Perpetual Smug

“In my dream,” Rivi says, “I’m standing outside a blue house at the top of a big hill. There’s a black cat in the yard, and I try to walk around it to look at its face, but no matter where I’m standing, it’s always looking away from me.” We …

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Typhoid Magpie

From her bedroom, Rivi brings me a copy of a used book she’s picked up earlier in the day: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. “I found it at Green Apple,” she says. “It was mis-shelved in the poetry section.” I turn the book over and look …

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An Unsettled Cloudiness

“What am I looking at?” Tina asks. “Look closer,” Rivi says. We are all sitting at my kitchen table. Tina peers at the screen on the back of Rivi’s camera, staring at the picture there, a photo of Rivi’s bedroom from yesterday at three in the morning. “I don’t see …

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The Blood and the Smoke

“There’s a ghost living in my apartment,” Rivi says. “I woke up last night and she was in bed with me.” We are having lunch in Chinatown, dumplings and roasted duck. Tina was supposed to join us, but she texted us to say she was on a mission and wouldn’t …

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Fist-Fighting Shatner on the Acropolis

Rivi and I are walking along Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. As we go, she is counting the number of turtle heads she has seen breaking the surface of the water. “Three,” she says. “We should take a paddleboat,” I say. “Haven’t done that in a long time.” “Nah. …

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Measures of Triscuits and Waffles

“I hate that it doesn’t snow here,” Rivi says from the kitchen. “It’s a drought,” I say, laying on the chaise in the living room. “It doesn’t snow anywhere anymore.” It is ungodly early, somewhere around seven in the morning, and I haven’t slept all night. Rivi had appeared on …

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Cybersex Monday

“The best role Jude Law ever played was in A.I.,” Rivi says. “He played a walking sex doll,” I point out. “Exactly,” she says. “You need a boyfriend, Rivi.” “I need a Jude Law,” she says. She logs into her phone and calls up her browser. “Let’s see what Amazon’s …

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Aching Waves of the Lonely Tides

We are wedged into the purple chaise in the dark room, me on the bottom, Rivi more or less sitting nearly on my lap. The chaise is further being shared by a bottle of Chivas Regal, which takes turns being in either her hand or mine. We have no need …

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Monkey Uber

Rivi stands at my living room window and looks out, tapping her fingers impatiently on the windowsill. “Let’s go let’s go let’s go let’s go!” I am sitting on the floor with my back against the wall, and eating an onion bagel. “I’m having my breakfast. You can wait five …

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The Ubiquity of Wallflowers

Tina looks out the window of the BART train, as the scenery of the East Bay rolls by. The day is dark and dreary, and I can tell by the way she keeps touching her finger against her lower lip that she wants to have a cigarette. She will have …

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