City & Country
Featuring stories by Jackie Reitzes, Ben Compton, Jeanette Topar, Brady Huggett, and Mike Dressel; performed by actors Jere Williams, Amanda Renee Baker, Jonathan Harford, Virginia Bosch, and Denise Poirier. Hosted by Andrew Lloyd-Jones and Elizabeth Murray at KGB Bar on 5th September 2012.
There are 13 of us at the lake-house that weekend, no parents, no teachers. It is after the last day of high school but before graduation. We’re out on a motorboat on a lake—my friends and I, six boys and seven girls, the girls in J.Crew two-pieces, the boys in surfer trunks, and the sky is gray
I was brought in originally as a temp, my first real job in the city. It was my responsibility to answer mail, make sure his bills were paid, roll calls, etc. This was way back before most people had cell phones or e-mail, so any time my boss got an important message from a head of state or the Commissioner or someone like that, I’d have to go out on the roof and use the flood light to project the message into the sky. Things got so much easier after we got a sponsorship from a cell phone company. And when they invented text messaging? Forget about it. A gift from the gods
The sun hadn’t shone for weeks; it made Mona edgy. Every day since the beginning of June had threatened rain, but rain never came. Just clouds. Her husband, unlike Mona, didn’t get down about insubstantial things like cloudy days. “But doesn’t it bother you?” she asked, knowing it was useless to prod Wayne.
On their third day of sharing the barn, the buzzard brought Kenny a present: a small mangled carcass.
Kenny had taken up residence in the hay loft of the decrepit structure after being kicked out of his girlfriend Trudy’s apartment. Which came on the morning of him losing his job. Which was the result of his driving the delivery van, at that particular moment containing the floral arrangements for a well-heeled customer’s silver anniversary party, while intoxicated. Though Kenny would argue he was only under the residual influence of the beers he'd been drinking the night before, neglecting to mention or possibly remember the tall boy he'd gulped in the parking lot before getting behind the wheel.
At once the city’s countless, soaring buildings grew oppressive, and it seemed they mixed with the cobalt sky to press her down. In her apartment, on the train, sitting at her job, walking her small dog in the park – they were always above her, and their weight left her tired.