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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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by Corey Mesler





Sunday morning Chip didn’t feel quite right. It wasn’t anything he could pinpoint. It was a kind of head/chest/ stomach/limbs/heart kind of peculiarity. Sitting at his desk with a cup of French Roast next to him he thought that it would be best if he took something, a medicament. Chip was conversant with many pills but he had already taken his daily dose of everything he owned. And it was only 11 a.m.! So, it was a bit of a dilemma. Then he saw, adjacent to his cup, a shiny dime. Just a shiny, 2000, Liberty dime. He picked it up and turned it round and round, watching it catch the light. It seemed numinous.


“This is pillish,” Chip said aloud to no one.


And so he swallowed it with a judder of coffee. It went down hard. It passed that difficult passage in the throat which, occasionally, rejects intake. Then Chip imagined he could feel it working its metallic way down his plumbing. He imagined it reached his stomach and Chip could visualize it and immediately he began to feel better.


Later in the day Chip had a pristine sort of feeling. It was kind of silvery and fresh and minty. He had never had this feeling before. He decided, since he was unquestionably on the upswing, to call Ramona. Ramona loved Chip sometimes, a few times, on good days, and perhaps their good days could coincide, thought Chip.


“What is it, Meat?” Ramona answered.


“Ramona,” Chip said, bright as a holy pyx, “What are you doing right now? I mean right now.”


Ramona heard something brand new in Chip but she was still wary. Something new in Chip, however, could be a really good thing, thought Ramona.

“Knitting up the raveled sleeve of care,” Ramona said. She tried not to invest her voice with anything lively, particularly hopefulness.


“I’m coming over,” Chip made bold.


Ramona met Chip at the door. She was wearing only a sweatshirt, which said Fuck Coprolalia across its front, and panties because her heart was flinty. What did she care if she attracted Chip? There he stood, eyes atwinkle. She looked at Chip and cocked her head like a cur. There was something novel about him, something previously undetected. Perhaps it’s just a good mix of chemicals, thought Ramona. She knew Chip’s insides were one wild chemistry experiment after another. Still—this—today—seemed distinctive.


“Come in,” she said, laconically, though she readjusted her sweatshirt a bit so that her small bosoms were more prominent.


“Beautiful, beautiful,” Chip said, sitting on Ramona’s couch. Ramona had put on the new album by The Crappy Saplings.


“What’s up, Chiperoo?” Ramona asked and, almost involuntarily scooted herself nearer him on the leather couch.


“Ramona,” Chip said, “I want us to see each other naked today. I want us to mate.”


Ramona laughed despite herself. She face-palmed. She was amused. She also was a little turned on.


After a few moments of awkward silence, while Chip sat there grinning like scattered chaff, Ramona undressed. They made love softly, intensely, hotly and wetly, for a long time. Later, Ramona cooked some pork chops and mashed potatoes with toys in them (this was her code for anything added to staple dishes, in this case, scallions and skins). They watched a Zip Kadoodle film called She Might Eat a Kitten, and later they made love again until they were both so enervated they fell asleep, secured together like a key in a lock.


In the morning, they made love one more time and then Ramona got into a hot shower. When she emerged, rosy and naked, Chip was dressed, sitting on the bed, still wearing his mysterious smile.


“I have to go to work, alas,” Ramona said. “Can you be here when I get off? What are you doing today?”


Chip was a writer which meant to Ramona, and a lot of other people, that he didn’t really do much during the day. “Gathering moths, gathering moss” is the way Ramona put it, prior to yesterday. Now, if she was thinking about Chip qua writer (and she wasn’t because she was thinking of Chip qua bedfellow) she was thinking that perhaps Chip was the finest writer she had ever known.


“I think,” Chip said, after some consideration. “I think I will write the novel I have been talking about for years.”

Ramona smiled a coltish support.


“But first I need to go by the bank and get myself a roll of dimes.”