Academic journal article Chicago Review

Miasma

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Miasma

Article excerpt

In the dream, the woman with the pit bull doesn't own a massage parlor and she doesn't fight with her ex-boyfriend. She doesn't cut the vines full of hundreds of nearly ripe kiwifruit down and expose a weathered gray fence. Behind the fence, the student flat, with dull, utilitarian bookshelves. On the spine of every book the words, Chinese Gooseberries on the Lam.

When she wakes up, the neighbors don't talk either. They don't string their lights up for cocktail parties and barbeques. They don't fill their pinatas full of miniature sex toys and contraband pharmaceuticals.

The woman with the pitbull doesn't cut down the grapefruit tree either. She doesn't look wistfully through the students' windows at the Che Guevera posters all covered in mold and tattered at the edges.

She doesn't find herself on the floor studying the telephone wire coming out of a jack in the wall thinking to herself, Beige is my default position.

Back in the dream, the girls in the anorexia instructional video wear La Jolla High School cheerleading uniforms. An interviewer holds a microphone up in front of their round pink faces as they recount in horror vivid details of how they were force-fed by their parents. …

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