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He had a little radio, and on the mornings it snowed, he listened over and over to the lists of school closings until he knew them by heart: Kellerville area, Longstead area, Mount Holly area, all the outlying place-names, all the Our Lady of’s. Sometimes there was only a two-hour delay, and he wondered what it must be like, to have the boon of two extra hours like that.
And sure, not all moths were so blindly abiding, but that these grand ideas remained a possibility was often enough to console or comfort the moth. You see, the moth, culturally, was keenly aware of toxic attachments—meaning, they were rigidly open to all possibilities in an effort not to favor one delusion over another.
Sure, he’d miss chewing certain types of wood, the smell of garbage disposal, the indescribable pleasure of being shaded by a tree or large shrub. He could wait until spring, he supposed, to die among the scent of lilacs, one last taste of sweet pansy, a final sting of bee balm.
He sits alone on the beach with his feet in the sand, cigarette in mouth, eyes on the water, though there’s no one out here who knows him, and it’s not clear what he wants, unless what he wants is to be alone, in which case he picked the wrong part of the strand.
The weather is hot. The air conditioning is broken. Everyone’s body is aching. “You’re old enough to know.” Our parents, he says, agree: it is time for us to understand openings, to recognize that we are not pinatas. We are not stuffed with sugary candies in tight plastic wrappers. Streamers and noisemakers will not burst forth from our chests. We should not go at one another with baseball bats. Openings are not occasions for blindfolds.
The summer I was allergic to tap water was the summer I lost all my friends. School was out but nobody wanted to be around me except for Joel who wasn’t really my friend to begin with but sort of became one afterwards. It was understandable. I couldn’t shower and, well, to be perfectly honest, I smelled bad. Joel didn’t seem to mind, though. He worked the check-out at the general store and taped his ear to his head.
And V, who had been high all day and drinking since around 4pm, suddenly realized how fucking bored she was of all of it, of once again drinking her way through grad school in a cool city going to goth nights with people she was or wasn’t in love with and so V thought about getting up mid-sentence and leaving and calling her old sponsor and hitting up a late night AA meeting or maybe even just going home and getting some sleep or crying but instead she just listened to herself charmingly talk about nothing until she couldn’t stand it and asked the girl to dance.
As a kid, you don’t really know how swings work. You just move your legs and you get higher and higher. You find out later, regarding the swing, it’s because you are using your momentum through gravity, generating centripetal force to be exact, which creates a back and forth motion. But, for now, on that playground, your sister is swinging next to you and she laughs and yells, Higher! Higher!
"It captures all the doubts, giddiness, confessional streaks, blabbiness, self-alarms, rationalizations, feigned equipoise, and instantly breakable resolves of a person freshly infatuated and likely in love." -anonymous writer friend
“Lutz’s work is a marvel of the possibilities of language. Each of her sentences is an intricately crafted thing, deeply complex yet crystalline in its clarity . . . her command of each and every word remains supreme.”
--Mira Braneck, The Paris Review Daily
Garielle Lutz is the author of The Complete Gary Lutz, among other books.
"[Her Lesser Work] is a collection of mordant and formally inventive stories circling themes of, let’s say, desire and escape within repressive structures."
-Walker Caplan, Literary Hub
"Her Lesser Work is full of power and it takes risks and it's alive and real and it fixes a very sharp eye on the shit humans do to each other and themselves."
-Lindsay Lerman, LitReactor