By Tom Fegan
A moment of living stunned me cold. My attention connected to two little girls playing hopscotch on a crudely drawn pink chalk diagram in the apartment complex courtyard where I lived. Parents played sentry as the girls giggled and skipped back and forth. The playmates stopped to draw figures with different chalk colors. Their imagination and faculties of play danced from their young minds. There were no laptops or smart phones for toys, just simplicity and allowance for fun. These little girls were liberated from the computer age.
By H.S. Quarmby
She shuffled around the supermarket on broken heels, turning her thin ankles. Her thatch of bleached hair obscured most of her face and the childish smudges of makeup. Her clothes were almost rags, once bought for a night club, the tights were laddered, the short dresses ripped and stained. Her whole posture was painful to watch. Bent over, carrying a can of beans, a packet of pasta. The other shoppers turned and stared as she passed; the shop assistant followed her at a distance, watching her shaking hands.
By Real Momma
“I’d rather be homeless than work at Burger King,” she said as she sipped her mocha latte’, “For real, who would want to work there?” She laughed at something she saw on her phone.
“Well, I’m not paying one hundred dollars for your pair of jeans.”
“What? But mom you have a job, what’s a hundred bucks to you?”
Shannon shook her head. “You have no idea how much.”
Cadence gasped as she read a text. “Oh my gosh I have to go.” She got up and held out her hand, “So can I have that hundred?”
I see you. I get it. The long hair stranded in two braids. Lonely for each other, they parted ways after the split. I see you waiting. By the counter, ordering coffee, you twirl the edge of your skirt around your little finger. Bubblegum lipstick and dark eye liner. You’re in your fifties, but you still feel fifteen.
“Can I have more sugar?” You look at the glass jar next to the cream. It’s almost as empty as your coat pockets when you say you have no change. It’s the change that you’re always waiting for.
By Francis DiClemente
While walking on the Syracuse University campus on a blustery April day, a female student passes by me on a path. A smartphone is pressed to her ear and she says,
“I was in a room of about six people and I pulled it out and he started sucking on my tit right there.”
She continues walking down the path while I move in the opposite direction. I do not hear the rest of her conversation but I wonder who was on the other end of the phone.
And then I think: “Gosh, it must have been some party.”
12:25 p.m. March 25, 2015
You were tall. Impossibly so. Towering behind me, I heard your voice before I saw you. I felt the sharpness of your words.
“Tall coffee,” you said. “No cream.”
By the starch in your button down and the crease in your slacks, I knew you’d take it black. Stiff, no nonsense, you didn’t move out of the way when I reached for a napkin. Instead you stood still, as if the world wasn’t spinning. As if the rest of us weren’t even there.