Jennifer Caloyeras: Unruly

Ever felt like your body, expressing desires obscure to you, is going to destroy the whole town? Ever want it to? Jennifer Caloyers’ story “Unruly” [pdf] gave us pause, and then we sort of ran, like civilians in a Godzilla movie. Get the proper issue here as an ebook or lovely 100pp. softcover (or both).

 In the ticket booth, Caroline reaches above Rusty’s bald spot, into the cabinet, for a red and white striped conductor’s hat. None of the hats fit her wide head properly so she comes armed with her own metal clips to put the hat into lockdown.  Across the tracks, past the scaled-down soccer field, Tom operates the merry-go-round. Today is his first day back from work after his accident.  Rusty put his hands on Caroline’s shoulders two weeks ago. “I have some bad news, kid. It’s Tom. Flipped his car four times. We’ve gotta pray our hardest for him.”  According to Rusty, he still has window glass embedded in his arms. Pieces surface, like crops in a garden, ready to be picked.  The stiff horses are going around in circles and Caroline looks on as Tom pinches and pries at his skin, trying to retrieve hidden shards.

***

 At home Caroline takes off her overalls in her bedroom and her pubic hair spills out to her thighs where it hangs like tassels on a loincloth. Her breath quickens, her throat feels like an empty swimming pool. She hesitantly reaches down to touch the hair to make sure it’s real.…  She pulls on a pair of sweatpants and rushes into the kitchen, drawing the shades. Luckily her mom isn’t home. With the scissors from the knife block Caroline cuts the hair off. It rests in her palm like wilted flower stems. She washes it down the sink and runs the disposal. The blades turn, chopping the hair into a fine clump of mush, swimming through the pipes out to sea.… [continue reading]

Jennifer Caloyeras - Unruly
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