the world & words of a new york city writer

gretchen is a writer in new york city

Category: short story (page 6 of 19)

monica thinking

“I can’t wait to go to sleep at night.”

Monica doesn’t know how to explain to her husband why she craves her unconscious. She doesn’t know when it went to sleep in the first place.

Why he can’t hear it.

When Monica sleeps, the sky turns magenta with swishes of blue. It isn’t a blue she can quite describe. It’s a mix of your eyes and the sapphire ring her husband bought her for their third anniversary.

You wouldn’t have bought her anything like that, you aren’t that sort of person. Continue reading

monica’s trip

Monica’s been thinking about falling again. Some people refer to it as a jump.

Monica believes that falling sounds much more graceful. Besides, who jumps asleep?

When Monica falls, she widens her arms and turns her head.

He had a similar grace to thunder. Long lightning limbs. Every time they touched she saw silver-blue.

It didn’t remind her of how you float. How you drift through the breeze stuffing pockets full of clouds. She once drew how you move in liquid gold ink across handmade paper.

She kept it.

Monica dreams in color. The first time she saw you, you were wearing an indigo shirt with violet stitches. Her eyes reminded you of the inside of an oyster shell you discovered on Sandringham Beach. Continue reading

applicable metaphor

Our horizon residence forfeited to sunrise. I knew once it was bright enough, I would never see him again.

I curled my toes in the sand. I swayed to the left, to the right – slowly. He couldn’t see me in the darkness.

He still knew I was listening. Continue reading

My husband is a heroin addicted felon who tried to rob me on our second date.

It was love at first sight.

Melody Madison has been talking about us again. My sister has a friend who has a friend who drank too much wine last week at Melody’s lake cottage.

And they started talking about us all over.

“He slept on my couch once. He’s homeless.”

“I know things about her, but they are so terrible. I can’t say them out loud.” Continue reading

Whenever an ambulance arrives at our apartment, it means someone else is dead. One of the old people. Usually over 80.

My ears are sensitive to the sound of sirens. I think it’s because of how my parents used to scream at each other. Now that I’m over 30, I usually have a decent control over loud noises.

Never sirens.

I painted my toes red and blue in middle school once for the fourth of July. Douglas Clark said they reminded him of ambulance lights.

I’ve seen seven dead bodies rolled into the back of white trucks from NYU hospital since I moved in two months ago. Eight now. I feel like there’s something comforting about dying near water. I picture transparent apparitions floating across the East River.

My lover’s chin wraps around my neck and the ends of his hair brush against my shoulders. It feels both soothing and lethal to experience this in the presence of death. Particularly when it looks like a crooked gurney with a lumpy grey sheet.

He doesn’t like when I stand silently like this next to the window. He knows what it means. Continue reading

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