Men Who Write Women

by | Apr 11, 2023 | Fiction, Issue Thirty-Two

Even though Suburbia, experiencing her brand-new S-CarGo, had called Valery to say she was stuck in slow traffic, she arrived at Burger Place right on her heels. The place to have lunch in Chicago, Michigan, they used the Downsize Me option to buy a cheeseburger to share and went for a window table.

Outside, playing mating season havoc with Lake Illinois, whirlwinds and tornados had of late started to crossbreed into something so abhorrent, so terrifying, no one had dared to name it.

“Well, let’s hear it,” said Valery.

“Whenever I am with Jim, I think about Kim, but when I am with Kim, I feel torn, like I am cheating on myself. I smile all the time, but on the inside, I cry. With one eye, the other one just goes lazy.” Suburbia paused and waved as to push her thoughts away. “Oh, I’m such a Carrie!”

“Before or after the bucket with blood?”

“Right before would be nice…or in the shower, if you know what I mean.”

“There is also blood in the shower.”

“That’s right! I never thought of that.”

Their server came to give them a heart-shaped piece of lettuce each. The Austin, Georgia sun was getting nefarious, another sizzling day in the Lone Wolf with a Peach stuck in its throat State, and he proceeded to adjust the venetian blinds.

Valery smiled at her best friend. “You know, it is good to talk about men, but there is this principle, or some kind of test, that says women should also converse about other stuff. I can’t remember…it is a name and I think it starts with a B.”


“No. That is a playwright.”



“Bunsen burner.”


“Bekhterev’s Disease.”

“That is the one Lou Gehrig had.”

“The test was made by the late Clare Bretecher, the celebrated French cartoonist, recognized as Best French Author at the 1975 Angouleme International Comics Festival. Born in Nantes in 1940-“

“What is wrong with you, girl? You stay snappy, Suburbia Hickenlooper Swindlehurst, or I am leaving. You are scaring me!”


“Let me think. No.”

“The Bermuda Triangle. Bechamel sauce. Cocaine Bear.”

“You really liked that movie, didn’t you?”

Suburbia shrugged. “It was all right.”

The server came around again with the dessert menu and an offer of a cup of fresh Jasmine Gunpowder tea. Valery told him they needed hours to consider.

“Anyway,” said Suburbia. “I remember back when I was thirteen, this boy came up to me and offered me a gum, and I fell in love. Tim was such a sweetheart. Along came Bim and…oh fudge it! Let us go back to my place, put on a romantic body horror comedy, and eat buckets of ice cream.”

“It’s on!”

As they left, the Anchorage, Florida sun, descending into the sea, told itself, as it always did, to not fear the darkness.

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