Books

I took the package to the post office at Eleventh Street and Fourth Avenue. There was a long line because of the upcoming holidays. As I was standing in line, I saw a sign explaining what kinds of things you couldn’t send via airmail: obviously really hazardous materials like lighter fluid and firearms but also alcohol, perfume, prescription drugs, and tobacco. Hmm, perfume. But my flask was so tiny, and it was all wrapped up in the iPod cozy, plus the package was sturdy and all taped up. I couldn’t imagine the tiny vial would break open, and if it did, there were just a few drops in there—they’d surely evaporate right away. When I got up to the window, the clerk looked humorless. She weighed my parcel and looked me dead in the eye: “Any perfume in there?” I looked her dead in the eye and said no. She put the necessary postage on the package and tossed it into a bin.

Barbara Browning, The Gift

"I thought that if my mother hadn't died she would have taught me all about female things that didn't interest me: cooking, sewing, pleasing, self-sacrifice. She would have taught me to be a better person than the one I'd become."

-Suzanne Scanlon, Promising Young Women

I opened my eye. It was not confronted by pussy. That onslaught only happened in Tío Miguel’s room. If Abuelito was hogging the bathroom, the only other toilet you could use was Miguel’s, and to earn relief you had to journey through the labyrinth of pornography that filled his bedroom.

Even on his toilet, Miguel treated you to muff. On the door across from his commode hung a life-size poster of a lady in a see-through blouse splaying herself, Georgia O'Keefing you as things shot out of your own flower. I minded all the pussy but, at the same time, part of me welcomed it.

Myriam Gurba, “Georges Bataille, Look Into My Eye”

You have to be tough to be a drug addict. You have to sit there a lot of the time and be sick. So many times I thought, "I am not too much of a wuss to be a drug user."

Problems, Jade Sharma

"Sometimes I wonder what it is I could tell you about her for my job here to be done. I am looking for a short­cut—something I could say that would effortlessly un­tangle the ball of yarn I am trying to untangle here on these pages. But that would be asking too much from you. It wasn’t you who loved her, or thought you loved her."

-Chloe Caldwell, Women