For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Glory Goes and Gets Some”

Emily Carter


My first meeting was for coffee with a blue-eyed lanky man who told me that being HIV+ was a small entrance fee to pay to be granted admission into the bosom of Christ. I could see he meant it, because his gaze was flashing out a beam that went all the way into the golden distance of the final judgment. He had come through his trials with one gleaming jewel of truth, and that was all he needed, except maybe a partner to walk through the pearly gates with. “Life is a long joke,” he told me, “heaven is when you finally get it.” He was smiling, beaming with happiness, bursting out every now and then into relieved laughter, as if he'd just been missed by a truck. “You're sure about that?” I asked him, and he, laughing, held out his hand over the table, as if he was inviting me to run across a meadow toward the horizon. I gave it a friendly squeeze and never called the number he left with me, because I know very well what happens when you run toward the horizon; you get smaller and smaller until you vanish. Was I discouraged? Of course I was discouraged, I was born somewhat discouraged but in terms of action that's neither here nor there. “Pray as if everything depended on God. Act as if everything depended on you,” goes the slogan I picked up at either an A.A. meeting or in one of the many pamphlets I'm always being offered by the well meaning souls who infest the Twin City area.

We read it in Glory Goes and Gets Some.

Originally published in Open City #4.