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The Summer I Dated a Drag Queen
I went to London with trashy dreams, expecting to finally have the sexually free gay experience. I dated a drag queen one summer but it didn’t work out.
The Job Interview
Skint but with the mouth-watering prospect of working as a potwash in the local pub, famous for its aroma of old farts, Holly Watson reluctantly goes to a job interview.
Talking Soup Talks #2: Leah Mueller
Our editors sit down with writer and performer, Leah Mueller, to discuss her plethora of life experiences. Inspired by the likes of Don Marquis, Charles Bukowski and many more commentators of the underside of the American dream, Leah brings a great wealth of tales, from the crazy to the tragic. From working as a ‘sales clown’ in 1980s Chicago, to a short lived stint as a topless dancer in New Orleans, Leah’s writing takes in all aspects of American daily life, from the dead-end jobs to the humanity in mundanity.
Land of Eternal Thirst
Bisbee, Arizona. Leah Mueller talks of family, loss and going back to what you have always known.
In a powerful piece, Ramona Long reflects on her mother’s death from Covid-19, and looks back at her relationship with the beauty shop, one of the few all-female spaces in a male-dominated world.
Her Last Hurrah
As his mother-in-law’s mental health deteriorates, Jim Ross finds himself faced with the difficult tasks of looking after a loved one with dementia.
As part of a new series on parenthood, Dee Caples takes a look at the huge perspective shift from childhood to adulthood, and debates what parts to keep and what to throw out when we raise our own children.
With the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, John Smith looks at the fickleness and falsehoods that underly the outpouring of public solidarity.
In Search of 53 German Student Girls
The dance that night was in a converted cinema. We sat in the front row seats and watched the natives giving it, like it was 1919. Country and western was big in the hinterlands back in the day. Sugary sweet songs of the poor emigrant Paddy in his bed-sit in London, pining for his golden haired girlfriend and his silver haired mother while he drank himself into a stupor.
How Black Was My Thumb?
I finish my £8.30 pint and head for where I used to live. Why? I’ve started writing now, I might as well go. It’s an ex-council block. East London thick brick. Rubicon cans on the stairwell, faulty lifts. A kid called Abdi that tries to sell you weed every time you see him, even though you tell him that you don’t smoke weed. It was him that I thought I saw walking past the pub. He’s got a dog. He told me that it is was rare for a Bengali to have a dog. I wonder if he’s still here?
You didn’t want to make her uncomfortable by smoking in front of her, or subject her to secondhand fumes. You huddled in your bedroom with your stash, emerging when the coast was clear. Still, the smell should have been a tip-off. Not to mention your red eyes and dilated pupils.
And so I often find myself wandering through a hollow house alone, as he adventures to the tool sheds in the far corner of a backyard. I sift through the trinkets, the decorated knives, commemorative postcards, and wonder – who held these before me? I find a binder full to bursting with buttons of all types and sizes and colors. What hands carefully sewed each into place?
The Beautiful Game
We stood on the terrace, a paltry sprinkling of crowd awaiting a corner. Those whom we had come to see stood at arms’ length, the accentuated shouts, the frenetic panting and the smell of turf and bloke as vivid in my mind now as it was a solid 20 years ago.
Searching for Thrills
It’s a typical Saturday night at the Java Jive. The bar is a Tacoma institution, a one-time home to two pet monkeys appropriately named Java and Jive. The monkeys are dead now, and so is your marriage. You’re singing karaoke because you’re trying to forget everything. You’re a lonely 41-year old single mom with two kids and a decaying house on the north end of town, and you know what it feels like to have your thrills vanish. So you’re singing your lungs out, and some guy bites your foot.
I have killed her in my head more times than I can count. I have attended her funeral. I have wept on her grave. I have cried alone in a room littered with pill bottles and years of filth because I wasn’t there to save her. Every unknown number from Connecticut is her final plea for forgiveness before she swallows the pills or slices the blade across pale blue-veined wrists. I am a bad son. I let her do this. It is all my fault.
Cheap cotton tank top stuck under my armpits, the summer heat was making us light extra candles and pray for extra $5 donations. I was cheap and stuck at Saint Joseph Oratory under Mary’s smile and she gazed at her feet and I felt her son didn’t really save me. You had sad eyes and your hair was the best thing in the heat.
A Happy Ending
The affair happened more than ten years ago. We worked together on a project with four other colleagues. She was married and had two small children. During the holidays, she texted me several times saying that she was thinking about me. The first two or three messages, I ignored. I erased them. I seriously thought she was a no-go. The fourth time, I wrote back: “You’re married.” I thought that would end it….
Q&A with a Popular Tinder Blogger
We hear from the author of ‘My Tindertainment’ a popular online tinder blog detailing one girl’s sexual encounters in the tinderverse.
Stealing My Story
After Rolling Stone famously retracted their ‘Rape on Campus’ story, Joy Saint James ponders whether we have started to lose faith in first person accounts of rape.
The Christmas Disco
Holly Watson takes a retrospective view at a school Christmas Disco
Temping in America: Part III
The conclusion of Matt Micheli’s journey through temping jobs in America.
Boys, Booze and Bathrooms
Laura Smith documents the “living for the weekend” lifestyle in middle America in a tale of boys, booze and bathrooms.
Nothing Too Special
Sex post break-up proves nothing too special for our protagonist.