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Cover
Table of Contents
Editor's Notes
Donations
Submission Guidelines
Website

Stories & Essays
'57 Chevy
_
By Gary Moshimer
A Visit to India From America...
_ By Shubha Venugopal
Calista Flockhart and the MySpace Hoax
_ By Michael Frissore
Recollections and Revelations
_ By Elizabeth Harbaugh
Springtime Visits
_ By Phyllis Link
Stupendous Stew
_ By Malerie Yolen-Cohen
The Genius
_ By Ray Templeton
The Stranger Below
_ By Sam Vargo
Truant
_ By Louise Norlie
Vacation
_ By Dan Devine
Vegetarian Rage
_ By John A. Ward
What Might Pass Between Them
_ By Alexandra Leake

Poetry
A Glutton For Truth
_ By Richard Fein
A Question of Proper Form
_ By Richard Fein
Boiler Man
_ By Leland Jamieson
Horizons
_ By Davide Trame
Lioness In Miniature
_ By Grace M. Murray
Outdone
_ By Pete Lee
Real Life Elocution
_ By Richard Fein
Rewriting An Ending
_ By Rumit Pancholi
September
_ By Tim Shell
Seven Ways of Looking at a Full Moon
_ By Naiya Wright
Shalom
_ By Jeanne Hugoe-Matthews
Sideways
_ By Kristine Ong Muslim
Spirit
_ By Patrick Frank
The Empty Spaces After You
_ By Rumit Pancholi
Thesaurus
_ By Ed Higgins
Uncle Zebulon
_ By J.R. Salling

Art & Photography
Dora Calo
Robert Carter
Noah Erkes
Andrew Patsalou
Saulius
Filip Wierzbicki

_

(Continued)

“What the hell?” I couldn’t help saying to myself. I almost made the turn around the cul de sac and kept going, but I was too interested. I walked to his door carefully. When I rang the doorbell Ty answered, to my delight, very clothed.

“Hey, Mac,” Ty said to me.

“Hello, Ty,” I replied. “Whatcha been up to?”

“Oh, nothing. Just doing some cleaning.”

Nude cleaning? I thought to myself. I didn’t say anything as Ty lead me into his bedroom, which, for a twenty-three year old man, was one of the funniest things I had ever seen.

He had rather infantile wallpaper with little bumblebees and frogs and Formula 1 racecars on it. It was downright adorable. The cutest one was the big pair of lips that said, “Kiss me.” The whole background of the wallpaper was denim. I could not imagine anyone having this wallpaper. As I might have guessed, Ty also had some pictures of pro wrestlers on his wall. I felt like I was in the bedroom on a twelve year old. Below the wrestling pictures sat a pair of bunk beds.

“Bunk beds?” I said. “What are you, pretending you’re in prison?”

“My dad’s gonna take the top one out,” Ty said. “My brother’s in college.”

“Where will he sleep when he comes home?”

“I don’t know. With your mother?”

It was comments like this that made me see why Ty doesn’t say too much at work. I laughed it off and turned around to see all the pictures on his bedroom door. It was a collage, a shrine even, of Calista Flockhart. There were no candles or anything, just pictures. Ty seemed to be into muscular men and super-skinny women.

I was so glad I came. I wanted to go back to work the next day and tell everyone about it. I’d never seen a nude man from the street before. I had never seen such silly wallpaper in anyone’s room over ten years old. Nor had I ever seen a grown man with bunk beds or an actual shrine. I was content with my discovery.

“Oh,” I said, “You know what, Ty? I actually have to go.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, my roommate wanted me to pick up some... pornography.”

“I have plenty if you want to borrow some. What do you want? All girl? Fat chicks? Amputees?”

“That’s okay, dude. I’m good.”

Ty lead me out the door. We said our goodbyes, I started another temp job two weeks later, and I didn’t hear from him again for nine years.

***

2006
I got a permanent job at another healthcare company. In seven years there nothing much had happened for me. I spent a lot of time surfing the Internet, and eventually started spending a lot of time on a site called MySpace, the community/friend sites normally for teens and college students. I got so bored at work I created a fictional female named Ruth, gave her a profile with a phony photo, and waited for the men to contact her. I can’t explain why I did this. It was just fun.

The first guy to contact Ruth was Charlie, a geeky-looking guy who wrote a sweet little hello:

Hey whats up. I’m 29 just moved to Boston from NY, transferred by my job. I really don’t know anyone here so I’m looking to make some new friends to show me around etc. If you would like you can Im me...

He proceeded to provide me with endless IMs, email addresses, and his cell phone number. He was a Yankee fan. I also noticed from his profile that he used “LOL” a lot. So I wrote back:

Okay, for starters, I don't like LOL. Get rid of it. Second, you might want to ease up on the gung-ho Yankee fan thing. These people are retarded; they'll bash a Sam Adams over your head as easy as giving a high-five.

P.S. Why not just give me directions to your house?

I don’t think he liked this because the rest of our exchanges didn’t go too well:

Charlie: well thanks for being completely bitchy to me, but hey I'm getting that most people in Boston are... LOL

Ruth: Ah, cheer up, buckaroo. I may not even be a woman.

Charlie: well thanks for that nugget of info on the back end

That was the last I heard from Charlie. There were a few others, but nothing prepared me for getting a message and friend request from Ty. It was simple and very Ty-like:

Hey, whatcha up to?

Ty

(Turn the page)