The Kips
Small Change
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The Other Liberty Statue
Completely Dark, Can’t See Anything
Robert North's Reasoning
Believe In Yourself
Love Potion
Seek

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The Kips
The Kips

Kip named his dog Kip, so they would both come running if you called his name, and that’s probably the first thing you need to know about Kip to understand his reaction when Kip the Dog died. Kip had just thrown Kip the Dog a 10th birthday and invited his human friends and no other dogs. Kip the Dog didn’t like other dogs in the apartment, and it was his birthday, after all. That evening, after the partygoers had gone, Kip and Kip went on a walk. Kip the dog,…

Small Change
Small Change

Tim felt like his luck was changing. It was in the small things, like using the last of his body wash, shampoo, conditioner and face wash simultaneously that morning. The double-yolked egg he greeted with a yelp when he cracked it into the frying pan. His favorite pair of striped socks right on the top of his sock drawer. And then it was the slightly larger things – the breath of fresh air that greeted him when he opened his door, a check in the mail for a poster he…

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The Muddle

He went dancing with a girl once. Or, rather, he’d gone dancing a lot, with many different girls, but he’d only gone dancing with this one girl one time. She wore glasses whenever he saw her, but she didn’t wear them while she danced. That day, they had been working together in the office, when she extended the invitation, so he went. The music that night was indescribable, in the sense that he couldn’t remember it. The dance floor was packed, so they had to dance close. Now, he can’t…

The Other Liberty Statue
The Other Liberty Statue

The first nude model that the sculptor ever encountered looked startlingly like the Statue of Liberty, but the sculptor didn’t notice. Not then. He had other things on his 18-year-old mind. When he was packing up his things to go home from class, he caught her looking at him. He held her eye contact defiantly. She was wearing a thin burgundy robe with an even darker red sash, and it didn’t take the sculptor much to imagine what was underneath. He approached her, and asked her to dinner. She accepted…

Completely Dark, Can’t See Anything
Completely Dark, Can’t See Anything

He arrives on my doorstep wearing a backpack, which he never wears. He’s a notebook-and-pen type of person, everything else that you might carry in a backpack superfluous. “Happy Birthday, you 20-year-old you,” he comes into my apartment and pulls his backpack off of his back. “Feel any different? Any older?” Before he got here I was asking myself the same question. I was in my room with a towel around my body, just out of the shower, looking at myself in the mirror. My hair looked like thin black…

Robert North's Reasoning
Robert North’s Reasoning

It was the vigilante Robert North who divined that his second name was providence instead of chance. Born and raised on the coast of Maine, North looked to the sea, his eyes reflecting the slate grey of the Atlantic. When the sea looked choppy, he brooded on the state of America – American living, American decadence, American apathy. We were at our best when we were at war, he thought, as waves broke against one another, roiling with an otherworldly anger. We leapt forward when we had people to save,…

Believe In Yourself
Believe In Yourself

The call came the morning I finally gave in and decided to believe in myself. I was sitting on a bar stool in my apartment, perched amongst the destruction wrought by celebratory friends. Plastic wine glasses were everywhere, from a trash bag explosion. Champagne stained the carpet a light brown. Ryan had written a country tune for his kid sister to sing on her poorly selling iTunes collection, and Taylor’s people bought it instead. When Taylor’s people buy a song from you, you’re set. At least for a while. Ryan…

Love Potion
Love Potion

She didn’t know why she did it, but it’s working, so she’s glad she did. It came over her like a fever, and maybe it was a fever. Maybe the mushrooms that she was growing weren’t the kind that you were supposed to eat, no matter what the box said. Maybe someone poured something into the terra cotta planter at a party, and it changed everything. She ate the sandwich, and then she felt hot. She went outside and found a tree with stringy, supple bark, which she tore off….

Seek
Seek

Here’s the absolute best thing about modern life – the thing that makes living now better than living before. It’s a portable music player thing. I put thousands of songs on my iPod, and I walk around with headphones in. Lots of people do. But I play my songs in whatever order they want to be played. They shuffle, like a deck of cards – or like Vegas, with hundreds and hundreds of cards. In Vegas, sometimes, the exact right card comes up and you get your 3 of a…