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The Short Form

“The Fan Explodes before We Go to Chicago”

Lex Sonne


She said when she flew she didn’t know where she was. For a day or two she would be in two places at once or somewhere in between. She would not be in the place where she needed to be. Me, I had problems with packing and that morning we were leaving for Chicago and the night before we had talked about the baby. I said, “That’s crazy. You’re crazy. We have no money and you have six years of school. What about all that school?” She had this thing about being called crazy and when she came out of the shower with that white towel with the ivy around the edge wrapped around her body and tight at the chest, she stared down at my clothes stacked and folded there beside her bag. She hated the air conditioning, I already told you that, and it was on and making noise. She said, “Why didn’t you pack?” She said this with her eyes squinted like Animal. There was a box fan blowing the air conditioned air around. Outside there were Ethiopian kids throwing a Nerf football in the park. The football was blue under those big sycamores with their leaves with the pollen on one side.

I said, “It’s your bag.” And Anne said while clutching at the top of the towel around her body, “Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me when I get dressed.” I was feeling how much I hated packing. I was feeling it but barely knowing it and not understanding it one bit. I was definitely not understanding it.

We read it in Hobart.