Issue 1: Broad Topics
Issue 1: Broad Topics
Letter from the Editor
All My Bosses’ First Jobs by Emily Shapiro
Daily Stains by Gina DeNaia
Woman and Time by Kateryna Tkachenko
Angelfish by Katie O’Brien
Photograph by Stephanie Crawford
Interjection by Katie O’Brien
Illustration by Lilla Dent
Ski For Free by Rosanne Elrich
Tinker Toys by Erin Doyle
Illustration by Lilla Dent
How My Boyfriend Broke Up With Me And You Can Too by Brooke Hartnett
Bryce Canyon by Becca Howe
Moon Girl by Micaela McCabe
Photograph by Stephanie Crawford
Society by Kateryna Tkachenko
Hearing Voices by Caitlin Collins
Exposures by Rosmary Warren
Contributor Bios Cover image from Daily Stains by Gina DeNaia
Dear Reader, Antirrhinum grew from a desire for space. Antirrhinum grew from a desire to cultivate space in which to wholly celebrate the intricacies, the complexities, the variations and the diversity of writing by those who identify as women. Antirrhinum grew from a desire to push against the normative idea that women write in a singular fashion and that their content is interchangeable. Antirrhinum grew from the submissions we received, without which, this book would be a bundle of blank pages. We are deeply grateful to our contributors who trusted us with their work. Happy reading! The Antirrhinum Editors
All My Bosses’ First Jobs Emily Shapiro
The Thompson’s Babysitter
Mrs. Jayson had also been a babysitter when she was my age. On the porch of her house, we watched her twins playing on a play structure of primary colors, and she told me that she’d babysat for a family with twins when she was a teen. “Thank God for that,” she smiled at me, “Maybe someday you’ll have twins too.”
Camp Counselor at Firesong
Technically I was a volunteer counselor because Camp Firesong didn’t pay their staff, but Casper—that was his counselor name. I can’t remember his actual name—regularly told me after our weekly staff meetings that it was okay to talk to him about anything, that he didn’t want the fact that he was my boss to make me feel uncomfortable. “Oh,” I said, “I didn’t realize you were my boss.” He said, technically yes, he was, but the counselor who had been his first boss was now one of his best friends, and he hoped to continue that kind of relationship at camp. 9
Daughter of Morris Jansen who began Jansen Farms
I don’t think Lesley had officially ever had a job. She’d grown up on the farm she now owned, and when I told her I couldn’t cut the weeds around the strawberries because that plant gave me hives, she looked down at the leathery skin on her arms and frowned.
Server at Chuck E Cheese
Jeremy felt like my first boss because he didn’t pay me in cash or with his personal checks. Also, he just looked right; when I heard the word “boss” someone like Jeremy appeared in my mind. While explaining the espresso machine to me, he told me how grateful he was to find someone willing to take the overnight shift. I came to love those late hours. I could finish homework assignments and make the occasional double shot cocoa smoothie for the stoned kids who walked through the drive through late at night. No one was there watching over me, and I felt a sense of freedom that was hard to find in other areas of my life at that time. Or at least that’s what I thought. On one of my days off Jeremy left a message on my cell phone to say that he was going through the footage from the coffee shack’s security camera, and he couldn’t help but notice that I was doing a really good job of regularly wiping the counters. He wanted to promote me. He said that when he entered the service industry, his manager had only noticed the things he did wrong. He wasn’t like that. I stayed another month at the coffee shack, but now that I knew about the security cameras, the place gave me the heebie jeebies. I felt like Jeremy was there with me in the shack but unannounced, like he was hiding under the register or in the closet where we kept the trash.
Sales Clerk at Borders
Jameel said I was lucky to get the work-study position in the library. He’d had to wait a year for a spot to open, but once they needed someone he was an easy pick. “Because I worked at a bookstore back in Lawrence. I have a lot of experience with books.” I tried to think of a reason why the staff had chosen me for this position. “I used to work at a summer camp,” I tried. “Yeah,” Jameel said, “I know.” Paper Delivery Boy for The Wabash County Herald
It wasn’t until I’d been at the company for a year that I found out what Brock’s first job had been. “I was a paperboy,” he told me when I finally asked him at a coffee shop where I planned to ask for a raise. This was the small talk that I had prepared. We’d joke about our first jobs and then eventually we’d discuss the fact that I had been working at the gallery for a year now. This would allow me to begin making my case for a raise. But then, bringing our cappuccinos back from the register, he told me, “You know, when I was younger, when I was your age, all I wanted was more experience. I wanted to gain skills. Money wasn’t really as important.” He nodded towards a couple leaving a table by the window. “I bet you feel similarly,” he said placing the cups on the table, “So I want to know, what is it you want to do for the gallery in your second year?” w
Daily Stains Gina DeNaia
Kateryna Tkachenko 24
Woman and Time
Angelfish Kate O’Brien
I remember the day I killed an angelfish. my skin was burnt taut red. a fishing hook had cut through my sole landed itself in my foot. the sky hung forever promised. no breeze. the angelfish flashed, striated like muscle flat cloth. I caught it-though I am not a good fisherman-so fast my father couldn’t warn me. He stayed quiet as I saw it in my hands then cut it free. dropped it back. the angelfish disappeared in plumes of red drifted down a feather fast and flat the concrete was pockmarked with blood and tearstain back to the car. My father-you shouldn’t catch angelfish. you shouldn’t wear such flimsy shoes. but the fish was alright. it was just fine. it was just fine. 27
photograph by Stephanie Crawford
Interjection Kate O’Brien that day the snow was so thick there was no difference between driveway and grass remember? or you couldn’t tell the difference. it’s a dark spot now you, flying. a bit of haze and cold, you, landing hard mid-flight on the bare snow hitting your head on the concrete edge. was it warm around your ears? your cheeks looked as red i think as your halo. it was prettier than anything you meant to make.
but what do we
remember? maybe i hit my head, too.
illustration by Lilla Dent
Ski For Free Rosanne Ehrlich
They didn’t find him in the spring, like in the movies. They found him about a week or
so after he had died. Because the body was frozen – flesh at six degrees keeps pretty well, I’d say – they really couldn’t tell when he had croaked. Like a big frozen turkey with all its innards probably in A-1 condition: still, icy and picture perfect. Funny, it took a week until somebody even realized that his green van parked way back in the corner of the lot was there. It’s like looking at something, day after day, and not really noticing it. It was just part of the scene. Anyway, this big green mother remained, until it occurred to somebody, probably one of the new guys who ran the lifts during Christmas vacation, that the truck was just sitting there going nowhere.
Well, somebody must have mentioned it to Channing’s secretary. Channing runs the
place, Regis Basin, a nice little ski area and he keeps it private, all his, well run and, you know no trouble. As soon as he heard, I supposed he hustled right on over from his office in the lodge. Wanted to see for himself. I was standing in the lot directing traffic, as I usually do on busy weekends. Freezing my ass off and wondering if I’d be able to stick it out for the next week, like I told him I would. At the same time I knew I had no choice, the way things had developed.
So, Channing Regis, the Marlboro Man with his big brown cowboy boots and sheepskin
jacket, comes charging at me across the lot. Jesus, I thought, he’s moving fast. What do I do 31
now? Big steps, hands in the pockets of his jeans and a cigarette jammed into the corner of his mouth. Comes down on me like a bull.
“Where’s the truck?”
I pointed across the field, filled with cars – Sunday, noon.
“What do you know about it? How long has it been there?”
I stuck my own hands in the pockets of my jeans and hunched my shoulders. “It’s been
there a couple of days. Nobody’s gone near it. Not that I noticed.”
“Well, let’s get to it.”
Sure thing, Channing. I half-ran behind him, glad for the break. All morning I’d been
waving my arms around and figuring up the money I managed to accumulate over the past six weeks. The college boy. I’d barely make it back this time. Before Dad split he told me all these stories about how they used to run around playing Joe College. He thought it was so funny. It sounded stupid to me. Still, I had thought it would be OK, college. Not one big hassle after another. And now this thing. But I would get through it, as long as I didn’t panic. I would stick it out and get the hell out of this goddamn town when the job was over.
The truck was a commercial van with small windows on the sides and two in the back.
Filthy dirty. The Marlboro Man was puffing away on another cigarette. No hands, using them to yank on the door handles of the truck which was locked. There couldn’t be much in there anyway. I don’t know what he expected to find.
Back in the office the first thing he did was get on the phone with the Department of
Motor Vehicles. He fed them the plate numbers like they worked for him. Well, he’ll find out before I will. I unzipped my parka and sat down on his sofa to wait. He waited too, standing back to me and looking out through his picture window facing Applejack. That’s the hill where we learned to ski, me and all my illustrious classmates, the Future Farmers of America, Memorial Mountain High School branch. The only decent thing living in the shitty town did for me was winter sports. Channing made a deal with the school on lift tickets and admissions. He also provided instruction. Hook ‘em early, he figured and, of course, was the first in the area to crap up the slopes with snowboarding.
So we all learned to ski and I got good, fast. I’m a natural athlete so it really wasn’t hard.
Last year I took up hot dogging to make it more interesting. That’s how I met that guy. Never told me his name. We just happened to be riding up on the main chair together. He sure didn’t 32
talk much on the way up. Spent the whole goddamn time adjusting his seven hundred dollar Tecnicas, knocking chips of ice off the top sides of his Rossignols – a thou. That’s before you get to the bindings.
“Some nice equipment you got there.” I figured he was one of those assholes who go
up to the Summit in Stockbridge where Kenny sells them a lot of fancy shit. They don’t know how to use it and they don’t know that Kenny works on commission. At the top, I went off to the left. Lucifer’s Leap. It’s one fine slope with three or four really good jumps. The first one comes about a quarter of the way down the hill. I was ready. I landed with a perfect knee flex a second before I heard him land behind me, Tecnica boots and all. All of a sudden we were racing each other straight down the fall line. He sure knew how to move those knees. I shot over to the lifts and went down under them, right beneath the chairs. He stayed with me every minute of the run. I never met anyone who skied like that. Man, he had total control and no fear. I pulled every stunt I knew but he kept right on going, doing what I was doing, right to the bottom. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he pulled up alongside of me. Contentment, nothing else, just this real quiet contentment.
“James Pratt. Good. Do you have an address?” Channing grabbed a piece of paper and
pen. I felt that maybe I should spring to action too but I just sat there. He nodded as he wrote, all serious purpose, and hung up.
“Lives near Mt. Tom, in North Adams.”
“That’s an icy hill.” And that explains his skiing.
“I want you to do me a favor. Call the North Adams information and get his number.
Try to find out what the hell happened to him. Try to track the guy down.” He fumbled in his jacket pocket for his pack and strode out of the office.
That all meant, do it. As fast and as efficiently as possible. I wasn’t about to say no. I
had come to the job as Channing’s sometimes assistant, filling in whenever guys didn’t show. It would have looked funny to refuse. Then there was the pay period. I was damned if I was going to leave before I got my monthly check. I just didn’t see spending all that time as Channing’s gofer and then be screwed out of my pay if I left. I knew he had it in him. So I did exactly as he said. Tracked this James Pratt to a house in the area. When I called somebody sort of wondered where he was but didn’t really care. I did get his parents’ number and his father, in Canada, certainly didn’t care. They hadn’t heard from him since the fall and didn’t even ask what was 33
By now it was five o’clock and almost everybody had packed it in. I had finished talking
on the phone and was staring out the window. The lights on the hill were going on, bringing the white slope closer, as I watched. Then Chandler bursts in and walked over to me like he just got off his horse. I spitted out what I had found and he told me that the ski patrol was searching the mountain the next day, as soon as it got light. I would go with them. We were to make sure that Pratt was not lying on one of Channing’s hills underneath some bush.
On the way home, all I could think of was that I was almost free. One more week and
freedom. I’d be back at school, able to finish out the year and right into my last. No way I’m gonna be stuck here. No way now that I almost had the money I needed. The house was dark except for her light on the second floor. Larry would be out – time and a half at the old box factory or whatever the hell they made. He could marry Marianne even sooner and get himself in even deeper. Janie’s probably in some back seat making it with one of her many friends. Man, one more week.
I pulled the storm door out and pushed the front door in. As usual it stuck. No wonder,
with the frame sagging like that. The house was falling apart and neither Larry nor I had the time or energy to fix it. When I had come home Christmas it seemed like I had all the time in the world. But with that fucking medical bill I had to kick in for and my job it didn’t seem that the door had to be fixed in such a hurry. The rest of the house can rot and fall off its foundation.
I walked into the kitchen and threw the switch. My breakfast dishes were still in the sink.
I pulled down a can of chili and filled a dirty saucepan full of water to heat the can. When it started to steam I poured it into a bowl and sat down, my elbows immediately sticking to the oil cloth covered table.
We had chili for lunch after that wild run down the mountain. We came into the lodge,
laughing and swapping stories, and grabbed a table in the back. The whole time on line he was pulling on the jammed zipper pocket of his parka. Finally, he ripped it open to get at this old beat up black leather wallet and his glasses – wire framed. When we paid for lunch he opened on a shit load of bills – fifty’s and hundreds. He saw me staring and laughed.
“I’m just gonna keep skiing, all winter, go West in the spring to finish out the season. Then,
maybe, down to Chile.”
I whistled. “You really got the disease.” 34
“I figure, do it now. No ties, no nothing. I got plenty of time to get serious, if ever. Now
I want to get in some skiing.”
I had met guys like him before. Usually came from bucks and not too uptight about
when they didn’t have any. Just one big vacation before they start their senior year in New Haven, as they like to say. Not that I wouldn’t like to do it too. But, there was no way that I was going to wait on tables all year or spend my days teaching dudes in Aspen how to snow-plow just so I could ski. I don’t know though, for a moment there I thought it might be worth considering. My money was never gonna be enough and finishing school looked like such a hassle. Could I work another year here, in this town? I’d probably be beaten down and exhausted like every other slob around.
I had to check my hours for the next day. So, we decided to meet at the top and ski
together for the rest of the afternoon. I promised to show him the back bowl which Channing had put off limits. There weren’t enough decent skiers on the mountain to make it worthwhile running the lifts. But I knew the area.
He was standing there, leaning backward on his poles which were stuck in the snow.
I rose off the chair, slid down the ramp and sailed past him without a word. I knew he would follow. A narrow path went through the brush to the top of the bowl. And it was beautiful, a still, snow-filled crater. It started to snow then and as we stood there I felt like I was showing him something that belonged to me.
“That’s not Western powder, only about two or three feet deep, but it’s the best around.”
“It’ll do fine.”
There was one lift to the left, lifeless and skeletal. The empty chairs swung in the wind,
dripping huge icicles.
“You know we got to climb back.”
“It looks like it’ll be worth it.”
There was nothing up there on the ridge. Nothing. No one. Just the two of us.
“If you’re up to it we can get all the way down. Over there, at that far rim.” I pointed to
the bottom of the lift to the row of birches. Beyond them there was just white, a snow-filled sky.
“There is one good jump there, almost a cliff, a ten foot drop, but possible. If you know
what you’re doing.” I looked down at his boots. Seven hundred fucking dollars and he knows what he’s doing too. 35
We swung down into the bowl together, looking like some ad for the Swiss Alps but
yelping into the silence. From the corners of my eyes I could see the powder spume out from the turns we connected, one after the other, no stop, no break in rhythm. It was just flight, no thought, just pure flight. And in about three minutes we had reached the bottom, at a stop, but still feeling that flight. “Perfect.”
“You ready for the jump? It’s down through those two trees and a sharp left, just out of
sight. It comes quick but you can tell. Just be prepared.” “Beautiful”
“I’ll go first and wait for you when I Iand. Just follow my tracks. It’s really no big deal.”
He pulled up on his goggles. They had made two little white curves underneath his eyes,
on the upper part of his cheeks. Then he slapped his skis on the snow to test the feel of his bindings.
“Here.” He dug into his ripped-open pocket and handed me his glasses and wallet. I
unzipped my pocket, shoved his stuff inside and zipped it back up.
Now the wallet was in my dresser drawer. I remembered I had to do something about
getting rid of it. When I pulled it out I found only the driver’s license and the money. All $8,256 of it. I had counted it the night I brought it home. That would do it. I had made the decision on the hill. That was it. I ripped the license into little squares and threw the wallet into the kitchen pail. Then, I went up to hear ten minutes of Mom’s pissing and moaning, smoked a joint and then hit the sack. Channing said early.
The next morning my head felt like someone had driven in a wedge from the crown to the
nape of my neck. Three aspirins didn’t help and the prospect of all of us combing the mountain all day only made it worse. On top of that, I drew Jonsey, Memorial Mountain’s basketball star. He lacked brains and ambition so he got a job with Channing on the patrol. I expected his usual song and dance about how wonderful his job was.
But I was wrong. Jonsey was really quiet. Channing had given the patrol the once-over.
They should have been onto this Pratt thing a long time ago. Why hadn’t they sniffed it out like they were supposed to? I could just see him, cigarette hanging out of his mouth as he paced up 36
and down in front of them. So, they were all real intent on finding something. You should have seen them, scurrying up and down in their orange jackets with the little first aid kits strapped on behind them. And, as I figured, it took us all morning to cover the mountain and find nothing. A few broken poles and some empty water bottles, that was it. Once we got going, though I didn’t mind it. It beat parking cars, and whatever they found there was no way it could be connected to me. So I took it easy, bullshitting with Jonsey, following the crowd until about two in the afternoon when we hit the back bowl.
All of us gathered at the top gaping at that big empty space. No tracks, the storm had
taken care of that. It took an hour and we regrouped on the bottom rim when we had finished – all twelve of us. It seemed so quiet, even with all of us there. Then Jonsey came up with the big bright idea. “The Cliff” he said, like some mystic who’s seen the light.
Shit, I thought, but if it’s only that, it will be OK. I let Jonsey go first, not wanting to be
the hero and, I must admit, a little shaky. He did just fine. I watched his orange parka disappear through the trees and waited for the thud and the “Holy Shit” that would follow as soon as he turned around. All I got was a thud. So, I checked my bindings and pushed myself off, tense as hell. Funny thing though, it was probably the best jump I ever made. Jonsey was standing there with his mouth open, watching me land. I stopped right in front of him.
I looked at him but I couldn’t answer. He was directly in front of me, back turned to the
place where Pratt had landed. And he had landed. With a scream like I never heard before. I can still remember the way it trailed off and he blacked out, leg snapped and bent underneath him, about four inches above the knee. I could barely see his face. It was turned to the right and half buried in the snow. For the next minute or so I just stood there, looking at his face and crying, Oh God, Oh God, over and over. What to do? He’s in shock and has to be covered. Cover him and go for help. When I took my parka off I felt the weight of his wallet and glasses. They were still in my left pocket. I unzipped it and looked at his shit but all I saw was the money. Hundreds. He was still unconscious and I stood there. Not for a long time, maybe only for a few minutes. Maybe he broke his neck. His head’s at such a funny angle who would know.
I thought about how I could get back down the mountain, go for the ski patrol and sit
and wait in Pittsfield General while he got himself patched up, if he were still alive. And I would hand him the money, shoot the breeze, walk out of there and walk back to work that day and the 37
one after that and the next, and the next and the next. A summer job in town, probably making boxes and, if I was lucky, a winter break working my ass off for Channing. No, I’ll probably stay at the factory.
I decided then to take my skis off, climb back down the mountain and head for home.
When it came down to him or me it had to be me. That’s the way it is, that’s the way it’s been done to me and that’s the way I had to go. If he had been alone, it would have happened the same way. Then some hospital orderly would have pocketed the money. Or the state.
Jonsey was repeating himself. “You want to look around?”
“Yeah.” I stepped to the side to make like I discovered the body. But there was nothing
there. A jolt of fear went through me. Then I saw the ski boot sticking up out of the snow.
“Holy Shit.” Maybe for myself, maybe for Jonsey.
Jonsey turned, “That’s him.”
You’ll go far, Jonsey. “Don’t touch him. Just fire the flare and get some help.”
So that’s how it happened. As I said, him or me. He would have been a ski bum; I’m back
at school taking cytology. I thought for a while I’d devote myself to research. You know, sort of make up a little, if there’s anything to make up for. He broke his leg, went into shock. Who’s to say that by the time I got down the mountain and got the patrol to him he wouldn’t have died anyway. No need to screw up my life in research either. As I say, it’s them or me and for my money you can do just as much good in a Park Avenue practice as you can diddling around with mice and test tubes. Who’s to say? w
Tinker Toys by Erin Doyle
illustration by Lilla Dent
How My Boyfriend Broke Up With Me And You Can Too Brooke Hartnett
It’s a Tuesday morning, I am twenty-one years old, and the skin around my eyes is red from bawling. I am standing on the sidewalk staring at my stupid, fucked-up car, which is very quickly becoming a terrible symbol for my stupid, fucked-up life. Okay, yes—I was being super dramatic. BUT if there was ever a time I earned the right to drama, it was that day, that moment when my ten-year-old Hyundai Sonata shuddered to an unexpected stop in the middle of the street on its way to my as-of-fourteen-hours-ago ex-boyfriend’s house to pick up my things. In the seconds between my car’s sudden stop and the beginning of my frantic scream-cries of “No, no, NO!” I made the decision that I was going to let the incident completely absorb and ruin my life. I watch as the sweaty, heavyset tow truck man (is that the official job title? Vehicle tow-er? Car help guy?) straps my poor, dead car onto the platform attached to the back of his truck. the entire process seems like too much for one man to do by himself. “Do you need any help?” I keep awkwardly, quietly offering. There are a lot of straps, bulky steel hooks, motors whirring. How is my car staying on that platform at that angle? How is its weight not breaking the straps and slip41
ping away? The whole process, the whole ordeal is flabbergasting, and temporarily distracts me— The night before, around 7 PM, I ordered pizza. Just two slices. And some garlic knots. It was a Monday night and it should have been a pretty fast delivery. An hour later, the pizza still hadn’t arrived, but my Serious Boyfriend was on his way to “Talk About Stuff”. My stomach transformed into a circus of fighting question marks. I started hoping the pizza would never come. But it did. Two hours after I ordered it. In the middle of my boyfriend dumping me. I ate it later, around midnight, using the crust to sop up my tears. Tow Truck Man pushes his greasy black hair away from his face. His skin looks perpetually dirty, like soil has been seeping into it for the past twelve years. He is the kind of man I imagine catcalls women on the street. Now, Tow Truck Man “helps” me climb into the passenger side of the truck by sort of standing near me in case I fall while trying to avoid physical contact with him. We settle inside the surprisingly comfortable seats of the truck—so high off the ground I feel like we can drive over anything or anyone and make it out unscathed—and I repeat the address of the Big O Tires. The AAA representative I’d spoken to on the phone earlier told me that the first towing five miles were free, so I picked an auto repair shop just inside those boundaries. Tow Truck Man doesn’t punch it into his GPS, claiming he knows how to get there. I ball my hands into tiny fists. I will always trust the brains of tiny computers over the brains of large men. I’m never comfortable riding with strangers. I avoid cabs at all costs, subways seem scary as hell, and the idea of riding a bus makes me balk. But now, I don’t have a choice. I feel my shoulders fuse with my neck as my body unconsciously tenses. Tow Truck Man isn’t the most reckless driver I’ve encountered, but “safe” certainly does not describe how I feel. The tow truck is pretty huge, so I try to give him the benefit of the doubt (again, driving over anything or anyone), but I still eye his speedometer from my passenger seat. The radio isn’t on, and I find myself searching for something to say so I won’t have to stew alone
with my own thoughts and emotions. “Do you, uh, have any crazy tow-truck stories?” I slip into a sort of character voice out of nervousness, in an attempt, I guess, to seem more quirky and “less threatening” (I’m not threatening). Tow Truck Man laughs, excessively excited to be asked to talk about himself. Thank god, I think, glad that I am now expected to only respond with “Oh really?”s and “Wow”s for the duration of the ride in the truck. At 8:30 PM the previous night, Serious Boyfriend and I sat on my uncomfortable futon and held hands in the hard, desperate way that hands are held with someone you know you won’t be allowed to touch again. One side of my body lined up with his, and I decided I would not cry again until he left. If I did not have enough control to prevent him from leaving me, at least I had enough control to stop my tears from leaving my body. “Do I have any stories?” Tow Truck Man’s tone makes me immediately uncomfortable; I am no longer glad I asked this man anything about his life. “When I first started working fifteen years ago, everybody tells you these kinda things happen, but I never believed ‘em til they happened to me!” Oh no. What kind of things? He proceeds to tell me a tale he clearly takes great joy in reciting: once, in the deathly cold of Tucson winter, he is helping two college girls tow their car. They ask if they can sit in the truck cab where it’s warmer, and he agrees; he doesn’t really care. Moments later, he goes to reenter the cab, and the girls are half-undressed, making out with each other? Having sex? It’s unclear to me—and I don’t care to have him clarify. I think somewhere he makes a joke about making a joke to them about joining in. At this point, I can surmise a lot about his personality from the way he is speaking about women. Which—I was, by the way. I am. I am a woman. This is when I notice that we have been driving in the wrong direction for at least a mile
“Um, we’re going to the shop on Alvernon…right?” I peep, still in a character voice. “Yeah!” Tow Truck Man replies, jolly as ever, coming down from his college-girls-having-sex story high. Retreating farther back into the truck seat, I nod and let out a little sigh. Maybe he knows a back way? A back way that goes in the opposite direction for two miles first? Tow Truck Man starts to speculate on why the girls were sexing it up— “Experimenting, maybe?”—before he finally catches on to the misdirection. “Oh ho ho; I shoulda turned the other way! I’m sorry!” He pulls a U-Turn. I worry aloud that I’ll be charged for the extra mile traveled, since this pushes my limit over five miles. He assures me that I won’t be. “Some people are real stingy about it, you wouldn’t believe. A few years ago, back when it was only one dollar for every extra mile, some lady flipped out at me because I drove her over her limit. She started screaming about being a loyal customer and how it’d never happened before and she’d never had to pay, and then this lady starts smacking me with her purse. All over two bucks! Can you believe it?” I laugh along and try to get on the same page with this man; to relate to him, to agree with him, to commiserate with him. But he’s at least twenty-five years my senior and we are very different. I still tell him I think that lady sounds crazy, though I secretly think that I would probably be mad over two dollars too, especially on a day like this. Earlier that morning, sitting in my dead car and after I’d (mostly) stopped weeping, I called my dad to see if he knew what might have happened. I was ashamed, feeling like any adulthood I’d built up to that point had totally dissipated. There I was, totally helpless, asking my parents what to do again even though I was only a few months away from graduating college. I managed to keep it together tears-wise until my dad brought up how my (extremely recent) breakup was probably making everything worse.
I hadn’t wanted to tell my parents about the breakup—at least not right away—but my mom’s intuition would never let that slide. After a twenty minute sesh of angry crying the night before, I sent her a text saying I would, actually, be able to drive down to celebrate Hanukkah with the family on December 20th. Originally, the date was up for debate, because it was—would have been—the first anniversary for my Serious Boyfriend and me. She responded immediately, asking if something had happened. I don’t know why I thought she wouldn’t know. On the phone with my mother, I didn’t cry. I found myself getting frustrated with her advice for the first time: “Well, maybe he’ll ‘get over’ his depression and get back together with you.” I tried, desperately, frantically, to explain to her how I knew this won’t happen; how hoping or expecting that outcome would only be unhealthy; how this is definitely The End of Us. Why was I convincing my mother that this breakup was for real? “Mom told me,” my dad said over the phone as I sat in my broken-down car. I cried harder. Tow Truck Man is a man of many stories. He is particularly excited about the next one he’s got for me, ooh boy, and sets it up like he’s pitching a movie: “So, this couple needs their car towed to the dealership in Phoenix—” I interrupt: “Isn’t that like hundreds of dollars?” No, no, he explains. They’d built up a bunch of free towing miles. You never know when you’ll need hundreds of miles of free towing. “Anyway, they ask if they can ride in their car and sleep back there, since it’s a long ride. I say whatever, I don’t care,” (here I am sensing a theme) “and we start driving to the dealership.” This time, I keep my interruption to myself: I’ve always thought it was dangerous/illegal to ride in your car while it’s being towed, but that was an option? (That could have been an option for ME?) “About halfway there I look in the rearview mirror, and—well, their mirrors are all kinda tinted,
they’re dark so I can’t really see, but the window is rolled down just a little bit, and I see a HUGE HAIRY BUTT.” He starts chortling, recollecting the story with a fondness I’ve never seen in someone talking about butts. I fake laugh along, but I cannot look at him. “Then I see legs up in the air! These two are just goin’ at it!” He begins to describe in too, too much detail the sex positions of the two customers—also, how was he able to both watch the freeway road and attentively watch this couple have sex in their car behind him?—and I freeze my face in a constant half-smile, half-laugh. Cheeks tight, hands shoved between my legs, eyebrows raised. My mouth does not reflect the deadness of my eyes. I had hoped that diving headfirst into some kooky tow truck stories would make me stop thinking about how the person I would have normally called to pick me up had told me the night before that he didn’t want to be with me anymore. Instead, I am thinking about how I will never be able to have sex with him in a car that’s being towed to Phoenix. I mean, I probably wouldn’t have, anyway. But having the option was nice. Suddenly, it hits me how alone I feel. How alone I am—this isn’t loneliness, this is literally being alone, for the first time in over a year. Holy shit, what if I start weeping in front of Tow Truck Man? I look at him now, the only person I can relate to. He is my best friend. In the past twenty minutes, I’ve had time to make a lot of assumptions based on his appearance and way of speaking, and I calculate that he is probably not married. But, maybe he has a girlfriend? Oh my god, Tow Truck Man is in a Serious Relationship and I’m not?! I’m quickly spiraling out of reality, so I try and continue the jovial chord of this terrible conversation: “Um, haha, I wonder why so many people find towing so sexual!” I have a terrible flashback to my last interaction with a different man sent to me by AAA—it was 46
around midnight a year earlier, and my car had died at a Circle K while I was trying to buy gas. My car’s battery was jumpstarted easily, and “Jay” spent the next ten minutes filling out his forms crouched by my car door and asking me personal questions. “Do you have a boyfriend?” I panicked and answered honestly. “Uh, no, ahaha!” “Do you need one?” My eyes widened, but he guffawed the question away. He was at least fifty-something and had maybe seven teeth total. He was also covered with a sort of oily grime, like my Tow Truck Man. I wished with my whole heart that I had lied to him—especially when later, I got a text from an unknown number reading, “Let me know if you ever need a boyfriend – Jay Tow Guy”. Now I try to be a little more cognizant about who I reveal my relationship status to. Tow Truck Man finally decides to grace me with the kind of story I was originally expecting to hear, about an actual towing experience and not just him watching strangers fuck each other. This time, it was raining—monsoon season, in Tucson. Some road was flooded and barricaded so that no one would drive into it and die, but Some Guy “didn’t see the barricade” and drove right into the flood, getting his truck stuck. When Tow Truck Man arrived, the Guy was arguing with police about how there was no barricade, and even though the policeman knew there should have been one, it wasn’t anywhere to be found. He was about to let the Guy off without a ticket (or whatever they give people who drive into flooded areas when they should know better) when Tow Truck Man towed the guy’s truck and found the barricade stuck under the bumper. This is it! This is the stuff I’d been waiting for—these are the stories a lady like me wants to hear, about people with luck worse than mine being dumb idiots and then getting what they deserve for being dumb idiots. Now Tow Truck Man and I are bonding. We are laughing at the audacity
of people who don’t look at signs and don’t follow the rules. I try not to think about how if the guy hadn’t been driving a truck, he’d probably be dead. I remember reading about an woman whose car was swept away in a flood a couple of months earlier—by the time rescuers arrived, the car was completely submerged and “unreachable”. The woman drowned, trapped inside her car, trapped inside a flood. Every time I read about her, I got the feeling that she was alone. I didn’t know any facts about her; not her age, her name, her job. But there was no mention of a spouse, parents, or even any friends.. She was just “a woman”—a woman who died, alone. Not even a proper noun, just this generalized woman, alone. I feel a sense of companionship surge, and it is not with the man sitting next to me, but with an imaginary dead woman whom I’ve never met. I’m in a dark place again; Tow Truck Man is still laughing at this barricade guy. I have a running joke with my friends about being a serial monogamist: despite hoping that I am an independent woman, I am incapable of being alone, incapable of being without a Serious Relationship. Sitting in the spacious cab of the tow truck, the joke is no longer a joke, but a newfound fear, creeping and crawling into my joints. All day, I have been completely floundering, relying on my father and this Tow Truck Man to navigate my simple life. If my Serious Boyfriend hadn’t dumped me, I would be relying on him too. The Woman Alone lost control of her car and drowned. Am I letting myself drown in my own loneliness? I stop checking my phone for texts I won’t receive and decide to focus on the other living, breathing human sitting in the tow truck with me. Tow Truck Man saves what is probably the best story for last: once, he had to rush to Mount Lemmon to tow a car that was hanging partially off a cliff with a girl still inside. The police couldn’t get her out safely with the car’s current position, so they needed an emergency tow—and the girl just waited, LITERALLY hanging between life and death, for greasy-haired Tow Truck Man to save her from the clutches of the afterlife. 48
Why wasn’t this the first story he told me? I can’t waste time getting mad at Tow Truck Man. I try to redirect the anger to my ex-Serious Boyfriend. Instead of getting angry with the man who is kindly towing my car to a repair shop, I try to be mad at the man who decided, after a year of dating, that he simply didn’t care enough about me to keep trying. Who let me know, as kindly as you can let someone know, that he never loved me. Who tried to quantitate the breakup: I had been putting in 90% and he cannot even bring himself to put in 10%. Who completely took the decision to end our Relationship out of my hands. I furrow my brow, but I still cannot will myself to get mad at him. I am simply, terrifically, uncontrollably sad, and this inability to control my emotions frustrates me again, makes me angrier. I return my attention to Tow Truck Man. Maybe he isn’t some emotional punching bag or symbol for me—maybe I am just actually mad at him because he drove in the wrong direction for two miles and is also kind of a huge douchebag. I decide that, in this moment, it is okay to be angry with Tow Truck Man. I really do not want to be his best friend anymore. When we finally, finally, finally get to Big O Tires—just under five miles away from where my car broke down, but just over a five-mile drive, thank you—I throw the huge passenger door of the tow truck open and breathe the fresh, rubber-scented air of freedom. w
Bryce Canyon by Becca Howe
MOONGIRL Micaela McCabe
North of here there is a town called Hell and a lake called Moon. North of here lived a girl called Cal. She grew up on a tiny blue boat in the middle of the lake. Cal scratched up her toes everyday on the pebbles, climbing out of the water into the treetops. She knew the flies of the forest and she knew the raccoons. She knew which tree would pick her up and drop her back onto the blue boat when she wished it. Cal knew the intimacy of sinking her hands into the forest mud and finding with her fingers the soul of the lake. Cal had a dad that lived on the boat too, she on the seat and he in the motor. Dad drove the boat to every sunny spot on the lake, Cal in the bow, pink face to the wind, too tiny yet to weigh anything down. Dad liked to putz, putz, putz around the shallows where the turtles lived, but Cal liked it best right in the middle, swimming down deep, everything gone but the water on her skin and in her muscles, every inch of her feeling held. The edges of Cal's child-life 51
were soft and catching. What was to fear when the light was shining so clear in the lake, reflecting fish and flora up through her bones? Once, velcroed tight to a capsized kneeboard, Cal filled her mouth and nose with Moon water before Dad swam out to find for her the surface. She choked and spit and smiled, undeterred. Dad called it drowning. Cal called it hugging the Moon. The first swim of the year was always a game for Dad and Cal, just after her birthday when the sky might still turn toward snow: who can break the surface of the Moon with their body and find the dark bottom, crusting sharp with frost? Maybe fun and hard are sometimes the same or maybe Dad wanted Cal to learn her own strength. Once from the shadow at the edge of the forest, Dad brought, in his hand, a leech, as long as a string bean, sucking and stretching and searching on his palm. Cal called it disgusting. Dad called it learning. She touched it with one tiny, nervous finger, preparing herself for the way-later time when she would have to touch a scorpion and a dead man and a chunk of her own torn lung. Look, Dad said that day, it can't bite you if I don't let it. Cal said, yes Dad, I will never let it bite me. Cal, so vigilant, learned probably too well to never let anything bite her. When Cal was tiny she said, Dad be funny and Dad was so funny. He smiled with his whole red mustache. Funny Dad spun donuts out of water. Funny Dad charmed every passing boat and every passing cloud. When Cal was bigger she still said, Dad be funny, but Dad wasn't always there. Dad went Brown and missing in weekday's daytime, and he returned angry and tired in the weekday's night, less red than ever before and smelling like a cardboard boot. Even on the yellow evenings, when the flat water was perfect for skiing, Dad knit his less-red
brow and kept one taut hand on the throttle while Cal swam. Cal once came back from the forest very concerned about lyme disease. She wondered about if there was a tick in her leg and how she would tell and how do you get a tick out and what are the odds of infection and how bad does it hurt to get Lyme disease. Cal called it curiosity. Dad was suddenly too angry to even call it obsessing. Dad said through inexplicably tight teeth: you do not have lyme disease. You do not have a tick. Stop asking about it. Stop thinking about. The engine of the blue boat pounded away and no more words were said. Cal spent long days in the water wondering to herself and to the seaweed where this Sharp Dad had come from. From what on the boat could Dad possibly draw such vitri, and had it always been? She whispered her worries into bubbles and let them rise so that they might be swallowed and gone by the time they popped on the surface. One night Cal lay in her boat bed, chipped toenails catching on her nautical bedsheets. She pressed her face into the seatâ€™s white leather, for once unsettled by the rocking that had always put her direct to sleep. Her thoughts looped around Dad of the recent uncertainty, Still-Funny Dad whose words were stretching tight with tension, ready to rubber-band-snap from between his teeth. Still-Funny Dad whose smile was so ill-fixed, it could get blown right off in the passing breeze. Dad called it nothing. Cal said okay. Cal learned: donâ€™t ask about nothing and Cal, so vigilant, probably learned it too well. She learned all about the silence of the moments around what was nothing, the taut hand on the throttle, the seconds of silence where any reaction was possible. Whatever Dad was afraid of, he taught Cal a different fear. She sank her days to the bottom of the lake where the noise of the surface could not reach. Was it days or years or decades that passed while she grew away from the pebbled shallows? Was it she or the waves that built a berm so tall between Cal and
the boat, made dense by the silence? Cal didnâ€™t live forever in the lake and neither did Dad. How could they? Cal found a job and a city. Dad framed a picture of the lake on the wall of his house. Once home to visit, still grasping at the frayed strings of what was once Dad and Cal, Cal asked: Dad, do you remember the lake called Moon? Dad, do you remember how it changed? Instead of saying yes or no, Dad, from his own side of the table, said: Cal are you sure about who you are? It was Calâ€™s turn to knit a less-red brow, she said to Dad: I am who you raised me to be. That night Cal sank herself waist-deep into the turgid river that ran straight South from the town called Hell and the lake called Moon. The empty April sky left her alone with the water and it held her again. She said then to the lake: I am who you raised me to be. Grown up and far from the lake and forest that had been her ground, Cal falls now direct to sleep not with the rocking of a boat, but with a cat on her chest purring the waves back into her skin. Still, she only must crouch wherever she is and dig her fingers into the city mud to find the soul of that lake beneath her feet. w
photograph by Stephanie Crawford
Society by Kateryna Tkachenko 56
Hearing Voices Caitlin Collins
I see them coming from far along the path. Two men, presumably homeless. One carries a cardboard sign I can’t make out. There are plenty of cars passing by and it’s the middle of the day. I continue to look out over the water. I sip my coffee. I finish my guilt-frosted donut. When they reach my bend in the path, the one with the sign walks on and plants himself at a nearby intersection. The other man stops in front of me and scratches at the stubble on his neck. His fingernails match the khaki of his jacket. “Do you mind if I sit here?” “Not at all.” He sits down next to me. We are now the only people in the park. Empty benches stretch all the way around the pond. My bag is closed and pressed against my body, the sun glints off my engagement ring and my left hand folds in automatically, my coat is buttoned over my v-neck shirt, a bird sings nearby, I 57
read that Indiana is the meth capital of the country, “…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” “I am homeless,” he starts, fingering a tear in his sleeve. “I used to have an apartment around here but I couldn’t keep up.” I nod. “Then I lived in a motel a couple blocks away but I ran out of money.” He lets out a sharp laugh that rattles in his chest like an old car failing to start. “Now I’m sick. I’ve got this cold that just won’t leave me alone.” “I’m sorry, that’s awful.” Mental scan of tote bag: I don’t have any cash on me and even if I did, I’m always torn about giving it out. I wish I still had the granola bar I’d been carrying around for days, the “healthy” one coated in chocolate, but I ate that yesterday, not because I was hungry but because I was tired and anxious and needed to dull the world for a second. “You don’t smoke do you?” “No, I’m sorry.” “You don’t look like a person who smokes but I figured it was worth a try.” He lets out another laugh so I do too, sort of, and for a moment the breeze picks up the two sounds, faulty engine and faulty conscience. At the other end of the pond, I can just glimpse half of the sculpture my friend had described, the reason I’d stopped in this park in the first place: two stone faces considering one another in 58
profile. She said the faces appear to be different ethnicities – or was it genders? ages? depending on what angle you regard them – maybe a symbolic study in interconnectedness? I was planning to stroll over there and check it out. “It’s time to go now,” says the little voice in my head. I fold up my wrapper, take a last sip of coffee and stand. “Well, I … wish you well, sir.” A shadow crosses his face. I head towards my car, tossing out my trash as I go. “Nice boots,” he calls. “Thank you.” Turning out of the lot, I catch a last glimpse of him through the rearview mirror. He appears to be talking to himself. Who or what is it that whispers when it’s time to go? A line of women ancestors, sounding a primal alert essential for survival? The echo of a society that allows its poor, sick and hungry to perish in plain sight? The turn signal keeps a steady beat. Gas prices are up again. Coffee and artificial sugars eat at the lining of my stomach, acid rising in my throat. w
Exposures Rosemary Warren It is almost always raining in May and June as I slouch towards the large building at the edge of the Hudson river for exposure therapy sessions. I am soothed by melodrama of The New York State Psychiatric Hospital, of the blue visitor tags I am given each time I arrive, of the river dimpled with rain. I make these weekly visits to Columbia’s Anxiety Disorders Clinic to meet with Justin, a doctoral student, who leads me through exposures to the idea of bed bug infestation to help manage my obsessive compulsive behaviors. As a photographer I have studied exposure. I have spent hours in the red shadows of the darkroom watching the images reveal themselves to the paper by timed exposures. A moment of light and then, with a click, the image is made. Or, the feeling of holding a negative to the light for the first time, anxiously discovering what was exposed onto it. Seeing the frightening smiles, their colors in negative, blue lips. Obsessive compulsive disorder is defined by the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders by “recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted.” Do people get bedbugs on airplanes? Probably. Could something get into my bag under that person’s seat? Some crawling thing could creep in, if my bag is not closed up just right. Too bad it’s an overpacked 61
canvas bag, I wish I hadn’t done that. I don’t want to take bedbugs home with me. “The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action.” Ok, if I tie the bag like this, I think that’s good. I can relax now. Or, maybe I’ll put my coat over it like this and I can wash my coat when I get home before it touches anything. I can relax now. Actually, now I feel like the bag is more open than it was… if I just stuff everything down a little more, and fold my coat and put it inside the bag as a buffer and tie the straps like that… “repetitive behaviors.” Ok, yes I’ll just balance the bag on my feet like this the whole flight. I’ll just tie it again like this so I can relax. “That the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.” I don’t know… maybe I just have to wash everything when I get home? hopefully I can wash everything well enough. Maybe if I just put the bag like
this and periodically take it out
to tighten the knot, then I
can relax in between.
“The behaviors or mental
acts are aimed at preventing
or reducing anxiety or
distress, or preventing some
dreaded event or situation;
however, these behaviors or
connected in a realistic way with
what they are designed
to neutralize or prevent, or are
clearly excessive.” In
Justin we begin by looking at
photographs of bed bugs
in his office, watching videos
he finds on youtube of people staying at infested hotels. He sends me home with instructions to look at photographs that make me uncomfortable for 15 minutes daily, then longer. As our sessions progress we meet at the Salvation Army on 46th street and I lean against racks of clothes. Eventually I buy a hardcover atlas that I am instructed not to wipe down or wash in any way, that sits on the bookshelf in my studio as I write this. Instead of obsessively protecting against the thing that I fear, I look right at it - practice engaging and then letting go, realizing that my brain has never had power here: exposure, surrender. Like the exposures of light and figure onto film, the exposure to my fears feels like magic. “This is ok” I tell myself over and over again, touching a rack of T-shirts at the Salvation Army, brushing my
bag against a worn purple couch. I feel fear during the exposure, an agitation that spreads from my gut through my whole body, clouding my eyes, my brain. Stop the feeling says, searching for tangible dangers that are causing this fear, coming up with many. Then the feeling passes and I can see again, the heavy humid streets of Hell’s Kitchen, the diner on the corner, mattresses propped against buildings. The feeling has moved through, nothing bad has happened. People are rolling their suitcases through train stations speckled with blood and urine and then into their bedrooms every day - bad things happen to them, but not because of this. I try to accept that I will not live a life that is free of bad things, not even if I do everything right. According to a study my partner reads to me from his phone while I am half asleep, OCD patterns can actually be seen in the brain on MRIs. A loop, like something stuck. Visible calcification, are the words that stay with me. I think of the dried puss that comes out of my earlobes on the rare occasions that I wear earrings. A warm and sweet unmistakably bodily smell, a crust. I think of these holes punched in my flesh that try and try to make better something that is not a problem, that is in fact intentional. I think of my cells straining to fill some gap, focusing on their failure. Crusted over, calcified, and then the surface broken out so easily. I think of a classmate of mine in college showing a photograph of a gorgeous surreal landscape of rock and glowing light and haze. Another planet? A portal to other worlds? “I think they’re light leaks,” the student says, when we ask what we’re looking at. Exposure and mistake, better than I could have imagined. Nothing bad. What will I lose when I am exposed, I wonder? What do I risk, laying myself bare here? How does the flash of light make the image? I’m not talking about the science, I’m trying to talk about the magic. How can I surrender into my own mortality without losing some sense of self, some sense of deep urgency that defines me? Does the exposure reveal, or is the revelation in the exposure itself? A nude figure in the light of the window, darkness all around. I fear that the neighbors have seen. What do I fear? That they liked seeing my body? That they didn’t? w
Contributor Bios Caitlin Collins is a Chicago-based actor, writer, lyricist, and teaching artist. She has performed with many Chicago and regional theatres as well as in TV and film. Her female-driven play, Outbound, can be found online at newplayexchange.org. |www.caitlin-collins.net Stephanie Crawford is from a small, sleepy town in the Hudson Valley who studied photography, art history and art therapy in upstate New York. She is heavily influenced by rivers, mountains, sunrises and the marshes around her home. For her, art is an experience and therapeutic process. When sheâ€™s not creating work, you can find her serving coffee, reading poetry by Anis Mojgani, or playing games with her eight year old brother. | www.crawfordstephanie.com Gina Maree DeNaia (b. 1983 in Newark, NJ) is an American visual artist who lives in Seoul, South Korea. In 2014, she graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a BFA in Photography. Her practice revolves around exploring the nausea and alienation of everyday lived experience. Although her primary mediums are still photography and performative video, they are predicated on a text/linguistic foundation. A selection of her work has been published in the Lacanian psychoanalytic journal Division/Review, and her work has been exhibited in multiple group shows in the New York metropolitan area. | www.ginadenaia.com Lilla Dent is a Japanese-American artist whose multicultural upbringing and international experiences have greatly influenced her work. Lilla has always been interested in shades of subtlety: in quiet humor and hidden gem-like moments, an aesthetic inspired in large part by the simplicity and restrained brilliance of traditional Japanese art. She received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art and currently works and teaches in Chicago. Erin Doyle is a visual artist, sculptor and lover of all things strange and unusual. Working in oil based clay and acrylic paint, her artwork has a good mixture of humor, horror and fantasy. instagram: @icky_bah_koo | www.etsy.com/shop/IckyBahKoo Rosanne Elrichâ€™s novel Attack was published by Ballantine Books under the pen name Collis Ehrlich. Other works, flash fiction, have been published in Persimmon Tree and Panoplyzine and three poems will appear in Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review. I have also written for The Great Ships series on The History Channel. When I escaped from the entertainment Industry I started teaching English as a Second Language at Bergen Community College, in New Jersey, and currently, as a grandmother, I am working on getting the names of the Disney princesses straight. 64
Brooke Hartnett is a writer, actor and improviser living in Chicago, IL with her two cats. They originally hail from Tucson, AZ and are still adjusting to life away from the desert. She currently works part time at the Music Box Theater and spends the rest of her time eating carbs, doing Pilates, and performing at the Chicago Improv Den with Pappy or around town with her indie team Mall People. www.brookehartnett.com | twitter: @borkke Becca Howe is a contemporary artist working out of Carbondale, Illinois. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Drawing. Her main source of inspiration is nature and the natural world, and she has a special fascination with national and state parks. | www.beccahowe.com | instagram: @blynnart Micaela McCabe is a Chicago-based writer and industrial designer. She can plug her nose with her upper lip like a real deep sea diver. Kate O’Brien was born and raised in Chicago, where she currently lives with her dog Lilly. She’s interested in violence as an in-road to intimacy in a Postmodern world, so she watches lots of football. Emily Shapiro is a fiction writer who studied writing at Bard College. She works as the Event Coordinator for Pop-Up Magazine, and lives in Berkeley, CA. Kateryna Tkachenko is an artist born in Kharkiv, Ukraine. She studied at Kharkiv Art college and at Kharkiv Academy of Design and Arts, specialization - monumental painting, and is a member of the Union of Artists of Ukraine. She has participated in the different exhibitions in Ukraine and USA, now living in Chicago.
I like that the artist is at the same time part of the world around her and also a mirror of that world. This painting is from
my project “Woman. Painting.” The view of that project from woman’s way in this life.
www.facebook.com/Katerynaart | bibelotecamollusca.com| instagram: @thebibeloteca Rosemary Warren is a photographer and writer, light enthusiast and documentarian of the personal from the small town of Rough and Ready, California. She received her B.A. in photography and literature from Bard College in 2014. Her images seek to ask questions of the communities that she is a part of – her family, California, the mental health system in the U.S., the feminine self. Rosemary Warren lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. | www.rosywarren.com
antirrhinum journal issue one : broad topics produced and printed by JKL Collective in Chicago, IL 2018
thank you to all of our family, friends, artists and collaborators everywhere, we couldnâ€™t have done this without you.