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Atlas & Alice | Issue 3, Spring 2015

Three Drinking Stories Bodies of Water I had a job as a pool boy to a woman who claimed that water made her thirsty. She could only be satisfied with tea and freshly squeezed juices. All summer long, I picked grapefruit and lemons for her and her garbage stank of pulped fruit. I didn't mind the labor. The yard had all kinds of trees and vines. It was a pleasure to come back with baskets heaped full, my hands smelling of citrus. And she would drawl in her honeyed voice, Why, you're as hardworking as a farm full of Mexicans. I knew what she was when I signed up. She gave me my first blow job and my second and third. She was happy with me because of how quickly I’d come and come and come again. I was just another kind of juice to her. **

The Mail The last time I saw her, she said she was going on a pilgrimage to Mecca, a grand tour of the East. I received a postcard of desert and a camel. On the other side, she had written “Thirsty,” and that was it. I didn’t see her when she got back, even though I had her keys; I had been watering her plants. It was soon afterward that she had died in a car accident. She was one of those people whom I knew well enough and yet, to this day, I can’t remember her face. When I think of her, I think of sand. **

Personal Records My dad left me a trove of 45s which I listened to, one by one, for the next two years. It became a ritual. I’d come home from work and I'd open a bottle of Chablis. I would shuffle barefoot across my back porch, slip the record from its frail paper liner and set it delicately on the player. Then I would slouch in the swing and swig from the bottle and listen. Sometimes I fell asleep that way, in the cold, in the dark. And I would stumble inside and pass out on my bed, unable to remember the song I'd heard the next day. When I tell the story about my dad’s collection, I think I’m telling the story of how much I missed my father, how much I hated him, and how I became an 32

Profile for Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine

Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine  

Issue 3 | Spring 2015

Atlas and Alice Literary Magazine  

Issue 3 | Spring 2015

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