A Box of Jesus
After he had bandaged up his mother's self-inflicted wrist gashes and after Washington State Hospital declared her legally blind and after the doctor had admitted her to the psychiatric ward, after he had pawned their belongings and spent most of the resulting earnings on smack and Chivas Regal and a funny, one-legged prostitute named Aretha, Diego started his life as a musician. >>
I can tell something is wrong by his voice. He sounds excited and terribly craven, as very small children sound apologizing to adults. He is calling from a pay phone at the hospital, where he had gone for a routine physical. The test results, he says, showed an abnormality. I ask what the doctor meant by abnormality, but he does not know. The doctor cannot say what he has, he tells me, only that he has it. >>
It is your first time out of the country. What a thrill, that first illicit crossing over the border. You make me snap a photo of you along a dusty row of shops with Spanish signs and tourist gimcracks hanging from the rafters. You love it all, the piñatas, papier-mâché castanets, and embroidered sombreros, one of which erupts from your head like a volcano. You keep buying things. “What a deal,” you say. I still have that photograph. >>
Big Ugly Review
My short fiction has appeared in The Portland Review, Storyglossia, Word Riot, Terrain, Yankee Pot Roast, The Georgia Review, The Sand Hill Review, River Styx, New York Stories, and other publications. My work has won several awards and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
It was a fine night for stargazing. The purple-black sky above Death Valley throbbed with stars, hundreds of them, overlaid with a deep velvet silence. >>