Libby was my friend who knew how to eat. Some of the best meals of my life came out of her kitchen. That seafood paella. Those beignets. Grilled cheese on New Year's Eve. Libby took trips, drove thousands of miles, for a certain kind of ice cream or a green chili sauce she wanted to replicate. The woman smoked her own meat.
Which is why I was surprised when, after texting me post-January 1 of this year: Like to do a cleanse with me? Upon my texting back: sure, I received a ten-paragraph-long-email that included directions to purchase a two-hundred-dollar kit of powder.
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GMT = 0
Longitude. Latitude. I find the cache on my computer. Numbers crisscrossing the globe near my house. An hour away. Less even.
I know it won't be exactly there. But I'll find it twenty feet, fifteen feet away. In a plastic sandwich container or an ammo box. I don't do micro caches. They don't serve my purpose.
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You can find the character's pie recipe here in the issue's bonus materials.
"How do you spend your days?" she asks as we move the rental car to the other side of the street. A car alarm goes off behind us and I pretend not to hear her. That's what it comes down to, doesn't it?
My girlfriend is visiting from Japan. We met online just before the earthquake. She's a mori girl. It means forest girl in Japanese. She wears lots of layers and brown leather shoes. She carries this little basket instead of a purse and all her pens and stationery are either covered in owls and polka dot mushrooms or they are made out of real twigs and bark.
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...They'd looked me up. Images and words. Shannon stood behind him, looking at the screen, pointing, "There." Picture after picture of me. In Rolling Stone with my baby on my hip. Heavy eyeliner and slip strap off shoulder, torn tights, and our girl in my arms looking plump and whole. Album covers and tour shots. Shannon told Pak the story. And then, later, she told me about the telling. Now I clean their toliets. But that's not the real work.
Twenty-seven jars of spaghetti sauce. Fourteen plastic squeeze bottles of ketchup. Eighteen tubes of tomato paste. Fifty-eight cans of soup. Twenty boxes of Ritz crackers. Thirty-six cans of tuna. Seven microwaves, un-opened, sealed in boxes, stacked in the entryway. Another five microwaves, in identical boxes, stacked in the closet meant for coats. Years of supermarket tabloid magazines and towers of unread newspapers stacked, creating a maze as soon as you enter the front door. Drawers full of coupons, receipts, and magazine clippings mostly about the lives of large families on television reality shows. Thousands of Bic pens.
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...She thinks my only connection to this chef is a shared home state. She knows nothing else. She has no idea that she was once the friend of a friended friend of Crowe.
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...April 26- By the afternoon, I stopped answering. It became the family joke. My next generation device made my next generation laugh hilariously with each downloadable ring. (The only people who call Mom are complete strangers.) Voicemail: "Michelle. This is Louise from church..."
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Karen used Coquina for the wings. It was an easy decision. She needed an easy decision. She took a breath before placing the glue. Another day she might have tried Spirulas or Jingles. But not today. Today she chose Coquinas, shells that look like wings even in the sand. Shell wings, already open, attached, the two sides nearly identical.
Her daughter was in love. It was a problem, that. It will be worse than shoes, Karen thought. Worse than cars.
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The author interview is here.
Laura Beekman wrote it out in preparation for a police report.
Laura looked back over the list as she waited on hold, wondering if she should have included trademark symbols. Everything about this list filled her with despair. Pampers, Ziploc, Band-Aids, a stolen $500 stroller with a cutesy name.
If you'd like to read the complete story, you can find "The Multiplication of Use" here.
“What do we do before we eat?” Rhetorical. Don’t ever forget, my children.
“We take a picture,” the five of us muttered. Pim just pounded her tiny fist on the table while watching Mama. Mama was up the ladder, her eye obscured, exchanged for a larger one, a creature looking down at us.
One more breath.
“Now,” she called. Our hands reaching out for bread and butter. “Pause.” We stopped, hands hovering in place. “Go.” Berries. Our goat’s cheese. “Can you spread with your elbow down, Hal? Yes. Like that. Good. Freeze.” The sound of the click. Click click click. “Stop. Stop! Pause. Okay. That’s good. That’s enough. Enjoy everyone. Bon appetite.” Tired, she came down the steps of the ladder, both eyes her own.
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I knew my life was about to change the morning I woke to find Salman Rushdie leaning over my bed with a microphone. The cameraman beside him smiling. Rushdie cleared his throat and began with, "E—T—you could be the Next Great American Writer." And then I saw my husband, still in his pajamas, standing in the doorway behind the lights and the boom. He was holding the baby. He shrugged.
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