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

"That 'writers write' is meant to be self-evident. People like to say it. I find it is hardly ever true. Writers drink. Writers rant. Writers phone. Writers sleep. I have met very few writers who write at all."

-Renata Adler, Speedboat 

"This is all anyone needs to know, finally -- if you can resign yourself to losing, you may win."

Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding

"The sky looked like nothing, because that's what it is. It's not even a color. I looked back down at my phone and pulled up searches and feeds, hit refresh. I can cut off anyone on these lists, simple, but they'll always be there, sending out energy that I'll always in some way be receiving. I may as well know exactly what it is."

–from Surveys by Natasha Stagg

"I sell many things but my orgasm cannot be bought. . . Everybody needs to have something that matters to them. This lets me be private but not alone. Powerful and not challenged. Full and away, drawn inside myself and then released, with the sensation then gone."

from Prostitute Laundry by Charlotte Shane