out—would convey a sense of acceptance. “I don’t want to do what you ask, but I’m willing!” such a movement would say.

Ode to the Floor
Read more...

Ticks in the Hedgerows

By AMANDA M. FAIRBANKS

Image of person running into grove

Last May, having exhausted all possible local options, my husband and I got into our car and drove one hundred miles west. We left home early that morning in search of two specific things: better medical care and a definitive diagnosis.

During that first drive into Manhattan, we held hands. Almost ten years into our marriage, it’s something we rarely do anymore — and certainly not for prolonged periods of time. Looking back now, I was holding on for dear life. 

Ticks in the Hedgerows
Read more...

What Matters Most

By RACHEL LAVERDIERE 

More than anything, I want to shrink down into the dirt like a tiny brown beetle. I cling to the Woolworth’s bag containing things I cannot bear to leave behind. Pushing through row after row of wavering wheat, I imagine sinking into the edge of the field where the sky swallows the sun at night. Trying to push from my mind the trail of bent wheat that betrays me, I trudge toward the line that divides gold from blue.

What Matters Most
Read more...