Total Oblivion

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Skinny Dipping

Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

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Futures, Options, and Swaps (the weblog of Alan DeNiro)


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[10/10/2002 1:15:07 PM ]
Went with Quail to lunch today. I don’t know, some place with food and tables. There was service. She told me all about the minor details of her life, and then she said something about would you like to see the raccoon in my backpack. Is this some kind of phrase, I said. Some kind of red-handed innuendo. No, no, she said, it’s just a raccoon in a backpack.

Where did you get the raccoon. Did you find it already dead or did you kill it. (Although not as bloodthirsty as Evening, Q’s had her moments!)

At this point she began to grow exasperated. Her hands could have covered the whole table between us, or maybe the table was getting smaller. Look, she said, do you want to see the fucking raccoon or not. I’ve got it but I might not have it for long.

So I said ok, even though I really didn’t want to. But it seemed important to her, and therefore me. Her hair was whiter than a chameleon in a snowstorm.

She opened the bag.

The food was pretty good, though a little gamey. Digestive systems of older folk, even the Plantagenet royalty, who do not seem reality to me, must have been able to withstand a greater array of foodstuffs, with minimal processing. Though we think of them as dainty, elfin, surely they were hale. Even beautiful castles had all of those drafts, the wind trying to find a home between someone’s ears.

God it’s been AGES since I’ve seen Quail.

It’s still been ages since.

Sat, March 15 2003 » Evening/Quail

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