archives submissions blog (dis)likes

out now!

Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Alison Christy

Space is Our Future
Michelle McMahon

The Weirdest Thing
Grant Flint

Sunsets Unlimited
Stephen Graham Jones

489 Points
Andrew Borgstrom

Rain Escape
Lydia Conklin

They Shared an Egg
John Dermot Woods

First Book Roundtable Discussion
Kyle Beachy, Jedediah Berry, Andrew Ervin, Roxane Gay, Rachel B. Glaser, Julia Holmes, Caitlin Horrocks, Holly Goddard Jones, Tom McAllister, Laura van den Berg, Kevin Wilson, Mike Young

Born in "The Great Depression," Grant Flint has appeared in The Nation, Poetry, Story Quarterly, The King's English, and other literary journals, is very old, shy, does stand-up comedy.


Photo by Aaron Burch

The weirdest thing happened to me just now, which is weird in itself in that nothing weird ever happens to me. I, being on the surface at least, not weird.

Why should I lie? I've done nothing. It wasn't my fault. It could have happened to anyone.

I am 4'11", female, a weightlifter. I have pockets of fat on my thighs. Particularly on the backs of my thighs. I am taking steroids because my left knee gave way 3 1/2 weeks ago. And I have to heal rapidly because my entire existence is fixated on winning the 90 to 100 pound weight-lifting annual contest at my Y.M.C.A. Seven days from now.

True, in a way. A certain element of surface truth there.

My teenage son has five minutes ago gone across the street, up the stairs, to the children's dentist to get his teeth cleaned. He wants to know why he is still going to a children's dentist. I made up a lie. It satisfied him. I forget the lie. Who remembers lies? It is only necessary to remember the truth.

I am multi-orgasmic. I can have 50, 100, an infinity of orgasms anytime I wish. No one, certainly not myself, has tested my full capacity. In theory, I could orgasm continuously until the moment I died.

The steroids have acted upon me remarkably fast. The knee is perfect. My face is puffy from water retention, nothing is the same. I can see Mars now as though looking at it through a telescope. And I don't mean one of those junky toy telescopes.

True. In a way. Does God know the exact line where truth and falsity meet? Half a life ago I took LSD seven times and read the "Tibetan Book of the Dead." I ate grass out on my lawn because animals do, why not me?

What is happening now is not an interruption. Just a nuisance. A policeman in an unmarked car has circled the block four times in the last 10 minutes, pretending not to look at me as he goes by, unaware—the stupidity of people—that I easily saw him, without letting him know this at all, saw him in my rearview mirror, without moving my head an inch, saw him take down my license plate number. The utter stupidity of these people! As obvious as though he left off a bomb, and he thinks I'm unaware of his very existence!

Whatever. My periods stopped 14 months ago. This is looking down on life like it is a river. I take, I start taking, steroids, three weeks ago, and the doctor says, "Your periods may stop for a while," and I wanted to shout at him, "You idiot! My periods stopped 14 months ago!" But, wisely, I said nothing, just pretended meekness. Bowing humanlike before the all-powerful God doctor. Besides he wouldn't have got the point and I find less and less energy for fools.

Beginning this—there is no beginning. Sneaking up is the trick. I will start when it isn't looking. I will even sneak up on myself, beginning it when I don't know I've begun it, slipping easily, unobtrusively into it like a small man entering a very large woman in the night.

That's something I'd love to see on the "Playboy Channel," a small man entering a large woman. Or even a large man entering a small woman. Instead, all there is boring-sized women humping boring-sized men to the sounds of modern rock. But no commercials.

Oh, well.

Whatever. My fiction, your non-fiction. It doesn't matter. Nothing is going to change the fact that the Devil—beginning now I will wait no longer will begin now this beginning is beginning. I mooned the universe 20 minutes ago when he went across the street to the dentist. I rolled down my jeans and panties and knelt here on this front seat, driver's seat, put my rear way up in the air so the whole world could see my cellulite pockets of rear thigh fat, could hopefully see my flesh-colored genitalia just like those little women do constantly on "Playboy," and I felt the cool, sweet breeze on my dear butt swaying high there in the air, two cars honked in joy as they lingered by, and then when I knew I had done it completely, at that exact moment of completion, I stopped and grabbed his history notebook from school before I forgot any part of it and have done this.

Lies. But he is coming out now. Across the street inside the building my perfect hearing hears him leaving the dentist's chair, going past the receptionist, no time now for the beginning. The lie, if I could get past...