two from jmww

Not that they went under but their archives go to dead links. So here are two stories; “This Tornado Loves You”, Summer 2012 and “How to Give Dating Advice as a State Social Worker”


This Tornado Loves You

The next time the plane landed he didn’t run out to meet her like he used to. They still drove back to the house and made love but when they were finished his eyes focused out the window at the empty sky, the rusted car in her backyard and some squirrel that would only run off a few minutes later. The monthly bills she threw out the window whipped up into a circle and he said, “They chase each other around and around like a game of Ring around the Rosie. It was something believed was fun when you were a kid, but if you listen carefully to the song, it’s about a lot of people dying.”

“I’d heard it had nothing to do with that,” Sarah said.

He came every few weeks, and blew into Sarah’s life. The moment he left, her head was as disheveled as her small apartment; overturned and foreign to the controlled way she kept it. Even though he said he loved her, Sarah could never be a storm chaser because it felt too much like a game, a dangerous one at that. She couldn’t bring herself to wrap the idea of him, no matter how much she wanted to, around herself. She’d rather hang in her basement with her arms tightly clutched over a bent down neck.

It had always been like that. When she was a girl, she pitched penny into a well. When her father asked her what she wished for, she told him, “Another penny, so I could buy a piece of Bazooka.” He frowned, said, “You should have wished for a dime then.” Nothing was good enough.

Then, during the summer she spent in Missouri as a teenager with her mother, a tornado blew through. She wished it would dance across the field and lift the motel off the ground and take her far way to a new place; a new life. She wanted that badly, but it didn’t happen so Sarah ran out in the aftermath of the storm and dropped to her knees, the wind still strong enough for her to feel a fine coating of dust spraying onto her face.

Now the sky was turning a dark and sickly green when the taxi honked for him. He pulled up the suitcase up by the handles and later when the wind started to rise, Sarah realized how quickly things are destroyed.

How to Give Dating Advice as a State Social Worker

A meeting has to happen as Henry has an IQ of 86 along with extenuating circumstances in his file—as a teenager he had fucked his eleven year old sister. Official assessment: He didn’t know right from wrong. At the time he stated, “I am a bear.”

I’m no bear. Today Henry says, “It’s been a year already since I saw you?” I’m passive. He didn’t get arrested winter, spring, or summer, nor did he die. So I’m here now. It’s autumn. Henry’s therapist, Leslie Czchowski, sits with us in a basement that has cracked yellow and red paint floors. She has big round neutral glasses, a fat beaded necklace, and a sack-of-potatoes dress. Henry wants to put her picture in his cell phone for her ringer ID, which is labeled “who ja-ma ding/” “You can’t go there,” she says.

I tell him if he wants to impress a girl he should learn to cook. He shifts his body. I add, crab cakes work well. He rocks down hard, his head misses his knee, as he practically falls off the chair. “Dude, she’ll have to run to the bathroom.” He laughs again, “Doooode.”

Then he stops, “Sometimes I don’t shit for days.” Just when I think I hear “shit for brains” he says, “I’m sorry.”


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