Love, Like Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

My shithead ex-boyfriend and that black hole he calls a stomach. They’re both outside again. Third time this week and it’s only Tuesday. Another Tuesday in this should-be-condemned Florida neighborhood, eight-forty-five a.m., and thanks to a freak December heat wave, the sun is chipping paint off the front door of my rented bungalow. My yellow polyester uniform top is already sticking to my armpits.

The trash collectors are on strike, this is week two, and I hate to think what’s happening to the garbage inside the aluminum trashcans lining the street.

 

If I don’t leave for work now, I’m going to be late again and there he is slinking underneath my kitchen window, thinks I can’t see him, his dirty blonde hair hanging from underneath a greasy orange baseball cap. He’s like one big walking oil slick, some kind of primordial creature, although I didn’t think that when I was going out with him. Now, hindsight being the pain in the ass that it is, I wish I had taken my car to a different garage for that tune-up.

He rasps, “Hey baby. Bay-bee,” in that thirty smokes a day voice.

“Bay-bee. Little bay-bee,” trying to sweet-song me into submission, to convince me I should open the door. But it won’t work.

Across the street, a car engine roars, then sputters and dies. The smell of motor oil and hot pavement drift through the open window while Claire, my nosy next-door neighbor, bolts from her front door, two young kids flying after her, shouting about lunch boxes and untied laces, the younger one needing a pee. I can hear her scummy live-in boyfriend barking some crap about nothing after her. Poor Claire. Too preoccupied to care about what’s going on over here.

“Why ya bein’ so hard-assed Lonnie?” he whines. “I just wanna see your gorgeous redheaded self.”

“Well that’s nice but I’m blonde now.”

“Ooo, now thats nice. Did ya dye everything?”

He would say that. He would think of that.

“You’re pig-like Franklin,” I say.

“Oink oink baby. Now, lemme in.”

“Like hell. I know what you want and it’s nothing to do with my hair color.”

Who is he trying to kid? I may not have a trade school education like he does, but I know what he’s doing. This is all about my cooker. Ever since we broke up three weeks ago, he’s been threatening to take it, that voice on my answering machine, “if you won’t cook for me, you won’t be cookin’ for anyone”.

Let him think what he wants. He will not lay one slippery, dirty-finger-nailed hand on my Aga MasterChef Deluxe with its two outsized electric fan ovens, its vitreous Darth Vader enamel finish, and those massive oven doors.

This is a serious piece of culinary equipment. A work of art. I’ll never forget when I first saw it there on page five of the Aga Spring Catalogue, how it shined, sturdy and tough, invincibly black amidst page after page of cowardly yellows and creams.

It wooed me over to the dark side with its thermostatically controlled slow-cook oven and while I didn’t need it, I wanted it. It took me over a year to save the money from my stink all-rounder job at AlbertMart to buy it and it’s my one luxury. And there it stands, between the fridge and the shining Formica counter making my scrubbed clean, lemon-scented kitchen, look top class, like it belongs to some rich, well-manicured woman with good clothes and a career husband. The kind of woman I expected to be with Franklin.

Go on Franklin. Slink to your heart’s content. You are not getting my Aga.

 

I check the kitchen door, make sure it’s locked then stand at the window, tip-toed, steadying myself against the stainless sink, alert to his movements. He’s shimmying along the ground near a row of wilted red and white hibiscus like he’s manoeuvring behind enemy lines.

“Come on girl,” he pleads. “I just wanna talk.”

“You say something Franklin?”

The heat has brought out the worst of Florida’s bug population so I ease the window closed. There’s a gash like a knife wound in the middle of the screen. My landlord is as cheap as a two-for-one offer. He’ll probably never get around to replacing it.

“But I miss you,” Franklin shouts as I lock the window.

“You miss my cooking,” I shout back.

Look at him. Lying there flopped over onto his side in the un-mown grass like some demented Navy Seal. He’s wearing a black t-shirt, filthy overalls and what looks like a leather tool-belt tight around his waist. The get-up accentuates his stomach which was big before, but in the past few weeks, God, it’s turned into a real spanker. I wonder how.

There was never food at his dingy place. He usually ate here. He only took me out twice; both times saying those cooks at Denny’s had nothing on me.

He said his mother never cooked. He hardly ever mentioned her other than to say that and how she had gone back to Europe when he was just a kid, leaving him, stranding him is what Franklin said, with his father, who didn’t cook either. Or, according to Franklin, work or do much of anything except send him out on useless errands whenever his friends with their slick fish eyes, their blending aftershaves and money, showed up to catch the scores.

And now, with it so close to Christmas, he’s probably starting to panic. Probably worried about wasting away. Like that’s going to happen.

“Bay-a-bee,” I can hear him croon. “That’s not the only reason.”

It wasn’t like this when we first got together six months ago. Things in general, were good. The sex was good and he hated sports, which meant no endless hours of beer and pretzel TV. When it was clean, his long blonde hair made him good-looking in a sneering, rock starish way. Different is what I thought he was. Different with this fascinating kind of dirty edge.

He had his hobbies. There were the cars. Lots of cars. A fifty-seven Cadillac El Dorado, in need of a paint job, new tail fins, and chrome down the left side. A badly dinged Ford Mustang with a cracked engine block and missing convertible roof. A rusted out Karmann Ghia. Chevys, Buicks, Volkswagens; all for restoration.

But, the most important thing in Franklins’ life had to be his record collection, a huge crate of pre-1980 vinyl. He said no one was allowed near the crate, no one was allowed to touch the albums, which he spoke about like a man in love. The crate was moved, hidden in different places regularly, in case someone broke in and tried to take it. He showed me the journal he kept, a leather notebook containing things like when and where he bought each album and for how much, trivia about the band, how many albums were sold, whether it went platinum, gold, or whatever. Albums were rarely loaned out but when they were it was by what he called, ‘Special Arrangement.’

I liked that he had this passion for something, but what made Franklin practically irresistible were his plans to open his own garage. His own business. I thought, finally, a guy who was going to show me a faster route to the road to riches and that edge of his wasn’t such a bad thing either.

Once we started going out, he stayed over on my weekends off. We’d go to the flea market, spend hours pouring over the stalls, him searching for records, me eyeing the gold, the watches and jeweled rings, all the time thinking of him with his garage and planning for the day I could afford to buy my underwear in an expensive department store.

I can remember the first time I cooked for Franklin. I wanted to impress him, so I made what I consider to be my signature dish, my stew. It’s my own recipe and believe me, making it is a labor of love. I have to shop at three separate stores for the ingredients; a butcher shop thirty minutes away from where I live that sells organic beef, a specialty vegetable market, and an ethnic store near the mall where I work, the only place I can get the brand of saffron I like. It takes hours of hard work to prepare. It can’t be rushed if it’s to turn out right; the broth thick and spicy, the meat just the right side of tender, the vegetables not too soft.

For some reason, after I met Franklin, I started to think that love is like stew; you have to put in the effort to make it right. I hadn’t done that in past relationships, mostly because I always seemed to end up in the instant soup variety. I used to think, why waste my time, but now here was Franklin and the way I saw it, all of the ingredients seemed to be there. It had to work.

As expected, he loved the stew. He devoured two huge bowls, took home what was left. After that, it was always the same. He brought groceries; nice wine for me, vintage whiskey for himself, asking me to cook a roast or turkey or sometimes lasagna. Mostly though, he kept asking me to make the stew.

Then, about three months ago, things started to change. It was Saturday. We had gone to bed around one a.m. I woke in the dark to the sound of heavy rain. The alarm clock on the nightstand blinked a luminous, radioactive green, four a.m. He wasn’t in bed and figuring he’d just gone to the bathroom I dozed off then woke again at four-thirty. He hadn’t come back. I sat up and listened.

Nothing. Just the sharp tap of rain on the awning, the air-conditioning condenser, until his low voice came rising and falling and drifting from down the hall. He was talking to someone but whoever he was talking to wasn’t answering. By the time I threw on a t-shirt and reached the dimly lit kitchen he was placing the phone back on its cradle but just before, I heard him, that rasp, “you’re dead, bitch”.

He was sitting at the table naked to the waist, with a glass and half-empty bottle of whiskey in front of him, a jar lid crammed full of cigarette butts, smoke twirling upwards from a stub pinched between his thumb and forefinger. I glanced around my airless kitchen, to the Aga that seemed not quite as lustrous, to the counters now grimy with fingerprints, finally settling on him, ashen in the half-light, his hair thin, adrift like seaweed in a sea of smoke. He looked dangerous, and part of me liked it.

But as I stood in the doorway, eyelids heavy, feet bare, another part of me was having doubts.

“What’s goin’ on?” I asked.

He didn’t answer, just stared ahead, jabbed out the stub, and lit another.

“Hey, you’re freaking me. What’s goin’ on?”

He turned to me slowly, head cocked, “It’s just this girl okay? Has one of my Zappa albums.”

“It’s like, four-thirty. Why are you calling a girl at four-thirty?”

Eyes narrowed, his face looked lean, sharp. “I want it back before she tries to sell it. It’s rare. Mint condition.”

“But you said, you’re dead bitch.”

He took a deep pull on the cigarette, popped a few misshapen smoke rings.

“I know what I said, Lonnie,” his voice was eerie, flat.

“Record’s from 1969, still in the original cover, hasn’t even been opened. You know how damn historical that makes it? And, she doesn’t have it by ‘Special Arrangement.’ You want me to call her again. You can ask her yourself.”

I didn’t want to ask whoever-she-was anything and said nothing back, just stared at him sitting there, suddenly very aware of myself half-dressed. Uncomfortable in my own kitchen.

He didn’t say anything either, just shrugged and smirked and I watched him as he picked up the glass, traced the little flower pattern on the outside with his thumb. He raised the glass to his mouth, gulped down the dregs. Time seemed to loiter, seconds hanging around like teenagers in a weekend stupor and then finally, “Christ Lonnie, come ‘ere,” he put the glass down, mashed the smoke, got up.

He held out his arms. Slowly, I went to him, hugged his thick waist, buried my head in his bare fleshy chest. The medallion he always wore pressed against the side of my face. He smelled of musk and caramel, his skin felt cool, and I stood there clinging to him, waiting to be convinced.

“She took something of mine without askin’ and that’s stealing,” he said resting his chin on top of my head. “And no one steals from me.”

He gripped my upper arms and leaned back, those wide sky-blue eyes looking at me. Through me.

“Know what I’m sayin’?”

His mouth turned a fat pout. I felt flushed.

“Sure. Whatever,” I answered, not sure what to say.

He gave me a hot smoky kiss and we headed back down the hall to the bedroom. I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I had to keep telling myself that I’d be pissed off if someone stole my Aga; so really, the phone, his anger, it made sense. He was just determined to get back the album. Back in bed, drifting off, feeling the warmth of his leg against mine, I reminded myself about his future plans. I slept and dreamt of chrome.

‘Heart in Heart’ /Mixed media necklace /Deborah McMenamy

 

Things went on as normal. There was no further mention of the record or the girl. The following weekend at the flea market, Franklin found this 1967 Hendrix album, Axis Bold as Love. He’d been looking for it a long time he said.

“Hendrix was the best guitarist in Rock and Roll history.” He was standing at the stall, holding the album, turning it front to back to front, gently, deliberately. “Sucks. Just sucks how he died like that at the height of his career.” He was shaking his head, “aw man”.

It was like he was at the funeral, his voice deep and whispering like he was talking to the deceased’s family, but then, suddenly, he seemed to snap out of it and after paying for the album, he went over to Calandra’s Fine Jewelry (my favorite stall) and bought me a silver Cubic Zirconium ring.

He handed it to me and I slipped it onto my ring finger. It fit perfectly.

“What’s this for?” I asked, trying not to sound too excited.

“I’m in a generous mood Lonnie,” he said, half-smiling and walked back over to the records, leaving me to stare at the chunk of glitz flashing on my finger. My very first ring from him.

Okay, it wasn’t diamonds but it looked like diamonds and to me it meant we were getting somewhere. I wore the ring like a trophy, kept it on the nightstand next to my bed.

 

Then a few weeks later, there was another incident. It was during one of those weeks that I hate, double shifts, ten a.m. to ten p.m., three days in a row. It was exhausting. I was on day two and had come home and gone straight to bed. Sometime during the night, I was pulled from a deep sleep by rapping outside my bedroom window. I had been in the middle of a dream about builders and a two-story colonial in the country with a huge garden that I somehow knew smelled of lavender and pine.

“Lonnie, lemme in.” It was Franklin.

I lay there unable to move or say anything. I looked at the ring he bought me, shining like a midnight star on the nightstand then threw back the sheet, went to sit in the fat armchair by the window. I put my head back, closed my eyes.

“What’s going on?” I was really too tired for this.

“I can’t get inta my place,” he said through the closed window. “Lost my keys.”

I didn’t say anything.

“Lon-eeee, ya there? Lemme in.” It sounded like he was in the room.

Cheap damn rentals, I thought, walls like cardboard and thin glass windows. Just like the house I lived in as a kid, my mother screaming at me, at my dad before he left, at anything that moved. My miserable life broadcast to the entire cruddy neighborhood.

“Franklin,” I said, straining. “I got work in the morning.”

“I can’t get inta my place. An’ I’m starving,” he moaned.

He sounded drunk.

“Kitchen’s closed.”

“Why-ya gotta be hard?”

I didn’t answer.

“Lon-eeeeee! Opin-up,” he howled.

I bolted upright. Shit, what were all my neighbors going to think? I couldn’t have them calling the cops. Wouldn’t Claire just love that? Her chance to see something more desperate than her own pitiful life paraded around the place.

“Alright, alright.” I was starting to panic. I looked out and there he was, collapsed and sitting slumped among the carnations and marigolds slurring, “Lemmein. Why’dya hafta go an’ break it awff?”

He struggled but somehow managed to get to his feet only to fall, puking in my rose bush on the way down. I’d never seen him that drunk.

I slid open the window. “Shhh,” I whispered loudly. “Quit it.”

What was he talking about anyway? I hadn’t broken it off. I just didn’t have any time off till the weekend.

“You got someone else in there?” he boomed up at me, suddenly speaking clearer. “I sa-wear I’ll kick the head off ‘im if I get in there.”

I remembered how he threatened that girl who took his album. I wasn’t sure but now I had the feeling he could get crazy if I didn’t do something.

“Franklin, shut up a minute. I swear there’s no one here.”

“Prove it. Lemme in.”

I wasn’t about to try and convince him through the window and figured I better get him inside, let him sleep it off before he woke the entire neighborhood. I was shaken, confused, but let him into the house and into my bed the whole time hoping what I was thinking about him was wrong. I needed to be wrong.

But a few days later when I was at his place and accidentally spilled a little beer on the crate and he squeezed my arm so hard it left the dark red outline of his fingers, I knew I wasn’t.

 

Now, I glance at the black clock on the wall above the AGA. I’ve gone way past late for work. I give a quick look out the window again but can’t see him anymore.

I grab my car keys and bag and suddenly, there’s a noise at the door, a little scratching sound. A screwdriver? Utility knife? It gets louder. I think he’s dismantling something.

I crouch, peek under the white curtain hanging from the door’s small window. I never used to have curtains but since breaking it off with him for real, I’ve had to put them up. He’s been coming around, trying to see inside. Probably checking to see if I’m MasterChef-ing someone else. He’s doing something down there, I just can’t see what. I put my stuff on the table and pick up the phone.

“If you don’t leave, I’m calling the cops,” I threaten.

The noise is louder, faster.

I dial. Someone answers, a tough-sounding girl with this weird Wild West accent.

“Fort Lauderdale Police,” she says. She doesn’t sound like she’s from Florida and I half expect her to follow with ‘yee-haw!’ She doesn’t.

“I need to report a burglar,” I announce. The noise slows.

“Is there someone there now?”

“Yes,” I say. “And he’s trying to break in. He has a weapon.”

I hear, “Aw shit”.

The noise stops. I look out. He’s running fast, medallion hopping and glinting in the hard light, long hair flapping so hard his baseball cap flies into Claire’s yard, landing on the head of a blow up shark floating in the kiddie pool. I tell the cowgirl he’s run off. She takes down some information and tells me to call if he comes back.

 

The next day, Wednesday, I’m late to work again. So late that my favorite parking space, the one between Rex Mega Drug and NuShoe is taken. To make it worse that means I have to walk from the red section to the main entrance. It’s ninety-four degrees outside.

My armpits, chest, and back are drenched by the time I get in. The air-conditioning smacks cold against the sweat. I feel like hell and there’s my boss, waiting at the photo kiosk, drumming his fingers on the desk while Emily the Photo Vamp, the girl who will enthusiastically assist in the development of your pictures, digital or 35mm, especially if you’re male and married, sighs in his direction, bats her dark eyelashes. Good old tart-face Emily. If that cleavage gets any higher, it’ll suffocate her for sure.

I think she makes the boss nervous and he’s already the nervous type, a pale skinny man with a black moustache resting thin on his upper lip. He has this eau de marmalade and curry smell about him and I can tell he’s not happy about my being tardy. He likes the word, tardy, likes phrases using it, “I have no stomach for tardiness. Tardy today, tardy tomorrow”. I hear them a lot lately.

AlbertMart is the busiest store around, we sell everything from guns to groceries, and by the time I show up ‘tardy’ the place is jammed. It doesn’t help that there are only ‘twelve more shopping days till Christmas.’

He tells me I have to work late. That’s when Franklin breaks in. When I get home, the kitchen door is hanging by one hinge and there’s a note on the table.

‘I’m holding the AGA hostage,’ it says, ‘until you change your mind about me.’

I can almost sense him there in the room. I can smell smoke and his sticky sweet sweat. Feel his hot breath on my neck and then, I realize that the room is too warm and humid and I’ve been standing here for the last few minutes swatting at mosquitoes buzzing around my head. I’m about to try to fix the door, when the phone rings.

“Did ya get my note?” It’s him.

“Yeah,” I say.

“Got anything to say?”

“No.”

“I guess that means I can do whatever I want with this thing,” he growls.

I hear something in the background, a ‘nails on blackboard’ screech.

“Hey, what are you doing!” I yell down the phone.

“I thought you were different Lonnie. But you’re just another torturous bitch, just like the rest.”

“Franklin.” I feel winded. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I hang up then dial the police, get the cowgirl again. They send a car around to his apartment between the hockshop and Pang’s Chinese restaurant. The officer said they found the AGA in the middle of his living room. He was using it as a stereo cabinet. They ask me if I want to press charges. No, I say. I just wanted my cooker back.

 

My MasterChef Deluxe is safe with only minor scratches, back where it belongs. I console myself by cooking enough meals to last the week. I try, but find I can’t bring myself to even think about making stew.

Christmas comes and goes. It’s February, March, then summer. There hasn’t been any sign of Franklin sneaking around since the cops brought back the Aga, all those months ago. Work improves. No longer tardy, I am promoted to a respectable supervisor position. I get a small pay raise. I wear a dark blue top instead of yellow and a tag that announces me to the world as Lonnie, Housewares Supervisor.

One sultry evening in June, I invite Jake, Junior Manager in electronics along with my friend Patty from groceries and her guy Tony who works in Men’s Clothing over for dinner. I turn up the air, fry onions, and garlic. I boil spaghetti, toss salad, set the table, and light the two thick candles I got on sale in my Department. The four of us drink heavy red wine, admire the AGA, and bitch about work.

Patty thinks the boss is having an affair with the Photo Vamp, who we’ve recently noticed, has almost as much lip hair as he does. We laugh at the thought of them in bed together, wonder if they’re into waxing or shaving, but something isn’t right.

I look around at everyone. I don’t fit here, I think. I used to but now, everything feels too small, too tight, like an outfit I’ve outgrown and will never be able to return. And when Jake starts to move in on me, I start thinking about Franklin. And I can’t stop.

 

After that, the months crawl slowly by. Jake asks me out and I go for something to do, but when he brings me home and kisses me goodnight I feel sick. I don’t go out with him again.

I start dreaming weird stuff about Franklin. He’s chasing me through an appliance store. He’s screaming at the AGA, swearing and spitting, then the dream changes and he’s telling it jokes, fast jokes, rattling them off like a spastic Jackie Mason. In another, I’m throwing a bucket of something sludgy on the restored Ghia, the paint peels, the metal melts like butter. He calls me on the phone, says he’s going to kill me but he’s laughing and I’m laughing and then, I wake up in a kind of haze.

 

And suddenly, it’s a day in September. Customer complaints are rampant as the flu, the Photo Vamp is discovered in the ‘out of order’ ladies room with Jake, who, big surprise, is actually married, and at the supervisors’ meeting big mouth Patty will not stop talking about her political views on importing fruit and vegetables from foreign countries.

“I just don’t see why we should be bringing all this produce in from like, Bolivia or Peru. I mean, the freshness issue aside, didn’t anyone hear about the poisonous spiders getting into this country inside crates of bananas?”

 

It’s late and I’m tired when I pull into my street. As I get closer to the bungalow, I think I recognize Franklin’s white van driving away. A second later, realizing it is him, I feel that flutter in my chest like when I first saw him and yet, I know what this  means. Sure enough, the kitchen door is off its hinges and the AGA is gone again.

But this time, I don’t panic, don’t call anyone, not even the cowgirl. Instead, I think.

I spend most of the night thinking of what I’m going to do. When my head begins to swoon with fatigue and frustration, I fall into half-sleep and dream of my AGA in his kitchen, wrecked like it’s been beaten, interrogated like a prisoner of war. I look everywhere, but can’t find him.

There is blood. On my shoes. My jeans. The floor. I’m clutching clumps of his sticky hair, his medallion in my hand. I switch on the AGA, turn it to the highest setting, struggle with a heavy casserole dish and shove it inside. I wait. Sit in a chair in his kitchen and wait until the thing in there simmers and stews and devours the apartment in a reeking fog. Then, I unlatch the door, open it and it’s eight a.m.

I practically fly out of bed. Call in sick to work. Then I dial Franklin’s number.

“Hey, it’s me,” I purr, twirling a long strand of hair around my finger. “Listen baby, I was wrong. Can I come over and see you?”

There’s a pause on the other end. I can hear him breathing, the rattle of mucus. A sharp hacking sound.

“Ya know.” He clears his throat, and then says, “I gotta get to work, but I’ll call you sometime”.

“Sure Franklin,” I say, pulling the hair I’m fiddling with straight. “Anytime.”

I throw on some clothes, all the time feeling this dizzy rush of adrenaline. I grab what I need from the kitchen, get some tools from underneath the sink and drive to his apartment.

He lives at the end of the hall on the ground floor of a flesh-colored stucco building that I never liked. The locks are cheap and easy to pick and with no one around, I’m in fast.

The place smells sour and musty. Empty wine bottles, cloudy glasses, pizza boxes and paper plates almost see-through with grease, litter the glass-topped coffee table. There are empty cigarette packs, ashtrays mounded with butts, a slagheap of clothes. I walk quickly through the living room kicking aside stained brocade cushions and mismatched shoes.

I find what I’m here for hidden behind the couch. I drag it into the dank kitchen. The floor is slippery with grease, the counters much the same and there in the corner by the wall, still on the dolly he must have used to wheel it inside, is my poor AGA like in my dream, viciously scratched and dented, grime and grunge smeared all over it like some horrible oil painting. I think he must have been up all night getting back at me.

“You think that’s good,” I whisper, my heart pounding. I check to make sure that the cooker is plugged in. I click on the power switch.

“And now by ‘Special Arrangement,’ you shithead son of a bitch.”

A quivering rage rushes through me like electricity and I let rip on the contents of Franklins’ crate, the slim albums layered neatly, one in front of the other. I remove each precious vinyl disk from its cover, one at a time and with blind efficiency crack and crunch it into small pieces, fill the first casserole dish to the brim. With that one full, I start on the second. I save his minted, historical Zappa album, the one he threatened that girl over, until last.

I tear and slowly peel the original plastic seal from the cardboard and slide the record out. It’s perfect. Untouched and virginal. I run a fingernail over its spiral grooves, can see my reflection on its smooth black surface. I think of how I used to be able to see myself on the surface of the AGA too.

Morning light slices through the window, catches in my eyes. They shine; small strange beads, and I look a little crazy, my mouth frozen into a snarl, my hair a nest-like shadow around my head. I read the album’s title, ‘Uncle Meat’ into the room like I’m announcing the arrival of someone important.

I leave the album whole, lay it like a sacrifice on top of the second dish, set them both into the slow-cook part of the oven. My face is hot; sweat gathers, expands like moss at the back of my neck, slides down the curve of my jaw. I turn on the oven. I set the temperature gauge on high. I shut the door, latching it for the last time.

 

Outside, the air smells of sand and mist and I am floating away slowly with each step and I think I hear music, something knotted and coarse. I am breathless. My vision blurs. The palm trees twist like daggers piercing the white sky, clean and bleached as desert bone, painted flat against the horizon above the surface of some other planet.

 

Mixed media collage by Deborah McMenamy Incorporating Fish Mosaic by Jennifer Gosschalk/Peace Sign Garden Art by Jan Meng

 


‘Love, Like Stew’ first published in Best New Writing 2011/Hopewell Publications

Winner of the Editor’s Choice Award

Published in ‘So Long Polyester’ 2013/Labello Press.

(c)2022 Deborah McMenamy

All Rights Reserved

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