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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

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Recollections and Revelations
By Elizabeth Harbaugh


It was game day and, like all other game days, Julian and I were at the pub. We always went to the same place; the perpetually dark atmosphere became our home away from home when tournament season kicked in. It was there that we knew we'd be surrounded by fellow fans and would risk no serious physical injury. Besides, the beer was cheap.

Both employees and fellow patrons knew us there. "Jules and Adie" they lovingly called us - or even, when more inebriated, Julian and his Yank. When it came to those soccer games (and indeed it was highly scoffed at when I even referred to it as soccer), it was never forgotten or forgiven that I was an American. I was often the butt of many a joke or hopefully good-natured ribbing, and Julian couldn't always defend me. After all, sometimes you just can't argue with the English.

The pub was packed and, with some effort, we were able to weave our way up to the bar. It seemed it would have taken an act of God to get us a pair of stools in the crowded pub but somehow there they were, dead center of the bar, exactly where we always sat. The other regulars clearly hadn't forgotten us, even in their soccer frenzy.

"Pete!" Julian called over the din, waving a five-pound note toward the nearest bartender. "Two pints of Carling when it pleases you."

"Half a second!" Pete hollered in return as he hurried to pour several other pints for several other costumers. "Gimme half a second, Jules."

Pete was an old friend of Julian's, a recent friend of mine. They met in school, I believe the story goes, but Pete would give you a different, largely fictional story if you asked him. That wouldn't even be unusual for someone like Pete, who was as eccentric as they come. However, he undoubtedly grew on you. The longer you knew him, the more normal, and at times almost logical, he seemed. It's no longer shocking, or even atypical, for him to show up to a party in a sailor's cap, colorful suspenders and eye makeup - or for him to burst out into spontaneous renditions of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" after someone offered to buy him a drink at the pub. In fact, for Pete, and by association for the rest of us as well, these occurrences were at the height of normality.

"So how are you feeling about this game, Pete?" I asked, leaning forward to take a sip off the top of the pint he had rested before me.

"Match, love," he corrected me as he bent over, resting his elbows on the bar. "How are you feeling about this match?"

"All right... all right... how are you feeling about this match?"

"Well, I'm feeling pretty bloody good about it."

"Ah," Julian interjected, attempting to pay Pete several times only to have Pete repeatedly wave the payment away. "But Pete, their striker's--"

"In all honesty their striker's just all mouth and no trousers, really. You hear him yappin' on about how he's gonna score all these goals and everything, but the bloke hasn't done a bloody thing!"

"He's ace though when he needs to be," Julian said, taking a long swig of his beer.

Pete scoffed, shaking his head as he wiped down the bar and had several orders for beers yelled at him.

"All mouth and no trousers, mate. All mouth and no trousers."

It was hardly uncommon for Julian and Pete to have such conversations; in fact, it was stranger for them not to occur. Both of them knew more than any human being should regarding soccer, but together the two formed a sort of walking encyclopedia. At times it was dizzying to hear them throwing out names and statistics as if they personally knew the players they were discussing. But Julian loved it. I knew it was one of the few connections he felt he still had to the game he so fervently adored.

Seeing Julian so happy had become something of a novelty. It had been almost a year since the accident, and only recently had Julian returned to a state that might be considered normal. He smiled again, laughed and made jokes. He'd go out for drinks, and he generally seems to have a good time. But he still talked about it almost every day. How much he missed the game, how much he loved it. How if he had gone through that intersection just a second later everything would have been all right. How if he had taken an extra two minutes in the shower that morning, he'd still be considered one of the most promising candidates for a professional contract. Instead, I had spent that morning beside his hospital bed, listening in terror to a doctor reporting the grim details of the car accident: two badly broken legs, torn ligaments in his ankles and a broken right kneecap. Julian was lucky to have even survived.

When Julian was finally released from the hospital, complete with crutches, casts and a reconstructed kneecap, he took to moping about the apartment. Even when the casts came off and he got a job in a department store while he sought out other options and life seemed to be going back to normal, things weren't the same. He was moody and taciturn, and he refused to go out. Watching soccer matches on television was impossible with him at home, as I knew the mere sight of such a thing would only depress him more. One could not deny that things had gotten better, but there were still times when he seemed broken, as though he had spent his life since the accident doing nothing but seeking out a cure for his discontent.

It's no wonder then that he still cares so much.

(Turn the page)