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<i>Mullus Surmuletus, The Striped Surmulet</i>. (Courtesy Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library, Digital Collections.)

The Grand Temptation

March 2, 2020

Maybe Cape Cod is fertile ground for existential transformation. Something about the metals in its sandy soil catalyzing metaphysical shifts—I don’t know. All I know is I had my entire worldview rearranged when I was visiting its shores.

Family Matters

On Mother’s Day 2019, I take Mama to the home of her best childhood friend for dinner. Her friend’s family includes a sister, a brother, her friend’s father (still grinning in his midnineties), and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Over a dozen people all told. They’re an outgoing, good-looking bunch.


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Franz Kafka, a drawing from Diaries, 1910–1923, 1948.

The Missing Person

In July 1908, a twenty-five-year-old Franz Kafka quit his post at the Assicurazioni Generali with a medical note claiming he was suffering from “nervousness” and something potentially complicated having to do with his heart.

Story and illustration by Øyvind Torseter

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I was visiting my grandparents in the old house...
"We should have some cake after dinner."
"You need to think about your heart."

Photograph by Sara Fox

The North Woods

 1I used to dream about the dark. I was usually in the woods in the dream. There was an animal nearby, the dim reflection of lake water pushing through the branches.This night was similar: dark sky, blackened pines, pinprick stars. The only ligh [...]

Parasites


Para Mamita Juana, Papita Pablo, y Padrino Reden

Alma lost an eye when her house collapsed under ash. 
Milo severed his thumb por una bomba
Juana married John in Las Vegas.
Ernesto washed dishes in Hollywood until his skin cracked 
while impaled children lined El Mozote. 
I eat pan con café de palo for breakfast while David Bowie sings labyrinths 
to the tune of leather.

Illustration by Ryan Floyd Johnson

Tiger Ghost

Bridget is on her way to Mong Kok to buy a goldfish. She’s been told that they bring good luck.

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