Issue 3. July 2010
Tickle or Torturedownload
In his essay “Tickle or Torture,” Vestal McIntyre recounts his Wednesday-night teasings as the youngest of seven in an Idaho town. While his parents are attending Bible study, McIntyre is poked, prodded, tickled, and tortured by his siblings, although all he really desires is to be left alone.
Skin for Skindownload
While her parents are attending her baby cousin’s circumcision ceremony, the teenage narrator of Jonathan Papernick’s “Skin for Skin” invites an intriguing new boy from school over to her home. The narrator is not Jewish, as her parents are, but her views on religion and family begin to change as she contemplates sleeping with the boy, demanding of him an intriguing bargain.
The female narrator of Pete Smith’s “Testimony” tells the story of an affair that starts with a cloud of drinks and ends in the mystery of not knowing a partner. Smith explores the ways in which a self can become lost between a past and a present, youth and maturity--and intoxicating drinks and an even more intoxicating partner.
A Haunt of Memorydownload
In Tarah Masih’s “Haunt of Memory,” the narrator describes how she prunes the spirit tress of her blind friend Phineas to keep the bad spirits and memories away from his home. This short piece captures the beauty of the trees and of the friendship, and evokes an old man’s hard life on the edge of twilight.
Three narrators take the listener through a range of responses to American culture. A Bolivian tour guide, a Taiwanese businesswoman, and a young Palestinian give us three perspectives on America’s relations with the world, all of them with a hamburger at the core of the story.