February 23rd, 2009

Admirable Words (I’ve lost track of the numbers)

I was putting together a set of great short-story openings for my class on ideas, and this is one of my all-time favourites.

I grew up in small-town Ontario, moved away for university, moved to Toronto to start working, but after four years the work-station walls were closing in and I was spending part of the day in the washroom reading children’s book. Then I had a panic attack.

I was sitting in a stall with Peter Pan on my knees when a co-worker opened the washroom door and called my name. Apparently I was wanted. I arrived at my boss’s office to finder her seated at the conference table with our VPDP, our vice president of development and production: a twitchy, beige-suited man whom I’d spoken to only once, during a quiet elevator ride in which he’d turned and, as if clearing the air between us, said, “You’re anorexic, aren’t you?” Just slim, I assured him.

–from “The Cosmic Elfs” by Sharon English

The author, by the way, is reading at The Box Salon this Wednesday, as is the wonderous Claudia Dey, and many other fine folks. Coming?

I wanna be the one

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