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goes away, turning cancerous. No one ever raised their voices in dissatisfaction. The old lady at Hal’s Deli still wished a nice day to all of her customers, even the assholes who never tipped. People on the street apologized when you bumped into them, even if you did it on purpose, even if you did it because they seemed warm and awake. Even Isaiah, on the Commons, with his neon-green leggings and tank top and dirty dreads smiled at you if you happened to walk into his endless train of words. Isaiah! He wanted to shout at him. Isaiah, do something! Show these bastards! But Sasha said nothing, and Isaiah kept smiling that ignorant smile for yet another season, and then he was gone. And then Sasha was the last freak in town. There was nothing unusual about the piercings coming out his eyebrows and mouth and that soft spot where his cheek met his lips, or about his unwashed hair. He looked no different from any of the other people working the head shops or the tattoo parlors. He was a freak because he failed to have an Ithaca attitude. He wasn’t happy and helpful, and he wasn’t involved in any type of band or co-op. He wasn’t on the board of any of the festivals, and he wasn’t angry about fracking, and he wasn’t active in helping Nate Shinagawa get elected for congress. He wasn’t a student, and he wasn’t a hippie, and he wasn’t anything to take pride in. And that is what the wind was howling at him. The trees swayed in front of him, doing a slow, enticing dance above the water that trickled and sprang out of the frozen falls like the miracle of goddamn creation. And then Sasha knew why he hadn’t been able to sleep. It was clear as fucking day, and if he hadn’t realized it before it was only because he was afraid to admit that it was actually happening now. He had come here four months ago, putting Wisconsin and his mother and the kids from school behind him. He chose Ithaca because he heard it was the most liberal small town on the East Coast, and while New York City was tempting with its shining lights and yellow cabs and the guys holding hands down Gansevoort Street, he felt quite sure that he would disappear in such large and impossible a place, felt quite sure that he would not make it there, make it anywhere, if it were up to him. On the Greyhound, waving goodbye to no one, he swallowed down the very first pill. He gave his chest a little rub. The old lady sitting next to him shot him a sideways glance and then asked, “What are you traveling for? Are you in school?” “No, I’m just moving,” Sasha said apologetically. It would be the first in a long series of blurry and boring confessions that he would much have preferred to replace with exciting lies. Which is why he couldn’t tell Larry that yes, he was hopped-up on coke, though he wanted to so badly, and given that miserable bastard an excuse to kick him to the curb. Which is why he couldn’t tell those awful kids coming out of the diner that they were little shits, little nothings, that no one gave a fuck about them, so that they could knock him down and punch him good and hard in the stomach. 46  Yardenne Greenspan

Profile for Hofstra University

Windmill - December 2016  

The Hofstra Journal of Literature and Art

Windmill - December 2016  

The Hofstra Journal of Literature and Art

Profile for hofstra