Kalighat | Allison Williams

I am in Calcutta with my attorney friend Charlotte. We’re trying to be tourists. If we can be tourists, then we’re not failures. We’re not the people who couldn’t convince a village of teenage prostitutes to join a class-action civil rights lawsuit. Who couldn’t make the case that water, electricity, and education would outweigh the drawbacks of standing up to the local mafia. We’re staying at the Hyatt, washing off three weeks’ grime and dirt and the discouragement of a job undone, mission-not- accomplished. We […]

Jericho | Jeffery Flannery

It all started the year I quit medical school. Actually, I flunked out of medical school. I got Fs in four out of six classes and my scholarship was gone. Poof! So there I was, kicked out onto the cold cement steps of this prestigious university, barely a nickel to my name, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But I did know that I wanted to be with my girlfriend, Diane. Now Diane […]

Law of Probability | Kerry Cohen

Funny how memory works like that, how we can go on in our lives, remembering some things but able to cancel out the times that you’d prefer to not remember until – bam – you’re riffling through some papers and are reminded that there was a time you made some very bad choices. I bought those tickets to Hawaii, and I bought them because my boyfriend had no money. I thought he had money about seven months earlier, when we […]

The Dirt We Drag Inside | Andi Nelson

When you live in the country, the battle against the dirt is formidable and eternal. The sources are endless: • The dirt road in front of the house becomes so dry and dusty in the hot, long summers of central Iowa, that it forms translucent clouds from the tires of cars and bicycles making their way to the nearest neighbors. The soles of Keds tennis shoes are stained terra cotta from the dust that never washes out after the miles […]

I’m Fine. I’m OK. | Bethany Hubbard

In high school, I got hit in the mouth with a field hockey ball. The goalie cleared a line drive from the center of the field straight into the bottom of my mouth. If you’ve never seen a field hockey ball, they’re solid plastic and can reach up to 100 miles per hour when hit by a stick. The ball slammed into my face, and I immediately covered my face with my hands. “You’re fine. You’re OK,” my teammates said, […]