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Twelve Dollars

John Briggs, Editor Connecticut Review Connecticut State University System 39 Woodland Street Hartford, CT 06105-2337

Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 2487 Hartford, CT

This edition features the works of: Jim Barnes J. Karl Bell Joe Cantrell Cathy Caruth Peter J. Caulfield Grace Cavalieri Stephanie Cherolis Robert Collins Nicole Cooley Lorien Crow Charlotte Crowe Rusten Currie Meryl DePasquale Katrina Emery Elizabeth England Chris Farrell Natalie J. Friedman David Lee Garrison Rolandas Kiaulevicius Zoltan Krompecher Pamela Leck David Leeson Valerie B. McKee Robert Philen Aimee L. Pozorski Jessica Roth David Sahner Martha Serpas Irene Sherlock Nicole Simek R. Clifton Spargo Jennifer J. Thompson Katharine Weber

SPECIAL TRAUMA SECTION includes Cathy Caruth, David Leeson, Grace Cavalieri · CSU and IMPAC award winners · Andrei Voznesensky · One-act comedy on marriage

Spring 2006

Spring 2006 · Vol. XXVIII No. 1

Connecticut Review

Connecticut State University System

Spring 2006 · Vol. XXVIII No. 1

Connecticut State University System David G. Carter, Chancellor The Connecticut State University System (CSU), consisting of four universities and a system office, serves more than 35,000 students. CSU, the largest public university system in the state, has a distinguished history. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in New Britain, one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Connecticut, was established in 1849 as a normal school. Also established as normal schools were Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) in Willimantic in 1889, Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven in 1893, and Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in Danbury in 1903. Today, CSU provides affordable and high-quality, active-learning opportunities that are geographically and technologically accessible. More than 160 academic programs are offered throughout the CSU System, and more than 6,000 degrees are awarded annually. CSU graduates think critically and possess the problem-solving skills necessary for success in the workplace and in life. CSU alumni number more than 150,000 and are leaders in business, government, industry, science, education, and the arts. Board of Trustees for the Connecticut State University System Lawrence D. McHugh, Chair Cerissa Arpaio Richard J. Balducci John A. Doyle Theresa J. Eberhard-Asch, Secretary Fernando Franco Elizabeth Gagne Angelo J. Messina John H. Motley Karl J. Krapek, Vice Chair L. David Panciera Ronald J. Pugliese Peter M. Rosa Carl Segura John R. Sholtis, Jr. Rev. John P. Sullivan Gail H. Williams

Connecticut State University Consultant Dean Golembeski ISSN#00106216 Copyright © 2006 Board of Trustees, Connecticut State University System Connecticut Review is indexed in The American Humanities Index.

Spring 2006

Board of Editors JP Briggs, Senior Editor Western Connecticut State University Stuart Barnett, Editor Central Connecticut State University Meredith Clermont-Ferrand, Editor Eastern Connecticut State University Vivian Shipley, Editor Southern Connecticut State University

Consulting Editor Andy Thibault trauma sECtion Editors Stuart Barnett, Aimee L. Pozorski, Stephanie Cherolis ProduCtion Editor Jane Walsh managing Editor Kathleen Butler dEsign Editor Jason Davis intErns Lorien Crow, Eileen Dorcey, Ian Dunbar, Heather Gunnoud, Amy Ingalls, Aaron Kupec, Val McKee, Lisa Siedlarz, Marilyn Terlaga, Pat Vidal

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The text of this book is composed in 10 point Garamond BE, and the display fonts are Helvetica Neue and Trajan.

Inside This Issue

T -- Trauma section

poetry

Robert Collins David Sahner

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Origen's Angels: The Fall .............................14 Epicurus Counsels the Moderns ..................62 The Heart For It ..........................................102 No Name Storm..........................................135 The Boat Shed .............................................136 A Future With Hope ...................................137 Coming Home: A Soldier Returns from Iraq (Excerpt) ..................................138 The Last Time I Saw My Brother Alive .....158 Hunger.........................................................159 The Shangrila Hotel ....................................170 The Princess and the Pea ............................172 To Have and Not to Have ..........................175

Grace Cavalieri Martha Serpas

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Zoltan Krompecher Irene Sherlock Jennifer J. Thompson Nicole Cooley

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fiction

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Jim Barnes Peter J. Caulfield Katharine Weber

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The Sound of a Harmonica ............................7 Dancing into the Bright Moonlight .............53 Green Thumb ................................................63 Second Sorrow ..............................................85 A Fireman Walks In ....................................131 Settling Matters ...........................................149

R. Clifton Spargo Pamela Leck Elizabeth England

interview

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Aimee L. Pozorski

An Interview with Trauma Pioneer Cathy Caruth ...............................77

essays

Robert Philen Aimee L. Pozorski Natalie J. Friedman J. Karl Bell Cathy Caruth The Stories We (Don't) Tell: On Ethnographic Storytelling...................15 Trauma's Time ...............................................71 Inherited Trauma: A Member of the Third Generation Speaks .........................115 Return of the White Plague ........................163 Confronting Political Trauma.....................179

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articles

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Stephanie Cherolis Nicole Simek

When Laguage Fails: Witnessing Holocaust Testimony..............93 Pierre Bourdieu & the Subject of Trauma...139

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translations

Katrina Emery David Lee Garrison Luna de Miel (Honeymoon) ..........................25 by Yolanda Pallín The Nose ......................................................60 by Andrei Voznesensky

awards

CSU Art Award

Rolandas Kiaulevicius The Dream ..................................................103 Cowboys and Indians .................................183 Butt-Antlers & Ignorant Suburban Trash ...189 Heirloom .....................................................196

CSU Fiction Award

Lorien Crow

CSU Essay Award

Meryl DePasquale

Leo Connellan Prize

Valerie B. McKee

Leslie Leeds Prize

Chris Farrell Cuatras Miradas (Four Looks) .....................197

IMPAC­CSU Young Writers Awards

Charlotte Crowe Jessica Roth Korean Laundry ..........................................198 Growing Citrus............................................200

artwork

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National Archives

A house before & after an atomic bomb .....70 Ruins seen from Circular Church, SC .........73 View of a V-1 rocket over London ...............92 Children waiting outside the wreckage ......121 The Dream ..................................................103 Battle for Al Kifl..........................................104 Barred Owl ..................................................105 Sparrows in Snow........................................106 Storm ...........................................................107 Shoreline .....................................................108 Iraqi Army Dead .........................................109 Dew on Grass ..............................................109 Tears for a Comrade ....................................110 Through the Looking Glass ........................138 Mounting of the Heroes at the Vietnam Wall ...........................................178

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Rolandas Kiaulevicius

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David Leeson

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Rusten Currie Joe Cantrell Artists' Statements

David Leeson ..............................................111 Rolandas Kiaulevicius .................................194

Contributors' Notes ...............................................................................202 Cover Photo: David Leeson, Spc. Jesse Blancarte fights back tears at a memorial service in Baghdad for PV2 Gregory R. Huxley Jr., 19, of Forest Port, NY, who was killed in action April 6, 2003. Digital original, 2003

Jim Barnes

The Sound of a Harmonica

he boy had never heard it clearly before today. The other times it had been only a hint of a note or two on the wind. He had never given it much thought at all. But he had stayed away from the hill because of what he had been told. A child had fallen in the well in the clearing on the hill and drowned, and for years afterwards there seemed to have been a presence about the place that nobody had ever really seen. His father said several times that he had heard the sound of a harmonica coming from the hilltop each morning as he led the team of horses to the field beyond the branch to break ground for last spring's planting. This evening the boy was having a hard time getting the milch cow to head toward home and milking. He should have brought the collie, he told himself. But his mother had warned him about siccing the collie on the milch cow. It was hard to control the dog once he got going. Ever since the boy had been old enough to not get lost, he had had to go get the milch cow each evening before sundown. She always grazed in the back pasture when the gate was down, and it had been for several days now, since he and his father had gathered the small patch of ripe sweet corn between the woods and the branch. His father had studied the almanac carefully for many a night and had decided to take a chance and plant in late winter in the full of the moon so they could have roasting ears before summer if they were lucky. They had been lucky: there was no frost. The cow was there now for the green stalks left after they had snapped the ears of corn off, and she seemed not to want to go to the barn for feed and milking. This evening he had had to chuck clods of dirt at her to get her to move, and then when she tried to circle back, he had even thrown rocks to get her on course for home. When he got her as far as the hill, she bolted straight up instead of taking the trail around the base. He had little choice but to run after her. The sun was sinking low onto the trees, and he would have to hurry because his mother would be at the barn by sundown ready to milk the cow. He was out of breath by the time he broke through the trees and came to the top. Here was the clearing where once a house had stood. The house had been torn down and the lumber used to build the one he and his parents now lived in a quarter of mile to the east, by the county road. He knew his great aunt once lived here on this spot. He could see half a wall of the old

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log barn still standing and the corrugated sheets of rusted tin that were once its roof. The cow was nowhere in sight. He sat down on a rock at the edge of the clearing to get his breath before trying to find the cow. She had probably circled back behind him and was by now once again in the back pasture. He should have brought the dog, he told himself again. There was a low warm wind from the south blowing across the clearing and on it he detected the sound of a harmonica. The soft hairs on his arms and neck rose. He listened carefully and heard the clear notes but could not recognize the tune. It was slow and full of sorrow. The sadness of it gripped him for a moment. He thought of his brother, who was in the war over there. The sound fell away to almost nothing. But it was still there, and he listened calmly, trying to determine where the sound was coming from. There was nothing on the hill except the tall grass, the fallen log-barn, and the hand-dug well, which was covered with two sheets of the rusted tin from the remains of the old barn. He rose and walked over to the well. The sound of the harmonica retreated, seemed to circle the clearing. He could barely see the water in the well when he lifted the tin. The hole was dark and smelled like rotting wood. The sound continued to ride the wind, like the diminishing drone of propellers that often cut across the sky. He walked over to the pile of logs. He could find nothing out of the ordinary. His father had told him that a child had fallen in the well a long time ago and drowned. He knew his father had not meant to lie but rather meant to keep him away from the very real danger of the well. He sat on the logs and listened as the harmonica grew soft and far away now, then closer, then far away again. Twilight was coming on, and although he did not believe in ghosts he had to admit that it was strange to hear something so real and not find the source. It bothered him that he could not account for the sound of the harmonica. Still, he was old enough to know that sounds would carry for miles if the weather conditions were right, echoing off hill and hollow and flowing across the fields. The trouble was that he didn't know anyone for miles about who played the harmonica except his brother, and he was a long way away, over there in England in the Eighth Air Force. He circled the hill looking for the cow among the bordering trees. Then on a clear patch of ground that once was the road leading down the hill, he saw her tracks. They seemed to be heading for the barn. He stopped and listened over his shoulder. He could hear the faint sound of the harmonica back up the hill in the clearing. When he was in the clearing, it seemed the

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sound was there and all around at the same time. Now as he passed on down the hill in the ruts of the old road, the sound grew faint, then finally stopped altogether. He squatted and saw the cow's tracks again. She was making a beeline for home now. He listened again for the sound and heard nothing except the slow beginning of the night. He climbed over the wire fence of the cowlot. At the barn he could hear the plink-plink of the first streams of milk hitting the bucket as his mother began her nightly chore. The cow stood still, quietly eating the shelled corn in the manger. He ran his hand along her side. She was warm. --You have to chase her a bit? his mother asked. --She just didn't want to come in, he said. --You don't want to run her too much. She's going to calve before long. We'll have to stop milking her in a few days. He nodded, then told his mother about the sound of the harmonica. She seemed to turn pale in the twilight. She shook her head twice and crossed herself. Then he told her that he had heard it before, but never so clearly as today. --It's a sign, she said. The boy had heard her say that before about other things. And his father, too, for that matter. There were so many signs of things to come that he could not remember them all. A sign the war was going to go on. A sign that Hitler was going to be killed. A sign that somebody else was going to die. A sign that the crops would fail. There were all kinds of signs for all kinds of things, usually bad. --It's a funeral sign, she said. We need to pray. He knelt with her in the dried cow dung and listened while she prayed to Holy Mary, Mother of God. When she finished, they stood together in the dusk and listened quietly for the sound of the harmonica. There was nothing riding on the breeze, which itself was slowly dying into the coming night, except the sound of crickets and tree frogs wishing for rain and the collie scratching at ticks. The boy heard his father open the barnyard gate and bump the bucket of slop against the hog trough and heard the sound of the fat sow and pigs sloshing about. The horses were bumping about at the manger on their side of the barn. All the sounds were familiar. His father and mother talking in low tones was a sign that the world here was all right just now, no matter what other signs there were or what might come. Their words seemed to go

Jim Barnes

floating on and on forever just above the ground out toward some destination only the words could know. The calf came a few days later, and the boy's father turned the cow and calf out into the back pasture together. For two weeks, the boy heard him say, so that the calf can have all the birth milk. The boy kept going after the cow each evening in order to put her and the calf in the barnyard for the night. While the calf was still small and didn't have strong legs, the boy knew it was the thing to do. A coyote could bring down a young calf if he wanted to and there was no protection but a silly old milch cow. With the calf at her side, she was easy to drive along the trail around the hill where the old well was. The boy could tell she had no inclination to bolt away and leave the calf behind. Afterward, when the calf was taken from the cow and kept in the barnyard and allowed only to nurse mornings and nights for a few minutes before his mother milked the cow, the boy had to drive the cow to the back pasture or she would have simply stood at the barnyard fence by the calf all day as she did all night after the milking. The good thing about it was that in the evenings, when he went to get the cow, she made a beeline for the barnyard, beating him home by a good ten minutes. As the summer wore on and the calf got stronger and the milch cow more insistent, the barnyard fence began to sag in weaker spots where they strained to get closer during the night. One night the netwire sagged just enough for the calf to squeeze through it and the two strands of barbed wire above it. When the boy went out with his mother in the morning to let the milch cow into the lot, they discovered the escape. --You'll have to run down the culprits, she told him. We'll have to skip the milking this morning because the gentleman has already taken care of that. The boy would bring the cow and calf to the barnyard and separate them, then drive the cow back to pasture and close her in for the day. He figured they had already headed to the back pasture, for the cow preferred to graze along the side of the meadow by the branch in the shade of the trees during the heat of the day. The calf had been grazing, too, for several days in the small pasture next to the barn, slowly forgetting the milk of his mother and becoming a bit of a nuisance, nudging the boy when he wasn't looking, then spooking away before the boy could swat him.

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But today they were both escapees that had to be brought back and dealt with. The boy considered punishment and concluded keeping them separate most of the time was punishment enough. If he and his parents wanted to keep the cow for milking, then the separation would have to continue. The boy's mother would want the calf to be completely weaned before long. The boy and the collie had walked the length of the meadow along the branch and had even at one point crossed the branch and gone in under the dark trees on the north side, where the dog bolted after a squirrel. The cow and calf were nowhere to be seen. He now doubled back, whistled the collie to his heel, crossed the meadow, and was walking the fence line, broken up by occasional clumps of blackjack oaks and blackberry briars, to make sure they were not hiding out under the low limbs or obscured by the tangled briars. He determined that he had walked enough ground and that the cow and calf must not be in the back pasture. That left the forty-odd acres between there and the house, which consisted mostly of scattered timber and scrub brush, except on top of the hill where there still was some pretty good native grass. The boy dreaded climbing the steep hill with its stunted trees and rocks that didn't really seem like they belonged. They had the look of mountains about them, and the mountains were ten miles away. Half way up, when he stopped to get his breath, the collie leapt on ahead. When the rattle of dog paws on the rocky hillside subsided, he heard the sound of the harmonica. He caught his breath, held it, and listened. The same sound he had heard before came softly to his ears, the sound of sorrow or of loss. And, like before, the same sensation flowed through his body. He told himself that it had to be a trick of the wind in the trees or blowing through some cast away wire caught in limbs or something that could be explained. He himself could make a whistle out of a smooth green stick cut off a hickory limb, by slipping the bark and whittling a notch just right. He knew his mother would say it was a sign and cross herself. But he didn't cross himself. He just stood and listened and wondered what in the world could be making the sound of a harmonica and doing it over and over again day after day. Old Mister Holland could play a harmonica well, but he lived clear over in Summerfield, back of the post office, and never did play when he was still-hunting squirrels. His brother could play, too, but he was over there, somewhere in England or flying over Germany. He heard the collie bark somewhere on top of the hill. It wasn't a bay or a trailing bark. It was

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different. The boy hurried on up, and when he broke through the blackjacks, he saw the cow and the collie standing by the well. The cow was butting at the collie as if he were a threat. Then he heard the calf. The cry was almost human, full of panic and pain, but low, barely audible, then louder as the boy ran to the well. Part of one of the sheets of corrugated tin had slipped into the well, leaving half the well's mouth exposed, and the calf had probably stumbled into the hole while at the cow's udder. The calf was swimming still, so tired now that just the nose and eyes were above the water. The boy could barely reach down to the calf 's head. He managed to grab the calf 's nostrils with his thumb and forefinger and bring the head up enough to then grab an ear, then the calf 's neck, and finally the forelegs. Lying spread-eagled he heaved with all his strength, then rolled onto his back, and the calf came slithering out of the well and on top of him. There were slime and slobbers all over his clothes. The calf could barely stand up, and when the cow began to lick it, it fell down and lay still for several minutes. After the cow had licked it good all over, it finally stood on wobbly legs and began to nudge the cow's bulging udder. The boy covered the mouth of the well with the rusting tin and took some of the smaller rotting logs and a large deadfall limb to put on top. He knew something would have to be done about the well soon. Perhaps he and his father could fill it in. But it could be too deep to fill. It would be easier to build a housing for it. The cow was still trying to butt the collie when he got close to her. The boy called the collie back behind the cow, and the two of them drove cow and calf toward home and barnyard. In the excitement of getting the calf out of the well, the boy had forgotten the sound of the harmonica. He stopped to listen and held the collie by the neck. The sound was still there riding on the slight breeze from the south, perhaps not so sad or sorrowful as he had heard it before, but still sad nonetheless. Not long afterwards and on a Saturday when the boy was out of school, he and his father hitched up the team to the wagon and drove down to the Fourche John bottoms to Self 's hardwood sawmill and got some green oak slabs. They built the well housing out of them and rigged a pulley for a rope and bucket so that water could be drawn. The boy was proud of the job they had done. His father said that it wasn't much, but it would do for a spell

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anyway. It would keep the stock from falling in and drowning. They sat on the hill surveying their work and listening to horses' harness rattle when they shook their hides. There was no sound of music of any kind except the wind in the limbs of the trees at the edge of the clearing. By the end of June, the boy's school was out and the crops laid by. The long days of summer had begun. It seemed to the boy that he had too little to do. But he would squirrel hunt and look for wild bee hives when his father didn't need him to help with the work. Or he would sit on the front porch and wait for the mail carrier to arrive in his old Ford. Sometimes there would be a Montgomery Ward or Sears Roebuck catalog he could look at. He was sitting on the porch one morning and saw a brand new Ford approaching slowly. It wasn't the mail carrier's. It was dusty, but the boy could tell that it was the olive-drab army color. The boy's mother was on the porch holding her hands over her mouth. The driver nosed the car up next to the front gate and asked the boy if he had the right family. He called their name, but didn't pronounce it right. The boy said that he guessed so. Then he saw that driver wore a military uniform and was a sargeant but he didn't look old enough to be one. The soldier got out of the car with a yellow sheet in his hand. The boy's mother went to the gate. "Missing in action," the boy heard his mother read with a strained voice. The soldier stood by the car looking down at his dress shoes, said something the boy could not hear, then got back into the car and left. The boy's mother put a hand over her mouth again. The boy knew she would not cry for him to see, no matter what the news was. He knew the news was bad. It had been too long since they had had any V-mail from his brother. Every night at milking time, the boy's mother would listen for the sound of the harmonica. At times the boy heard it. At other times the mother said she did. The boy didn't know what it meant, if anything. He had grown accustomed to the sounds and the silences in between, and they did not disturb him. In fact, he told himself that it was a good sign, that his life meant something, even if it wasn't much except going to school and helping his mother and father whenever he could. His mother prayed each time she heard it, and the boy thought she was hearing it at times when it really wasn't there. But he felt that there was some comfort in it for her. The chores had to be done: the cow milked, the hogs slopped. Everything would go on as before. The boy would hear the harmonica or he would not. They would wait for word or sign. There was little else that they could do.

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Robert Collins

Origen's Angels: The Fall

One of the fathers of the early church, Origen believed that the angels fell because they grew tired of adoring.

How many eons had actually elapsed, their shining heads bent in ecstasy, their awful wings gathered around them, before the mind of one too easily distracted began to wander when he felt how sorely his broken back and knees were aching, beads of sweat trickling under his wings, about to swoon from basking too long in the unrefracted radiance of God? Glancing round at his rapt companions whose numbers stretched in all directions ad infinitum away from the beatified throne, he couldn't help but wonder if any of his cohorts felt the same way he did--a little bored, on edge and uncomfortable, maintaining the pretense of piety because not enough was transpiring in heaven to keep the archangels absorbed, and angels were meant to be messengers who deliver the unspoken word of God, not fawning, undignified sycophants. How many more ages came and went before that restlessness inevitably spread and entire phalanxes of angels began to awaken, wondering what they were doing wasting time and most of eternity stupefied with awe, until that first rebel unfolded his wings, stood up slowly on stiff haunches, turned away from the startled throne, and strode without looking back straight toward the abyss?

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Robert Philen

The Stories We (Don't) Tell: On Ethnographic Storytelling

ome stories have power. They have the capacity to reaffirm or to change the ways people think, or perhaps simply to make them think, if only momentarily, about something previously taken for granted. However, the effects of such powerful stories are not always those intended by the teller. One such powerful story is the tale of a small incident in the life of Malito Chávez. Malito was a young boy (he turned three in the two-month period when I knew him), the son of a middle-class family in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, whose income derived from several newsstands around the city. I lived with this family for one summer while I was studying Spanish at a local language institute. One afternoon, I was in the walled courtyard of Tia Chagua's house (Tia Chagua was Malito's great-aunt, and his father Jorge's aunt) along with Malito and Jorge. Tia Chagua's house was just around the corner from the Chávez house, and during my stay, I was almost as frequently in the one house as the other. The exterior of Tia Chagua's house, like many other middle-class houses in Oaxaca, was not much to look at and, also like many other middle-class homes, co-existed on the street and in the neighborhood with the mean hovels of the poor (which in some cases consisted of little more than plywood and cardboard shacks and in the better cases of small cinder-block houses). Inside the courtyard, though, was a different world. The ground was carpeted with thick green grass. A tree shaded one corner of the yard, including part of the concrete patio, which jutted out from the house into the courtyard. The inside faces of the courtyard walls were covered with stucco, in contrast to their unadorned exteriors. The only visible reminders of the outside world were the shards of jagged glass clearly embedded in the tops of the walls to deter would-be thieves. On this particular afternoon, I was relaxing in one of the plush chairs on the patio, sipping naranjada (a sweetened orange juice beverage), snacking on escabeche, and enjoying the sight of Jorge and Malito engaged in a game. (As an aside, one oft-remarked feature of Mexican cuisine is the tendency for food to get hotter the further north in Mexico one is. While the food of Oaxaca is certainly spicier than that eaten by most North American Anglos,

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it is nowhere near as fiery as that of northern Mexico or New Mexico. I became the object of amusement in the Chávez household, as the gringo who eats chiles, my first day there. Not realizing that Oaxaqueños typically do not eat the chiles in escabeche, which are simply there to make the other pickled vegetables a bit picante, I scarfed down several chile slices in succession and was met by the shocked faces of the entire family.) Their game was quite simple and was clearly the source of the greatest entertainment for Malito, who had not quite turned three years old at the time. He would run full tilt at his father and leap into his outstretched arms. After a quick hug, his father would release him and Malito would tear around the courtyard in a large circle as fast as his little legs could carry him until he came full circle to leap once again into his father's arms, all the while screaming in glee at the top of his lungs. This was repeated several times until, on one circle of the courtyard, as a clearly tired Malito was within about fifteen feet of his father, he stumbled. He didn't simply fall to his knees, though, or fall backward. He went flying through the air and landed hard, face first, and skidded several feet across the ground on his face. As he lifted his face, bits of turf stuck in his hair, he immediately began to cry. His father, now standing over him, shook his finger at Malito and commanded, "¡Sé hombre!" ("Be a man!"). Just as quickly as he had started to cry, Malito stopped and rose to his feet to stand tall in front of his father, lip quivering from the effort of holding back his tears. After several seconds, his father knelt down and smothered his son in an embrace.

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What is the significance of this story? I certainly have my interpretation. This is one example of the process of socializing boys to be men in Mexico and as such is related to that broader shibboleth of "Mexican Machismo." At the same time (like so much else about gender constructions in Mexico), it is not particularly dissimilar from similar examples of the socialization of boys to be men in the US--though I suspect the incident would be less likely to be capped with a hug, especially from the father. But here, rather than simply expanding upon what I see as the significance of this particular ethnographic anecdote, I prefer to discuss the way in which stories like this one are generally received and interpreted. A few months after the above-described incident, I was back at my graduate studies in anthropology at Cornell University in beautiful (in terms of landscape) and god-forsaken (in terms of its isolation) upstate New York. I

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was a teaching assistant, along with five other anthropology graduate students, for a large section of Introduction to Anthropology. To give us graduate students some small experience in lecturing to a large crowd, as well as to give the undergraduate students some broader sense of the range of things that anthropologists might research, the instructor of the class had each T.A. give a short presentation related to his or her research interests. In an attempt to make my presentation interesting, I related the above story of Malito to them, followed by a short interpretation of what I found significant about it. I tried to emphasize to the class first, that this was an example of how masculinity is inculcated, as well as of the reaffirmation of standards of masculinity already inculcated (with the swiftness of Malito's ceasing to cry clearly indicating previous socialization not to cry), and second, that though the anecdote illustrated Mexican patterns of socialization, there was nothing uniquely Mexican about it. Similar patterns of socialization are present in other places, too, including the US. In my experience throughout the US, most grocery stores have very definite class connotations to local people, even if the realities of who shops at which store don't always correlate perfectly with such perceptions. Despite my best efforts to provide an interpretive frame for the story, the story was powerful in a direction precisely contrary to what I had wanted to convey. About a week after my presentation, one of the other T.A.s, a good friend of mine, approached me and said that though he had thought my presentation was good and not particularly problematic, he wished that I hadn't given it, as his students' interpretations of it were problematic. He had had to spend an entire discussion section arguing that my presentation had not been proof positive of the horrific qualities of Mexican machismo and Mexican men, including trying to convince one Latino student that his own culture wasn't wrong-headed. As a result, I didn't use this story in teaching for quite some time, precisely because of its power. Recently, however, I did tell the story to students in my "Cultures of Mexico" class at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, fortunately, to different effect (at least so I think and hope). This time, in addition to my interpretive framing, I added an additional, short anecdote about an incident I had recently witnessed in a local supermarket

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(again, stories can have power in ways that "interpretive framing" usually does not) to reaffirm that there is at least commonality in the socialization into manhood in Mexico and the US While shopping I had encountered a woman and her young son (probably between one and two years old). The young boy had begun crying at the top of his lungs while sitting in the shopping cart. The woman snapped at her son, "Shut up boy! You ain't got nothing to cry about. Shut up." Though the boy's crying did not stop quite so quickly at Malito's had, he piped down relatively quickly as well. This anecdote, though, was not an unfiltered presentation of an incident at a local grocery store, of course. Like all narratives, its details were presented in a particular way, with some of the possible range of details included and others left out. I didn't bother to tell my students, for example, that the incident took place on the canned vegetable aisle and that I was looking for canned tomatoes at the time, just as I did not tell them about eating chiles en escabeche when relating the anecdote about Malito. There were other, more socially significant details, which I also intentionally omitted. This incident had nothing to do with race. I've seen so many similar incidents over the years, involving white and black participants, that it's difficult to recall any particular one (and the main reason I could recall this specific incident is that I had just seen it a day or two before). In this particular case, the woman and her son happened to be black, but that was something I didn't dare tell my students, because I knew how some, at least, would interpret it: it's not just Mexicans, but blacks, who raise their sons to be macho misogynists. Of course, race is still involved in the telling of the story, because I was well aware that if I didn't actually say "black," most students (and most people in the US) would assume the participants were white. In contrast to many other parts of the US, though, the verbatim quote, "Shut up boy! You ain't got nothing to cry about. Shut up," is not racially marked in this part of the Southeast as it might be elsewhere, but is instead typical of the speech of many working class individuals, both white and black. I also attempted to omit the most obvious markers of socioeconomic class from my narrative to my students. For example, I didn't mention that the woman wore sweatpants and a sweatshirt, which were tattered and a bit dirty. This isn't to suggest that only poor people ever appear in public in tattered, dirty sweats, but the woman's apparel certainly marked her as poor. Here, things are more complex. When discussing socialization of gender construction, and especially of masculine behavior like not crying, I don't

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think race per se has that much to do with it, but socioeconomic class does have some bearing. But I did want to avoid having my students think, "It's not just Mexicans, but poor people, who raise their sons to be machos who can never cry." The reality is more complex than that, and since I was trying to convey the simple point that while machismo is part of Mexican culture, machismo isn't uniquely Mexican, and that we shouldn't essentialize Mexico as the land of macho fools as opposed to the enlightened USA, then it didn't make sense to even bring up socioeconomic class. I feel that I probably failed in this, though, for I realize that I did include a piece of information, in addition to my verbatim quotation, which tipped my hand on the woman's class background. I mentioned that the incident had taken place at the local Winn Dixie. In my experience, throughout the US, most grocery stores have very definite class connotations to local people, even if the realities of who shops at which store don't always correlate perfectly with such perceptions. In both Pensacola and Athens, Georgia, where I lived for two years, Winn Dixie is a grocery store chain local perceptions associate with poor people, and, in fact, the particular store where the incident occurred sits nearby a low-income neighborhood, and most of its customers do appear to be poor. I was shopping there because it also happens to be the closest grocery store to my house, though I do not happen to live in the lowincome neighborhood. Reasons for class associations with particular stores are not always so clear as the fact that this Winn Dixie is located close to the residences of many poor people. In Athens, the Winn Dixie was located right across the street from the Harris Teeter­a very definitely middle-class store­and neither was located in a residential neighborhood at all. I was always struck by the fact that prices were higher at the Winn Dixie, but most poor people shopped there because they seemed to think the Harris Teeter would be too expensive for them. In fact, supermarkets in poor areas (or more often the convenience or corner stores that don't really take the place of non-existent supermarkets in poor areas) or supermarkets catering to working class and/or poor people are frequently more expensive­the poor pay more for food. But what was especially striking in this case was that the two were directly across the street from one another. In any case, I fear that by siting my anecdote at Winn Dixie, and not simply omitting the location or lying, I may have once again undermined the very intent of my storytelling. But then, I suppose, such is the way with stories.

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If some stories have power, others lack power. It's not that they aren't interesting or amusing, necessarily. They may even be memorable or be frequently told, but they don't affect people in ways that have an impact on how they look at and interact with the world. Having read many, many ethnographies, I know that the story of Malito could easily be the centerpiece of an ethnography, as a story which illuminates something fundamental about a particular culture. There are other sorts of stories that anthropologists (and others) frequently tell, but that are never regarded as particularly important--certainly not important enough to be part of ethnography (which is to say they are not deemed to be particularly illuminating), except perhaps as an introductory anecdote to self-reflexively mock the naiveté and inexperience of the ethnographer during early stages of field work. One such story took place in the very same courtyard at Tia Chagua's house. In my enthusiasm and lack of language skill, I apparently missed a subtle cue that a little more than small talk was going on. In quick succession, I agreed that I liked tamales, both sweet and savory; I liked mole; I liked tacos; I liked chile rellenos; I liked carne asada; I liked refried beans; I liked huevos rancheros. It was the day Malito turned three, and Malito's parents were holding a large birthday celebration for him. Since Tia Chagua's courtyard was larger than the Chávez's, the fiesta was held there. The extra room was important, for all the close relatives and their children, as well as many friends of the family and their children, were in attendance. Around fifty people were crowded into the courtyard, with children running all about. Fireworks were set off intermittently, and a clown was in attendance to provide entertainment, but the greatest excitement (for the children and the adult spectators) was the three piñatas, which were broken in turn by the blindfolded children, spilling their contents of candy and small toys on the ground to be snatched up by the youngsters. There were bountiful refreshments for the guests on a table laden with various sweets: red-dyed tamales dulces, and a plethora of cookies, candies, and cakes. I had already sampled several of the sweet tamales and cookies, when I picked up a small cake wedge to try. It was a triangle of white sponge cake with chocolate frosting, topped with a white, sugary glaze. Or rather,

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Robert Philen

that was what I saw and therefore expected. Once I recovered from my momentary revulsion over the taste that was now in my mouth, I gradually began to realize what it actually was: a triangle of white bread, topped with refried black beans and slightly melted queso fresco, which was quite tasty once I got used to the fact that I wasn't eating white cake with chocolate frosting. This wasn't the only time with the Chávez family and food that what I perceived and what was were fundamentally at odds. As I said above, I was in Oaxaca for Spanish language study. Part of my fee to the language institute went to the family for my room and partial board, which is to say breakfast. One morning, what I saw served for me on the plate was wide pasta noodles in a tomato-based sauce topped with melted cheese. Once again, my perceptions were fundamentally at odds with what was there. The wide pasta noodles were strips of corn tortilla simmered in the sauce. The tomato-based sauce was in fact a tomato-based sauce, but in the manner of a typical Mexican salsa rather than the Italian-esque sauce (such a sauce is not as uncommon as one might think in Mexico) I was expecting with the pasta noodles--actually quite good once I knew what to expect. The melted cheese turned out to be mayonnaise, which was unfortunate from my perspective as a lifelong mayo loather. (I never did get used to the Oaxacan penchant for slathering mayonnaise atop any number of dishes--though I did develop a habit of ordering all food sin mayonesa, just in case.) Not all my experiences at the Chávez table were so trivial. Others, I felt, were illustrative of important aspects of local culture, in particular of local standards of hospitality and economy. On the day of my arrival at the Chávez household (keeping in mind that I was there to learn Spanish), there was very little we could talk about, not because we had nothing to say to one another, but because we lacked the means to communicate, I not speaking Spanish and they not speaking English. We made small talk, very slowly, by passing a Spanish/English dictionary back and forth. After I picked up on the word for "to like," "gustar" (with no pretense of conjugation), most of the conversation consisted of questions about whether I liked this or that. Eventually the conversation moved to the topic of what foods I liked. I quickly warmed to the topic, as there are virtually no Mexican dishes that I don't like (I may not like them with mayo, but I do like them), and this was the one topic where I already knew much of the vocabulary. In my enthusiasm and lack of language skill, I apparently missed a subtle cue that a little

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more than small talk was going on. In quick succession, I agreed that I liked tamales, both sweet and savory; I liked mole; I liked tacos; I liked chile rellenos; I liked carne asada; I liked refried beans; I liked huevos rancheros. The next morning when I came down to the first breakfast served to me by the Chávez family, I realized to my embarrassment what the food conversation had been all about. Every single item of food that they had asked me about, and which I had agreed that I liked, was laid out on the dining table waiting for me. Needless to say, I couldn't even eat a significant fraction of the food laid before me. The next morning, the breakfast prepared for me was also far too large for me to possibly finish, though it didn't literally cover the table as the first morning, and at least I did not feel guilty or at fault this time. The following morning, breakfast was still monstrously large, though it was, I noted, slightly smaller than the day before. This continued, with each day breakfast getting a little smaller, until after about a week, the breakfast served to me was equal to what I could actually eat, and I finished all of it. This was another mistake, though one which pinned down for me what was going on. The next morning, there was once again a huge breakfast banquet arranged for me. I realized that it was important for them as hosts to give more than I could consume (I was, of course, paying for breakfast, but indirectly through the language institute, such that our direct personal relations still followed a host-guest relation), but given also the gradually shrinking buffet, as well as the evident fact that though not poor, the Chávezes were also not wealthy, that it was also important to not waste more money than necessary. Over the next several days, I let the breakfast gradually dwindle back to reasonable portions, then established an equilibrium whereby I ate nearly all the food, but always left a small portion on the plate. What makes some stories powerful and others not? What makes some worthy of inclusion in ethnographic writing or classroom teaching, which is to say, what makes some stories representative of a particular cultural milieu and others not, and so only worthy of retelling (if at all) as minor anecdotes at a bar or in the halls of an academic meeting--but never at the podium? One possible answer is that those stories that are powerful and illustrative are those that make some difference. In my relations with the Chávezes, it made some difference, a great deal actually, how much breakfast I ate, whereas my reaction to the tortilla, salsa, and mayonnaise dish made no difference. I do think this is part of the answer to the questions at hand,

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but only part, because what does or does not make a difference is relative, of course, to the question at hand. Stories about how much breakfast I consumed only make a difference if it's agreed that hospitality is a crucial concern, and whether a dish is topped with mayonnaise or not makes a great deal of difference if you loathe the stuff. Further, literal misperceptions of food could tell us something significant about subtle distinctions in foodways. The presence of white bread topped with refried black beans amidst a spread of "sweets" or tortilla strips topped with mayonnaise at the breakfast table tripped me up. Such narratives could easily be an entrée to an examination of subtly distinct cultural constructions of food and meal types, e.g., what counts as a breakfast food, a snack, a sweet, and so forth, but somehow such narratives or discussions never make it into the ethnography of Latin America. Another aspect of this is the nature of such storytelling, whether in the ethnographic enterprise or otherwise. Here I take insights from both LéviStrauss and Foucault. As Lévi-Strauss put it, myths and mythic thinking are powerful and compelling because they are "good to think" (a formulation which is, of course, circular if we do not push it further to ask why some stories are good to think). As Clifford Geertz pointed out well before James Clifford, George Marcus, and the rest of the Writing Culture crowd, ethnographic writing is fiction, not in the sense of being untrue, but in the original sense of the word fictio, to craft or to make--that is, ethnographic writing is constructed narrative and not simple reflection or presentation of what is. I would argue further that most good ethnographic writing is not just any sort of fiction, but mythic thought, or at least something structurally analogous to it. In many of his writings, Lévi-Strauss illustrates the qualities of mythic thinking through analogy with music. In both myth and music, the production of meaning consists in novel and particular manifestations of recurrent themes. In music, without the particular, and hopefully novel, manifestations of the theme, no music exists to be enjoyed. Without the theme to orient our interpretations, we have simply noise and chaos. In the ethnographic literature, there are particular broad discursive constructions of specific world areas, which provide an emphasis on particular themes for ethnographic narratives. For example, there is broad consensus that hospitality is a major area of concern for studies of Mexico, alongside other important themes like machismo, religious syncretism, mestizaje, and progress. Such constructions are, like all linguistic and cultural constructs,

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arbitrary. This does not mean that they are random. On the contrary, though Mexican cultural constructions and both Mexican and North American discursive constructions about them could have been different in form, they are highly patterned in their occurrence. Nor does it imply that such recurring themes in the ethnographic literature do not reflect something really there in Mexican culture, though there is also some projection of North American imaginary Mexicos, and these two things are hard to disentangle. In any case, though the recurring themes of discursive construction of Mexico or any other world area are in some sense arbitrary, seen in terms of Foucault's work, it is apparent that they become fixed through the concrete exercise of power. In the context of ethnographic writing, this takes the forms of literature reviews, peer review of journals, prestigious conference panels, research funding, comprehensive exams, and dissertation defenses, all of which force budding scholars to occupy themselves with dominant preoccupations. The end result is that there are certain themes one has to address in dealing with any particular culture area. One does not necessarily have to agree with any particular perspective, but to be taken seriously, one must address certain themes, resulting in a plethora of perspectives on a limited number of things. Compelling ethnographic narrative, then, does not generally address something utterly new and unknown but works and is powerful, as with mythic thinking, which seems good to think, by putting a novel spin on the familiar theme. To return to Lévi-Strauss' analogy between mythic thinking and music, when the main theme is missing, one has simply sound (which may be momentarily interesting, even beautiful, but which is not structured music). Those stories which fail to address important themes (that is, those themes which have been constructed as important), while perhaps funny or amusing, lack power and end up as the ethnographic equivalent of mere sound.

Yolanda Pallín

Luna de miel (Honeymoon)

CharaCtErs: HE, recently married to she sHE, recently married to he They enter. Both dressed for a wedding: she, in a wedding dress with a tulle veil, white of course; he, in a tux. He carries her in his arms. Music, for example, "Endless Love." They laugh, flirt, play. They kiss. He exits, but not from the scene. Here, when one exits, one never actually exits the scene. She sits and waits. A tense wait. A long wait. The music plays on. He enters with a plastic bag full of food. They look at each other anxiously. The music stops. The words, the imaginary situations, and the spoken thoughts all begin at the same time.

thE First storm Clouds hE: I'm back already. shE: Already? hE: There was a long line. shE: Oh, a line. hE: At this hour, it's packed. shE: What?

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hE: What what? shE: What do you mean what? hE: Are you kidding me? shE: Oh geez. . . .

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hE: Well, then? shE: What? hE: So you're saying yes? . . . shE: Yes. hE: You should have said so before. shE: And? hE: Here you go. shE: No. hE: What do you mean no? Come on. Give me a hand. shE: Sorry. I don't know what I'm saying. I'm confused. I am truly confused. Understand me. You understand me. I had a terrible day today. Do you understand? hE: You don't love me.

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shE: Of course I do, sweetie. hE: No. You don't love me. If you loved me, you would accept me as I am. You would accept our life for what it is. You insist on getting on my case every time I go to the supermarket. To go grocery shopping at the supermarket is a very normal thing. I won't do it everyday. But there are people that do do it everyday. They write what they need on a little piece of paper, and this is called a grocery list. They go down the stairs, cross the street, enter the supermarket, look on the shelves for what they wrote down on the little paper, which we already know is called a grocery list, when they find it they put it in the cart, they go to the cash register and pay for it all. They pay with cash or with a credit card. Get it? It's a boring thing. It's a real pain. There is nothing exciting about going grocery shopping. Not one bit. Seriously. shE: Did you get it?

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hE: All of it. I got everything that you wrote on the list. shE: Are you sure? hE: You see how you don't love me? shE: Maybe not. hE: See? shE: I didn't say no. I said maybe not; it's not the same thing. hE: It's all the same to me. shE: Well, it shouldn't be the same. hE: Let's just drop it. shE: I'm going to drop it. hE: It's dropped. shE: Did you see anyone in the supermarket? hE: In the supermarket? What supermarket? shE: You didn't go to the supermarket. hE: Of course I went to the supermarket. shE: I said, you must have seen someone. hE: Who? shE: I don't know. What do I know? That's why I'm asking you. hE: Ah, that's why. shE: Yes. That's why.

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hE: And? shE: What do you mean and? hE: I don't understand you. shE: Finally. hE: Finally? shE: You're acting crazy. hE: Do you wanna know what I bought? OK. I bought eggs, lunch meat, milk, three cans, two of tuna and one of sweet red peppers, strawberry marmalade, and a loaf of bread. OK? shE: And the mayonnaise? hE: Damn. I forgot the mayonnaise. shE: That's why you took the list. hE: I thought I would remember it.

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shE: That's why you left it on the table in the kitchen. hE: Really? shE: Yeah, really, mister. Really. hE: Don't worry. I'll go right now for the mayonnaise. shE: No you won't. hE: But, didn't you want me to buy mayonnaise? shE: Before. Before I wanted you to buy mayonnaise. And frankly, if you want me to tell you the truth, it wouldn't have mattered to me if you bought a red dressing or yogurt for the salad. It was for the salad, you know? But

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now it doesn't matter to me. It's not that. hE: Where's the list? shE: I threw it in the garbage. hE: Great. shE: Yeah, whatever. You forgot the window cleaner too. hE: No, that's not true. You see, I don't buy that. You didn't write down the window cleaner. I'm sure of it. shE: If you had a good memory, you would have gotten the mayo. hE: What's wrong with my memory? shE: I don't know. You tell me. hE: Nothing's wrong with my memory. That's the point of a grocery list. So you don't waste brain cells on nonsense. shE: Then you did it on purpose. hE: Forgetting the window cleaner? shE: No. Forgetting the mayo. hE: Unless . . . shE: What? hE: That you also forgot to write down the mayo. shE: We should've called in the order. hE: Did you write down the mayonnaise? shE: You know perfectly well that I did.

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hE: It's expensive. shE: The window cleaner? hE: For them to bring the groceries up to the house. When you get just a few things, it's not worth it. shE: But when you get a lot, yeah, then it's worth it. hE: Of course. shE: Of course. We should save. For the future. You never know. Things change. Definitely. That's that. hE: I really love you. shE: Of course. hE: I still love you. shE: That's why you go grocery shopping and, yeah, you chat with the cashier. That's why you pay a visit to the neighbor's house and you return with a dirty neck covered with fuchsia colored lipstick. That's why your condoms magically disappear from your nightstand. That's why the telephone rings and they hang up when I answer it. Yeah, that's why, because you love me so much; that's why and because you're a man and everyone knows how men are, right? They know. Of course they do. That's why and because you are scared of me. Deep down, from now on, everyone is going to be scared of me. Including myself. dEClaration oF PrinCiPlEs hE: I knew the first time I saw you that I was being cornered by a wild beast. Wild beasts have long hair, long nails, sharp as their tongue; they are cold and hot and sweet, or so it appears in the beginning. They are so sweet. If you're not careful, the wild beasts will eat your guts out. She was my wild beast, and I dealt with it with my head held high. I always knew. The first time I saw her.

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shE: Do you have a girlfriend? Do you come here a lot? Do you like the movies? Have you been to New York recently? Will you buy me a drink? hE: I was crazy about her. shE: Like all the others. hE: I liked her. I liked her. I liked her a lot. shE: A lot. You liked me a lot. hE: I've never been to New York. shE: Neither have I. hE: I didn't have a girlfriend. shE: You've always had a girlfriend. hE: No. Then I didn't have a girlfriend. shE: Have you ever been to New York? hE: I didn't want to have a girlfriend. Who wants to have a girlfriend? shE: I had many. hE: You? shE: I haven't told you about them? Yes. My neighbor from the third floor. The cashier from the supermarket. My secretary. hE: You don't have a secretary. shE: No? hE: I have a secretary. shE: Maybe that's it.

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hE: And I've never been to New York. Well, at that point, I had never gone to New York. Later, yes. shE: How can you live without a girlfriend? hE: Very well. I manage just fine. You don't have to give any explanations. Nobody smells your clothes. You can put all the names you want in your address book with corresponding numbers too. shE: Are you married? hE: I told myself, she's a wild beast, I'm going to marry her; I'm going to control her; this one won't get away; this one is all mine. shE: You're married. hE: Now I am. shE: What a shame. I did like you. But sure, married men are very intimidating. I wouldn't want to destroy a stable and happy home for anything in the world. Because you are so happy. Yes, you can see it on your face. You are well fed. Only marriage can give that kind of attractive glow. Right? hE: Are you married?

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shE: Me? Never. hE: You're a wild beast. shE: I am a wild beast. hE: You eat children raw. shE: Yes. hE: Then eat me. shE: If you take me to New York.

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hE: I'll take you if you unleash me. shE: I'll unleash you if you love me. hE: I do love you. shE: Do you want to marry me? hE: For what? shE: So you go to the supermarket when I tell you to. No. No. Better that you don't go to the supermarket. Better that you stay put here, nice and warm. Watching television. You don't know how attractive you are. There. Good. There. thE Wild BEast shE: Once upon a time, there was a very smart girl, very smart, and everyone used to say, what a smart girl, when this kid grows up, everyone knows, the poor guy who falls for her. And she said, yes. Poor guy. Listen, honey, it's ringing. It's for you. Yes. I'm sure it's for you. Aren't you gonna get it? Hello. Hello. You see. It was for you. No. Forget it. It's fine. I'm getting used to it. That's all. Oh, yes. So when the girl went to grade school she received many A's and then more in high school and even more in college. But the girl knew that she was something hidden there, and she read all she could to be well informed and searching, searching, she found it. My love. Again. Of course they're calling for you. I would take a message, but they won't leave one with me. Yes? Hello? Nothing. What an idiot. Whoever she was. And what did she find? Literature. Lies. Stories. She liked stories. All us girls love stories, you see. Even though she was smart. How ironic. Boys with girls. Love and sex. Mostly sex, over and over. Sex, sex, sex. Sex. She studied the most complicated positions and the techniques most guaranteed for success. She tried them out. She made the Dean's list several times. Her resume stood out with glory and splendor. Gold and sex. And marriage. Imbecile. OK. I'm coming. Yes? Yes? Hello? Hey, please don't hang up. Hey. Hey. Don't hang up, girl. Wait, I'm telling a really good story. Of course, I'm sure you'll like it, and besides, it will do you good. The most important thing is

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that we stick together. You'll see. The girl grew and grew and learned the important things in life, and someone told her that the most important thing was to make her man happy. And she made him happy. And he slept with the neighbor. Yes, sweetheart, before you, it was the woman next door. And before her . . . oh, you are the woman next door. I'm sorry, sweetie, it's just that I thought you were the one from the supermarket. Yes. The bleached blond. You don't say. Really? Well, honey, I hate to give you the bad news. If I find out . . . well, I'm already in a big mess. You take care of it. No. I won't tell him that you know. OK. But don't be too tough on him. He's had a terrible day. Good. Talk to you later. Yeah, girl, whenever you'd like. On your behalf. It'll be no big deal. I know how it works. Well, you'll learn, just like all the others. That's that. All right. One less woman. Yeah. If it were only that easy. initial dEClarations shE: I love it. hE: I like it too. That's why I brought you. shE: Do you like me too? hE: More or less.

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shE: You do like me. hE: Yes, silly. shE: You're silly. hE: You're sillier. shE: Yeahhhhhh. hE: What do you want to drink? shE: I don't know. Whatever you'd like.

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hE: I recommend a "queen's love." shE: Yummmm. hE: One-third Advockaat, one-third cherry brandy and one-third grapefruit juice, topped off with a delicious maraschino cherry. Exquisite. shE: Advockaat? hE: Smooth and creamy. shE: Does Advockaat have egg in it? hE: Pure yolk. shE: Like the ones at Santa Teresa? hE: You don't like them? shE: I feel like throwing up just thinking about it. hE: No, honey. Forget the Advockaat. Goodbye to the egg. shE: Please don't say it again. hE: How about a "kiss me quick"? shE: Whenever you'd like. hE: Now.

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shE: And what's in that one? hE: Not egg. shE: Please. hE: One cup of Pernod, five shots of red curaçao, and five shots of Angostina. They make it right in a tall glass with crushed ice. With a splash

Yolanda Pallín

of club soda? shE: And a straw? hE: If you'd like. shE: OK. Sounds great. hE: What's wrong with the Pernod? shE: With the Pernod? hE: Is it the curaçao? shE: No. It's the Pernod. hE: Really. shE: It's that . . . I'm embarrassed to tell you . . . well, it's that a few years ago I got so drunk off Pernod you can't even imagine. . . . hE: Off Pernod? shE: Yeah. In Paris.

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hE: In Paris. shE: Yes, when I was studying French. I spent nine months in Paris. I like to travel. Traveling stimulates the imagination. I know my way around. hE: And you took up Pernod. shE: Just once. hE: But who would even think of getting drunk off Pernod? Sorry, it's just that Pernod is expensive. shE: Yeah, I know. And thanks for the drink, I appreciate it.

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hE: Well, I don't know. . . . shE: Go ahead. Try it and see. I don't bite. hE: A "relax"? shE: Yeah, that sounds good to me. hE: Are you gonna want? . . . shE: Sure. hE: Me too. A "relax" is a simple but sophisticated cocktail. They don't make it just anywhere, you know. Actually, it's pretty hard to find a place that serves a good "relax". . . . shE: And here they make them super incredible. hE: Well, yes. shE: And? hE: An herbal tea of lime blossom, one-third gin, sugar, and fresh mint. shE: Lime blossom tea makes me sleepy, I'm allergic to gin, and sugar makes you fat. But I'm crazy about mint. Oh, I know. Order me a malt whisky straight up, no water and no ice. hE: No ice? shE: Better yet, a bourbon. hE: Sir, can we get a double bourbon and a Coke. No, the Coke's for me. Caffeine-free, please. shE: I love this place. hE: Do you want to marry me?

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shE: Sure. Yeah. Why not? hE: I love you. shE: Me too, honey. Me too. douBts? hE: I'm not faithful. I don't know a single guy who is faithful. Faithfulness only exists in the crazy minds of women. Women's minds seem to go crazy during the same time that they are married. So? I love fruit. And I eat fruit whenever I can. And nothing happens. Nobody comes and crushes your skull for eating one and a half pounds of kiwi. shE: Gastrointestinal problems from a number of possibilities. Vomiting. Diarrhea. Anxiety. Upchucking of the intestinal flora. Acidity. Poor thing. My love. hE: No. I'm not faithful. It's the voice of my ancestors. The call of the jungle. The greatest instinct. One of the fine arts. The best one of all. shE: Do you use condoms? hE: Yes. I mean, what?

CONNECTICUT REVIEW

shE: Did you grab the umbrella? It's raining. hE: It's only drizzling. shE: But you never know. hE: Instinctual perpetuation of the species? shE: That's nonsense. hE: No. That doesn't work either. With her, no. Not now. shE: I think I'll go.

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hE: No. I'll go. shE: Sweetie. It's my turn. hE: Yours? Well, if you're innocent. shE: Yeah. That's why I'm fed up. hE: Already? shE: Already. I'm going to the supermarket. Do you want me to get apples? hE: Why? shE: I don't know. Are there some left? hE: Maybe there are, maybe there aren't. Doubts? I know. You know. Doubts are a waste of time. Doubts don't let us function. Doubts depress us. Don't doubt, my love, don't let yourself do it. Life is beautiful, we're young, we're healthy. . . . Are you sure that you want to go shopping? Did you make a list? Do you have cash? Did you grab the umbrella? shE: I don't rely on lists. hE: It's not like I'm trying to make you. . . . shE: Because I'm your lawfully wedded wife? hE: Plums. I'd rather you buy plums. If it's not too much trouble.

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shE: I'll put it on the credit card. hE: No, not the credit card, it always leaves a paper trail. shE: Yeah, you're right, sweetie. hE: Then comes the bill, and you know the rest.

Yolanda Pallín

shE: Experience is a degree in itself. hE: Be careful. shE: Do you think it's gonna rain? hE: Yes. I'm unfaithful. If I'm not unfaithful, I'll die. If I don't discover, aim, uncover, and arouse, then I don't sleep well at night. And if I don't sleep, I'll age prematurely. And if I turn myself into a wrinkled raisin, then you won't love me anymore. And if you don't love me anymore, my love, then why would I want to live. Tell me. Why in the hell would anyone want to live? shE: I'll be back soon. hE: Yeah? shE: In a hop and a skip. Easy as pie. One minute here and gone the next. I do it for you. For us. For all this. morE douBts? hE: Me and my wife, I didn't just meet her on the street like the famous saying goes. Me and my wife, I don't remember how I met her, because I'm sure that she is the one who met me. You know how things work. But, it didn't happen on the street because she hardly ever goes out. For the time being. In my opinion, it's better that she stays at home, curled up watching TV. Meanwhile, I'm going to take over the jungle, I'm going to fight crocodiles . . . come on, you're not going to tell me that you don't fight crocodiles. They're not crocodiles? Come on. They're crocodiles. When I was little, they told me all about it in school; my mother used to tell me all the time when she put my bologna sandwich in my lunch box; all the women I loved told me until I was sick of hearing it. Of course, that was before. They're crocodiles, and that's that. If I knew where she came from, maybe I would understand her. Or where she goes. But, it's too early. Still too early.

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Yolanda Pallín

She thinks . . . well no . . . I pretend that . . . I do know . . . but I don't know. Don't I wish. What do I wish? I'm not sure. And all of a sudden comes the first anniversary, then comes the day when you have to carry your first-born up to the altar for Communion . . . or worse than that. Then comes the day and . . . what? What have you done? What's happened? Where did I leave my socks? Can you tell me where I've been all this time? Can somebody tell me why? thE Cotton tEst shE: Young man. hE: Who, me? shE: Yes, young man. You. May I. You see, it's that I have a doubt, I doubt, and if it's not too much trouble . . . No? . . . Are you alone? hE: Now? shE: In life. hE: Well, yes. I'm alone in life. I have a modest apartment that is about two-hundred square meters, a loft, to be exact, with a view of the beach and the mountains. I'm a computer engineer, specializing in high definition interstellar telecommunications. I make about three trillion each quarter. But I do work on the side once a while, which gives me extra income. I'm tall, as you can see yourself, and I'm blond, obviously. In the winter, my skin is transparent and extremely smooth, and in the summer, my skin turns a golden brown color that contrasts quite nicely with my greenish-blue eyes. I don't wear glasses. Of course. I've never had a cavity. I don't know the meaning of the word headache. I can lift dumbbells with my pinky toe on my left foot. I don't have a mother, or a father, or siblings, so, when I say that I am alone in life, what I'm really trying to say, what I'm saying, is that I'm not married. I'm not married. I'm not married. I'm not married. shE: Do you snore?

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hE: Not at all. shE: The thing is. . . . hE: Miss. You don't know how happy I am that you came up to me. I've had my eye on you for a while now, but my excellent manners keep me from approaching such an attractive young lady like yourself without having been introduced. shE: Do you think I'm hot? Be honest. I don't want to be old-fashioned, that's why I'm here. But, I don't want to be shameless either. hE: Oh stop. What is considered a lack of delicacy in a man can turn out to be seductive in a woman or it can even be a turn-on. shE: Are you turned on? Do I turn you on? hE: Well the truth is, yes. A lot. shE: Are you sure? Am I sexy? Me? hE: Do you want to be my wife? shE: Me?

CONNECTICUT REVIEW

hE: Say yes. shE: It's that, I am married. hE: Liar. shE: Don't kid me. It's obvious. Or isn't it obvious? If it's not obvious, then this is a disaster, a trap. It's not obvious about him either? hE: You make my heart pound, sweetheart. shE: Help. It has to be obvious. There has to be . . . a difference. hE: Don't be scared. I know how to treat a princess. A queen. You want it

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just as bad as I do. You're dying to. Tell me you're dying to. shE: So, call me a nympho. hE: Your husband is watching you through a little hole. Your husband is shaking with anger. Say hello to your husband who can't seem to take his eyes off you. shE: I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity to say hello to my husband who's watching me and by the way, remind him to take the pan off the burner, the potatoes should be well done by now. hE: OK. shE: It's that, when you're in a hurry. . . . hE: Nympho, you're more than a nympho. shE: Nothing, nothing's obvious. hE: What do you like the most? shE: I like everything. Everything. Whatever you want. Whatever you feel like. Me, I almost never care, all in all, if you like this, then this, and if you'd rather have that, then that. I'm not picky. Whatever. hE: It's your first time. shE: Am I making a fool out of myself? hE: Don't worry. There's a first time for everything. You picked a good one, baby. shE: Really? hE: Do you doubt it? shE: Me? Me doubt? What a funny thing to say. Me, doubting. No. No way. Doubts really damage your skin, and for all the trillions you make, you can't

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afford moisturizers and facemasks and anti-aging creams and. . . . No. Come on. It's now or never. hE: Aren't you gonna ask me something? shE: Do you like to travel? hE: Naturally. There's nothing better than a cruise through the Greek Islands to drive a woman crazy. Do you want us to go, the two of us? Now? shE: Why didn't you ever get married? hE: It's that I'm unfaithful. shE: I love you. hE: But you can't. . . . shE: Another day? hE: Call me whenever you feel like it. I'll be here at your disposal. shE: Sounds great, I'll call you.

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hE: Hey, you forgot to get ham. shE: Yeah. I just realized it. this Cannot BE haPPEning to mE hE: My wife is what I love most in this life. So I married her. So that she could be my wife. Not so that she could walk out of my life. If I catch my wife with someone else, if I find out she is looking at someone else, if I find out she is thinking about someone else. . . . I don't know. I don't know. I don't even want to imagine it. It's too soon. Women only do it out of boredom. That's what they say. It's too soon. My wife spoils me. My wife loves me. I love my wife. My wife? Yeah? What did I do? I did it. Yes. I tell myself from time to time so that I don't forget. My wife and I.

Yolanda Pallín

My wife. She's mine. Only mine. And me? I'm mine too. Although, maybe they do it out of sheer spite. Where did I read that? In which debate on TV did they say such a stupid thing? It was a mistake to come home so early. But we are modern. The honeymoon is old and boring. If I'm old and boring, my wife . . . no. Not now. Not yet. She's late, damn it, the nympho herself is late. The nympho herself isn't coming. The pig herself doesn't even call me, or send me a telegram, or give me an explanation. Not even a little lie. Is it raining? We are civilized. She and I. A civilized marriage. Young. Attractive. Healthy. We eat fruit. Was that? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. gusty Winds hE: Already? shE: It was closed. hE: What a pain. shE: I wasn't gone long. hE: A little while. shE: Just a little. hE: Hardly at all. shE: I forgot to bring money. hE: I told you to.

shE: And what's even worse is that it started raining cats and dogs, and I just got my hair done this morning. hE: I'm happy, sweetie. Really. shE: I'm not. hE: There's a little melon left.

Yolanda Pallín

shE: Thank god. hE: Maybe another time. shE: You think so? hE: I'm a modern guy. Would you like a whiskey? shE: No, alcohol makes you gain weight. I'm stopping. I'm a modern woman. hE: A coke? shE: Diet. hE: There's none left. But don't worry, I'll go over to the neighbor's house--she always has some. I won't be long. shE: Take an umbrella. Just in case. hE: Here we are already. shE: Here you are already.

CONNECTICUT REVIEW

hE: I don't understand you. shE: Yes. You understand me. And I understand you. We understand each other. Sure we do. We didn't before. Now you'll see the difference. You won't be long. And when you get back, we're going to go on our honeymoon like we're supposed to. It will never be how it was. Never ever. The idea was both of ours. I already know that. But it was stupid, a foolish idea that you get in your head. We both got it in our head. Nonsense. Who would think of such a thing? If you say yes, then yes it is. For better or for worse. If it's old and boring, then it's old and boring. If you get married, you go on a honeymoon. You have kids. You buy stuff on the installment plan. You go food shopping. But first comes the honeymoon.

Yolanda Pallín

hE: I'll be right back, sweetie. shE: Sure you will, my love, sure you will. And you'll see just how soon. BalanCEd diEt shE: I don't have anything against fruit. I find it quite healthy. Digestible. Fruit is one of the few healthy things that doesn't make you gain weight. What could any normal person with a head on their shoulders have against fruit. The thing is, it's very expensive. I told my husband. Sweetie. Just buy a little fruit. Don't go buying fruit that later . . . and that's how it is, because he understands me, that's why a girl gets married, just to establish that mysterious secret code that makes couples work and countries and galaxies, and all the things that have to work, in one word and doing away with silly details. My husband understands me. I understand my husband. Actually, I understand all men, with their needs, with their mean streaks, with their weird habits . . . I used to understand them. Used to. But all men, except my husband, can't make a small, sincere effort to comprehend and understand me. The butcher, for example. The butcher doesn't understand me. It's as if he speaks a different language than I do, with the same sounds, yeah, but different. That's why I go home, to my little nest, when what I'd really like to do is throw myself into the arms of the butcher. I tell you this because you understand it, because you're not a typical guy, you're not like the other guys, you're mine, mine, anyone can tell just by looking at you, anyone can see it clearly, and you understand this magic bond I have with my husband, which is you . . . even though you don't understand me. Deep down, I mean. You don't. You don't understand me even if you try. You don't understand me even though you do understand me. Yeah. I already know that you try but it's that, it's not that easy. No sir. And if you don't believe me, ask the butcher. That's why I didn't marry the butcher. That's why I married you. And even the butcher can see that. That's why I pinch myself. So that I don't forget. That I'm married. To you. Cotton doEsn't dECEivE (haPPy End) hE: Do you come here often?

Yolanda Pallín

shE: It's twenty thousand. hE: I think you're wrong. shE: It's thirty thousand. hE: No. You'll see. I just want to chat. To tell you about my sadness and my happiness. To share with you some small details about the life that my wife wouldn't understand. shE: Forty. hE: I agree. Yes. I just want sex. shE: That's it. That's much better. hE: Although there are more important things in life. shE: Right. hE: Understanding. Companionship, the caring spirit. shE: The Olympics.

CONNECTICUT REVIEW

hE: Yeah. The Olympics. shE: And what else? hE: We can share. shE: The Olympics? hE: If you want. shE: No. I don't want to. Don't be an idiot. hE: But, I can't. shE: We'd have broken up.

Yolanda Pallín

hE: This has never happened to me. This is the first time that this has ever happened to me. And that's why I like you. Yeah, for sure. You're very cute, and you look sharp and cultured. Come on, enough for an exchange . . . satisfactory. But when it's no, it's no. It should be . . . I don't know . . . blood pressure, yeah, that's what it'll be, I have to watch my blood pressure and eat things without salt and more vegetables; that's it, everything is the food's fault. Forget the cold cuts. We are what we eat. Nothing more, nothing less. shE: I accept Visa. hE: It's better if I call you another day. shE: Recently married? hE: Me? shE: And for so long? Yeah? Incredible. hE: My wife cheats on me. shE: So soon. hE: I deserve it. shE: Oh go on. You started it. Tell me, tell me, let off some steam. hE: Don't laugh. It's not funny at all. It's not funny to me. shE: No, it's that I feel like I want to cry. hE: Don't cry, beautiful. shE: It's that my husband cheats on me too. hE: No he doesn't silly. How could your husband cheat on you when you are so beautiful? And so smart? And such a wild beast? shE: That's what I'm saying. But you see, your wife cheats on you, and you're a sweetheart.

Yolanda Pallín

hE: It's not the same. shE: Why? hE: I don't know. We men are abject humans, true degenerates overpowered by the lowest instincts. We don't have reasoning. Everyone knows that. shE: You're charming. hE: No. I am mean and rotten. shE: Your wife is an imbecile. hE: Do you think that I've lost her? shE: It doesn't matter. Because with women, as you already know, when they get off course, they fall hard. And then they do the opposite. hE: With all that I love her. shE: I love you too. hE: Still?

CONNECTICUT REVIEW

shE: Much more than before. More than I did yesterday but less than I will tomorrow. hE: And the butcher? shE: Not at all. Impossible. He made me realize a lot of things. And your secretary? And the woman from the supermarket? And Mariló? hE: Mariló? shE: Mariló is the woman from the third floor. hE: Well, there you see, I didn't even realize it. shE: All you men are the same. Poor Mariló.

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hE: You're wonderful. shE: You are the one who's wonderful. hE: You're even more so. shE: Get going, go home because your wife is waiting for you. hE: My wife. I'm starting to realize, my love. How scary. shE: It scares me too. And if we'd gone on a trip? hE: A trip for our honeymoon? shE: No. That's old and boring. Just a trip. hE: Yeah? Just like that? Nothing more nothing less? How could it be? shE: We're married. hE: The two of us. To each other. shE: More you. hE: No, sweetie. The same. shE: Baby, look what I've found. There's a gothic castle for rent in the Hurdes. hE: Three hundred thousand square meters, air conditioning, a climate-controlled swimming pool, five living rooms with microclimate chimneys. Neat and practically impregnable. shE: No male neighbors. hE: No female neighbors. We'll leave it in the lurch for uncertain family matters. What are you saying? shE: That we have to live. We have to go on living. I really prefer New York.

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hE: But everybody goes to live in New York. shE: Exactly, that's why. hE: And a cruise through the Greek Islands? shE: New York. hE: We'll go shopping. We'll have to make a list. shE: Whatever you say, my love. But together. hE: Until death do us part. shE: It couldn't happen to you either. Until the honeymoon is over. hE: We've fallen. shE: Like flies. From the streets into honey. hE: I've wanted to go to New York in the past. shE: That's why I married you.

CONNECTICUT REVIEW

hE: I know, my wild beast, I know.

Translated from the Spanish by Katrina Emery

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Peter J. Caulfield

Dancing into the Bright Moonlight

he snakes hid, but the men all knew they were around--under the rocks, along the creek bed, in the trees overhead. They walked as quietly as they could in the near darkness of the woods, an American squad, loaded with weapons and gear, including a heavy radio. They made enough noise to keep the snakes away. They counted on this as they crossed the creek and pushed farther into the woods, farther away from the small company firebase. The men were on a listening patrol, their job to set up some distance from the firebase, usually a thousand meters, or one klick, and listen all night for sounds of enemy activity, each taking a shift while the others slept. Tonight, though, they would go farther. The four of them had pulled LP duty the first night of their platoon's one-week down time in the firebase. They weren't happy. Sandy Williams, a spec-four, and the senior man, was in charge. Just twenty and in country for five months. Another guy, Riley, twenty-three and a college graduate, joined the platoon three weeks ago, part of his head still back in the World. He talked about muscle cars, hot summer nights on porches, and drive-in restaurants. Here it was always summer, always hot, but there were no porches, no drive-ins to cruise. Once, though, Sandy had ridden through a village on top of an armored personnel carrier north of Saigon on Highway 1 near the coast. Though he saw no restaurants, Vietnamese women and men lined the edges of the road, sitting in their ubiquitous black pajamas on woven mats with food in front of them. Several of them had live lizards for sale, about eight to ten inches long. All four of each lizard's legs broken. They'd stay put until sold, fresh for dinner. Some flipped onto their backs and wriggled, desperate cripples in the hot dirt of the road. The unit climbed the hill on the other side of the creek, crouching under branches, heading toward the ridgeline. Fully dark now, no clouds obscured the star-splashed sky. Sandy thought about the rest of the platoon kicking back in the firebase, in the big tents with wooden floors and cots to sleep on, each draped in its own mosquito netting hung from the roof of the tent. They were drinking beer now, cold beer, and waiting for the movie to start--tonight, The Valley of the Dolls projected on a white sheet hung on the outside of one of the big tents. Sandy read the book a year ago, just after he

T

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had flunked out of college, so he could imagine the movie. Girls and drugs and Hollywood. The Dolls were not the girls, but pills, uppers and downers. He thought about how a cold beer would feel in his hand, touching his cheek, sliding down his throat. They reached the ridge top. They planned to follow it north for about three klicks, then drop down on the same side as t he firebase and set up for the night. Listening. No real camp and definitely no fire. Just wrap themselves in their ponchos, use their helmets as pillows. They dropped just below the ridgeline on the far side and bushwhacked north, parallel to the ridge. Sandy knew it would be easier to walk the ridge but more dangerous. Perrelli, a short, stocky Italian from New York City, walked point. Bradley, black and from Chicago, trailed Perrelli. Bradley bragged he'd belonged to a huge street gang back home called the Black P-Stone Nation, but Sandy knew Vietnam still scared him. It scared all of them, especially at night, out here, in the Central Highlands. Riley, the radioman, walked just ahead of Sandy who brought up the rear. He needed to be able to grab the radio receiver quickly off of Riley's back if he had to. They reached a clear space in the woods and crossed it as fast as they could, heads twisting left and right in no kind of sync. Sandy heard a sound behind him, and he spun around and walked backwards, stumbling slightly. His right hand squeezed the pistol grip of his M-16, aiming the rifle back at the dark shapes. His left hand cupped the plastic barrel cover, pushing it slowly from side to side as he moved. One heel caught a root or a rock, and he almost fell backwards, but turning, somehow kept on his feet. He looked up ahead to see the square of the radio enter the woods on the other side of the clearing, and he ran for several seconds to close the gap that had opened between Riley and him. His throat dry, he told himself he had just imagined the sound, and the empty silence behind them helped calm him. They pushed on through the trees until stopped by a thick tangle of undergrowth. For a few moments, they huddled in a small, puzzled circle. Riley looked at Sandy and tilted his head, raised his eyebrows in a question up towards the ridgeline just ten feet or so above them. Perrelli and Bradley looked at each other, then at Sandy. He glanced at the ridge, then down the hill where he thought it seemed to open, to bend in a clearer space around the thicket just below it, but he couldn't be sure. Still, he pointed his rifle in that direction, and Perrelli, without hesitating, began to move down hill. Sandy was almost surprised when Bradley, and then Riley, followed. Before

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Peter J. Caulfield

moving himself, he turned and looked back behind him at the silent forest. A white, three-quarter moon had just risen above a distant hill. Sandy slipped quickly down the slope, staying close to the dark thicket, hugging it. The moon proved him right, and soon they found a way through, a bit below the thick tangle. The four of them walked on, Sandy grateful that a thick canopy of trees mostly blocked the moonlight. Insects talked bug talk in the humid night. Thin mosquito legs crawled on his neck, and he tilted his head, hoping his collar would push the thing away. He remembered his first few nights in the bush and his fresh meat theory. The night he'd joined the platoon, just days after he'd left the States, he had first guard. While the others settled into sleep, he stared terrified at the black woods. For two-and-a-half hours, the mosquitoes gnawed at his face and neck, his hands, his ankles. Though he wore jungle boots laced high, thick fatigue socks, and long pants, he woke up the next morning with a dozen bites on each ankle. Angry red welts also covered the exposed parts of his body, but he was most surprised at how they'd gotten to his ankles. After a few days, though, they seemed to leave him mostly alone. Fresh meat. Again, they sounded like running, short quick steps, then silence. They must know we're here. They aren't just moving through the area, not like that. Several more steps, sustained this time, running right at them. Sandy swallowed, his hands trembling, but still held fire. Static crackled, breaking the night's silence. All four of them fell to a crouch, and Sandy scrambled, duck walking to Riley's back, snatched the volume button on the radio, and twisted it left. They all knew what had happened, but nobody spoke to Riley. He'd fucked up, forgetting to silence the radio, but they would deal with him later. Now they listened, not moving, for an answering sound, any sound. When none came after several minutes, Perrelli stood up. Sandy looked up at him, then stood up himself. Bradley and Riley rose together, Riley not meeting anyone's eyes. Sandy felt annoyed when Perrelli started forward again and the others followed, not waiting for even a nod from him. He walked sullenly after them, sliding in behind Riley again, thinking. Once during a battle, one of the guys caught fire following an explosion. He rolled on the ground howling for the medic, managing to put the fire out, but badly burned. The medic, new, panicked. He ran to the guy and threw a poncho over him, thinking he

Peter J. Caulfield

was in shock. In an instant, he realized his mistake: the plastic poncho would stick to the burnt flesh. He snatched it away. The guy screamed in fresh agony. Later that night, when the medic slept, he had visitors. A few of the burn victim's buddies threw a poncho over the young medic and beat him with rifle butts, sticks, and other blunt instruments. Not enough to kill him, just to warn him: be more careful. They slipped around trees and down into a gully and back up again. The moon flowed through gaps in the leaves and lit the odd bush or boulder. The forest thinned again, and soon Perrelli stopped at another small clearing, spotlighted by the moon. The others slipped to his left and right. Sandy saw it near a fallen log on the far side of the clearing--a small stack of boxes. All of them fixed on it. Sandy tapped Perrelli and whispered, "You and Bradley check the left; we'll go right." He pushed the radio, and Riley moved right. They scoped the arc of the clearing, checking the woods beyond. The four of them met at the stacked wooden crates. Sandy bent and touched the Chinese writing on the side of one. The boxes tied with rope, Sandy slipped his bayonet off his belt and cut one open. Mortar rounds. He opened another. More rounds. He whispered to the others, "We better call it in." Riley knelt down, his back to Sandy. Bradley and Perrilli moved a few yards away in opposite directions and watched the woods. Sandy eased up the volume of the radio and breathed into the microphone at his cheek, "Six, this is Six-one Charlie. Over." He waited, uneasy under the bright moon, realizing his mistake too late: they should have slipped back among the trees to do this. He wondered if Perrelli and Bradley thought he was too green to trust. The radio crackled softly. A low voice. "Six-one Charlie, this is Six. What's your sit-rep?" Sandy pulled his plastic-covered top map from under his shirt and gave the situation report, including the coordinances of the clearing, as close as he could figure them. The lieutenant said they would send a full squad at day break to get the ammo. He shut down the radio, and they hustled back into the safe shadows of the trees. In fifteen minutes, they climbed back up over the ridge and down the hill on the same side as the firebase. Sandy looked for a place to set up for the night, his nerves more jangled than usual. LP's always made him anxious, too few men, too little firepower. And tonight they were four klicks out, too far to get help quickly if the shit began to fly. The lieutenant ordered them out that far because Intelligence reported suspected NVA troop movement in

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Peter J. Caulfield

the area. That's regular army gook troops, not ragtag VC. The cache they just found supported those reports. Viet Cong traveled light, a few grenades and a handful of rice. Maybe a rifle or two, a homemade mine. Not that kind of firepower. Not boxes filled with mortar rounds. Sandy wished the night over, willed himself back to the firebase, to the black coffee and powdered eggs and the gray dawn. The others glanced back at him every few minutes now, wondering when they would stop. Set up. Make the best of it. Sandy wanted to stop, too. His body ached, sweat crawled down his back, along his sides. He looked hard all around as they walked. A low, curved hillock rose a few yards in front of a rock face at the base of a large hillside. He touched Riley's shoulder, who tapped Bradley. Perrelli must have sensed the others stopping and turned around. Sandy pointed to the spot; they all moved gratefully toward it. They had been hiking through a broad clearing, so this seemed perfect. Protection front and back, as well as a long view in a wide arc. Sandy followed the others behind the low hill and began to drop his gear. Nobody spoke. S.O.P. on a listening patrol. Besides, they had all seen the stockpile of shells. Not a peep above the lowest whisper passed among them. Sandy offered to take first guard, and the others chose their slots. He preferred last guard, watching the sun come up, feeling safer and safer as the trees and bushes again assumed their true and detailed shapes. But as leader, he thought he should make the sacrifice. The others settled in, and he soon heard the deep breathing of sleep. Fatigue beating fear. Blessedly, nobody snored. He found a swale in the small hill near where it curved back toward the rock face and laid his rifle in it. He leaned against the hill's low curve and made himself as comfortable as possible, stretching his right leg out, tucking his left under it. Sandy could see a good thirty yards across the clearing in three directions. The moon still high, they hid in the deep shadow of hill and rock--a double bonus. The woods buzzed and rustled, and shadows seemed to grow and shift and move. Sandy hated the night, especially when the blackness wrapped itself like a dark shroud over everything, including his own hands, just a few feet from his face. Tonight, at least, the moon and the stars were his friends, even out here, far from the barbed wire and thick sandbags of the firebase. Far from The Valley of the Dolls.

Peter J. Caulfield

The night he left home for the last time before heading to the war, his whole family had come with him to the airport. They arrived early so as to have plenty of time to say goodbye and went to the near-empty restaurant, situated with views of the runways on all sides. But darkness fell, and they couldn't see anything but the rows of blue lights stretching in all directions. Musak played from the sound system, and he danced with his three sisters, one at a time, on the little ballroom floor while the rest of the family watched. His father was the last to hug him goodbye. He'd been 4-F during World War II and, as far as Sandy knew, had never touched a gun in his life. Fiercely protective of his family, though, his dad couldn't sleep himself until the last child arrived safely home and went to bed, even on prom night. Still, it shocked Sandy when his dad began to clutch him and sob. He pulled away finally, turned and headed through the tunnel to the plane, afraid to look back. A sound like a footstep. Sandy moved onto both knees, settling the stock of his M-16 into his right cheek, his eyes scanning the wood line opposite where he thought the sound had come from. Another step, this one clear, breaking a branch. His thumb flicked off the safety, and, with his right leg, he nudged Bradley, who opened his eyes. Several more steps, as if a short run of ten yards or so, brought Bradley fully awake, and he crawled quickly to Perrelli and Riley, shaking them and pointing towards the sounds. The four of them lined the hillock now, rifles trained on the same vague spot across the clearing. Sandy tapped Bradley's shoulder and nodded to the others. Bradley signaled to Perrelli and Riley, and they all looked back at him. He touched his rifle barrel, then his chest, then pointed toward them. He hoped they would know what he meant: don't fire until I do. He also hoped a few more moments of listening would give them a better sense of how large a squad was out in front of them, before giving away their position. For all they knew, the enemy didn't even suspect they were there. He heard steps moving well to the right of where he'd heard them before, over across from Riley's end of the mound they hid behind. Again, they sounded like running, short quick steps, then silence. They must know we're here. They aren't just moving through the area, not like that. Several more steps, sustained this time, running right at them. Sandy swallowed, his hands trembling, but still held fire. Then he saw them. Two legs moving. Then four. Into the clearing now in full sight. A Bengal tiger. Enormous in the moonlight. Its muscled

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legs churning toward them. The white breast grew larger and larger. Suddenly it stopped, stared at them, magnificent head moving from left to right, nose sniffing the hillock, perhaps confused by the several scents in front of it. Riley fired first on full automatic, mostly missing. A full clip, fourteen rounds. One must have hit, though, because the cat spun round, clearly stung in the hip. Then Bradley fired, more carefully, catching the animal once in the stomach. It roared in pain, half threat, half whine. Finally Perrelli caught it in its right shoulder, and the tiger dropped, not dead, but defeated. Still, Sandy hadn't fired. In seconds, he had moved from terror to shock to relief to anger that Riley ignored his order to hold fire. Now, they did stop shooting, all watching the agonized dying of the tiger. In one last move to charge or flee, the animal pulled itself up onto its forepaws, exposing its broad white chest. The three others looked at Sandy, as if to say, it's your turn. Take your shot. Buy your memory of this moment. He looked back at them. Then at the tiger. He aimed straight for where he thought the heart should be and fired two shots. The animal dropped immediately. It didn't move again. The tiger lay on its side in the noon sun in the middle of the firebase. Shirtless G.I.'s, chests black or dark brown from months of Asian sun, marveled at its size, four to five hundred pounds. One guy, a Mexican from Detroit, reached forward and ran a hand along its muscled shoulder. "Jesus Christ!" Another lifted its huge lifeless head with one hand on each ear while his buddy took a picture with his cheap, white, Polaroid camera. A few seconds later, they both grinned, the developed photo sliding slowly from the mouth of the camera. Riley stood off to the side telling Jimmy Dugan, a farm kid from Ohio new to the platoon, the story of how he'd hit the cat first. Dugan's face a mixture of awe and envy. Sandy tried to hate Riley but wondered if he were any better. If any of them were. They had cut a huge pole from a fallen branch and tied the tiger to it. At dawn, the four of them had carried it, stopping often, back to the firebase, arriving at mid-morning. Now they feasted on their celebrity. A lifer, Staff Sergeant Bill Peterson, clapped Sandy's shoulder. "Fucking-A, man! Fucking-A!" Sandy blushed, tried not to smile. Peterson walked over to the tiger for a closer look. He stood, his legs blocking the head for a moment, then moved along its body toward the tail. The tiger, its eyes pinched shut, looked like a house cat, sleeping in the yard, waiting for someone to come home.

Andrei Voznesensky

The Nose

Our noses grow throughout our lives --Scientific sources

Yesterday my doctor said: "You may be a clever man but you don't know when to come in from the cold-- your snout is frozen!" Medical experts tell us that noses grow triumphantly, never pausing, relentless as clocks, on me, on you, on Capuchin monks. During the night the nose of every citizen, high or low, grows and grows. The noses of janitors and ministers hooting endlessly like owls, chilly noses, noses out of joint, noses bashed in by boxers or caught in doors, and noses of our female neighbors screwed like drills into keyholes. Gogol, that restless, mystical soul, sensed their role. My friend George Buggs got drunk and in his dream it seemed that, like a spire breaking through sinks and chandeliers, impaling ceilings (awakened like receipts slammed onto a spike), higher and higher above him rose his nose.

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"What could it mean?" he wondered the next morning. "A warning," I said, "of Doomsday: the tax man is going to audit you!" Sure enough, on the thirtieth they dragged poor Buggs to jail. O Prime Mover of Noses! Our noses grow longer as our lives grow shorter. During the night those pallid lumps, like birds of prey or pumps, drain us dry. They say that Eskimos kiss with their noses. . . but that has not caught on here in Russia.

Translated from the Russian by David Lee Garrison

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David Sahner

Epicurus Counsels the Moderns

"So long as we are here, death is not, and when death is here, we are not." --Epicurus

Listen To the call of the flesh Plums Milk A fire's heat The needs we are born with You my friend A joyous accident In a universe As random as the fall Of snow You need to know that And death has no grounds For arrogance For so long as we are here Death is not And when death is here We are not Galaxies holding hands Like boys and girls about The Maypole And just this once you raise Your wet head from the womb Embarrassed by your luck As you should be Let the waters Bear you and bring The gifts of happenstance

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Katharine Weber

Green Thumb

o one at the hospice knows my real name, but a lot of them call me the Plant Lady, and that's how I think of myself sometimes. I wear my Plant Lady apron with pockets for my pruners and scissors, and there's a cunning little loop on the right side for the plant misting bottle, which would be perfect if I were right-handed. The apron isn't really mine--it belongs to the Brookfield Women's Garden Club. It's dark brown and much more masculine than anything I might have picked for myself, but Elsie Edwards ordered it from some catalogue and donated it when the Club voted to provide a volunteer for the hospice, and she's never been one for frilly florals. Her living room, which I see periodically because our meetings take place once a month in the homes of our members on a rotating basis (and as the Recording Secretary I attend every meeting), is very matchy-datchy, all solid yellows and blues. I've never worn any kind of a uniform in my life, but there's something nice about getting out of my car every Wednesday and tying on the apron and walking in there with a purpose that anyone can see just from looking at me. I try to get there around eleven, so I'm not in the way of any doctors or blood testing people, and I'm through before the lunch carts begin. I'm there for less than an hour, really, but it has given me something in the middle of my week to plan around. I had a different routine when Duff was alive. I used to go nearly every morning to the bookstore just a few blocks from my house, a pleasant walk, really, past a small park. At the store no one ever said Duff wasn't welcome, and he would sit beside me while I browsed and chose a category for the morning. I liked to straighten up the shelves and help keep the books organized, you see. I have no idea if the staff ever noticed the little jobs of straightening and rearranging that I did for them. It's a lovely store, with old wooden floors and lots of books, and nobody minds if you browse for hours, but I have to say it isn't the tidiest bookstore I have ever seen. One of the girls behind the counter would give Duff bites of her morning muffin. I haven't been back since, without him. I suppose there are books every which way, especially in the gardening section where so many people seem to browse without buying anything. I agreed to keep up the club's obligation at the hospice until spring,

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since most of the older members don't like to go out on snowy days and I don't mind weather; living on my own, I've developed a lot of faith in frontwheel drive. I would gladly go there more often, but the hospice people requested only one weekly visit, and the weekend nurses are supposed to water, though they forget sometimes. Even though twice a week would probably be better for the plants, once does seem to be sufficient. If a plant becomes sick or dried-out between visits, it's not very difficult to treat it. You can take your time with sick plants. You can replace the dead ones. No ficus that ever dropped dead has broken your heart, which is more than I can say for every single cat or dog I have ever known. They all die on you, one way or another. Or they disappear and you never know what happened. And which is worse, anyway, dragging a dying Portuguese Water Spaniel that never harmed anybody off to chemotherapy week after week until the poor thing is practically begging for a visit from Dr. Kevorkian or wondering forever about an extremely affectionate Maine Coon cat who one day simply stops showing up at the back porch for his supper? I volunteered for the Garden Club job at the hospice after Duff died just two months ago. He was a wise little Scottie, and he had been my companion for ten years when he sickened and then died very suddenly of a tumor on his liver. Its size had doubled and doubled again in a matter of days and had grown to the dimensions of a grapefruit, according to the veterinarian. I haven't been able to bring myself to eat a grapefruit since then. Medical people always compare growths to foods, for some reason. Five years ago, when my gynecologist told me I needed a hysterectomy, he said I had a scattering of fibroid tumors all through my uterus "like someone had flung a handful of lentils in there." It was a disturbing picture, and I didn't like to think of it. The pathology report, which Dr. Gilson offered me at my follow-up visit and which I, for some unwise reason, read thoroughly, described some of the larger fibroids as "bulging, whorled, and white," as if instead of the baby which at one time in my life I thought I would surely have, I had produced some sort of tumorous law firm. Of course, I haven't eaten lentils since the operation. I have developed a personal policy of avoidance of any detailed conversations about other people's insides, because inevitably someone will have experienced a ghastly something the size of a walnut or a grape or a plum, and it could be possible that someday I will end up on a diet restricted en-

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tirely to things too large to be used for comparative descriptions of diseased body parts. The hospice is located at the edge of the highway in a converted warehouse in a strange, uninhabited part of town known for concerns such as ladder factories and printing companies. It's very bright and airy inside, with a lot of glass and very good light, which the plants appreciate. One reason I volunteered for the job, frankly, was to get out of the house more, because I was afraid that I was beginning to hallucinate. On too-quiet afternoons I could hear the distinctive sleep-breathing sound of a Scottie in the corners of my bedroom. I know I heard his tags jingling to the door to greet me when I came in from grocery shopping one morning. There were too many days when I glimpsed Duff for an instant--a sweater or my handbag, inevitably--on the sofa, by the arm that is stained just where he used to rest his dear little bearded snout. I couldn't return to the bookstore because the people there would expect to see Duff beside me, and I knew I couldn't bear those expectant glances, which would make me see, and then not see, my sweet Duff all over again. The pathology report, which Dr. Gilson offered me at my follow-up visit and which I, for some unwise reason, read thoroughly, described some of the larger fibroids as "bulging, whorled, and white," as if instead of the baby which at one time in my life I thought I would surely have, I had produced some sort of tumorous law firm. The first time I walked into the hospice and saw the center atrium jungle of potted palms and ferns and ficus arranged attractively with a few benches, I thought it was like a very nice mall, only without fountains. Or shops, of course. But then I saw some of the patients, the ones who could walk around, and for a brief moment, it seemed like some sanitized, futuristic version of Auschwitz, the people in pajamas were so silent and cadaverous. Every one of them has AIDS. That's entirely what this place is for. It's all government funding, and the patients are too poor to be anywhere else or they wouldn't be here, but it's quite a nice facility, really. I'm happy to think my tax dollars can do something good, and a place such as this really does give me the hope to think that the New Deal hasn't been completely

Katharine Weber

dismantled. Most of the patients are a good deal younger than I am, and it just about breaks my heart to think about how it must be to face death in your twenties. I simply can't imagine it. But then, I can't really imagine being poor or a drug addict or a homosexual or a prostitute. Or black, for that matter. (Not all blacks call themselves African-Americans these days. My friend Mae, the woman who comes in and does things for me around my house twice a week, always says: What's Africa got to do with me who was born down in Vienna, Georgia, that's what I'd like to know?) But I'm just there to tend to the plants, which I do briskly and efficiently, snapping off dead fronds and leaves, digging around in the soil to test the pH with a little kit, watering, and misting. I say hello to the patients--I know some of their names. Hello, Plant Lady, they say back. I am supposed to wear surgical gloves, which are available for the staff in boxes here and there and everywhere, but sometimes I forget. I always feel that when I put those gloves on I am insulting the patients, as if my wearing the gloves signifies that I believe they are unclean. It's silly, anyway, because according to the newspaper articles I have read, both the patients and I would have to be engaging in extremely unsuitable behavior involving these plants in order for there to be any risk of disease transmission. It's hard not to be self-conscious going through my routine because it's like a performance, as there are always patients watching me prune or pick off dead leaves or remove gum wrappers from the pots. I'm perfectly good at this. I have a green thumb, as they say, and plants grow for me. Sometimes some of the patients talk to me about the plants or about something on television. I get the feeling that a lot of them don't have any visitors except for people who come to provide services one way or another. I hadn't really wanted to get to know any of the patients because I don't want to become attached to any of them. Then last month, when I was just about finished with the usual business, one of the patients asked me to do something for him. His name is Mike, and he's confused a lot of the time. His navigational skills are poor--I've seen him wandering into different patient rooms while tugging at his drawstrings, and it has made me nervous, as it seems evident at those moments that he's searching for the bathroom. He is always intercepted by one of the nurses before something unfortunate occurs, at least that is the case when I've been on the premises.

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Could you water my plants for me? That's what he said. He asked this in such a pleading tone that I couldn't just flat out refuse, though I confess that my first thought was that he was requesting in some euphemistic way that I assist him on a bathroom mission. Also, I wasn't sure about the protocol of entering a patient's room. I followed him through a doorway, though, half expecting that we were wandering randomly, but next to the bed there was a framed snapshot Mike had shown me over and over my first day at the hospice, of a healthy-looking Mike, with a mustache and a thick head of shoulder-length hair, grinning with a group of men on a fishing boat, each of them wearing identical caps from a local tire company. Here are all of my plants, he said, enunciating slowly and awkwardly, as if he had rehearsed the line. He waved an arm in the direction of his windowsill. On the sill were a row of vases and baskets of dead flowers. These are flowers, I said. Will you water them, please? I didn't know what to say. At their best, these cut flowers had been the terrible kind of ordered-over-the-telephone arrangements involving carnations and chrysanthemums, all of which were now shriveled and black against plastic-looking greens that had stayed bright. There's no point, I said. These aren't plants. They're flowers. I mean, they used to be flowers, do you see? I pulled a handful of dead carnations on very short stems out of an ineptly anchored block of green foam and held it out towards Mike, who stepped back, shaking his head in refusal. Man, those plants need watering real bad. That's why I'm asking you. Will you water my plants? I can't water these, Mike, they're dead, I kept saying, as if we spoke the same language. They're dead flowers. Cut flowers. Don't you understand? Then I cleaned up. I dumped each of those fetid arrangements into the trash, and I washed out the vases, which stank of halitosic flower-water. I left the empty vases and innocuous woven baskets, the sort that are made in China by unfortunate children earning pennies a day, on his windowsill. Mike just sat on his bed staring at me. When I said goodbye, he didn't answer. That night I dreamed about giant vines growing in my bedroom. (I am sophisticated enough about such things to recognize the sexual elements of

Katharine Weber

this dream.) I tried to cut them with my pruning shears (I think I was wearing the Plant Lady apron but, embarrassingly, nothing else), but the vines were too thick and tough, and they grew longer and thicker before my eyes, snaking out the bedroom door and twining down and around the stair banisters. I woke then, almost tasting the words of the veterinarian on my tongue: this growth has doubled in size in a matter of days. I slept very badly the rest of the night. The next morning I went back to the hospice. I had never been there on a Thursday before, and it felt strange. I wasn't wearing my apron, of course, and as I approached the nurses' desk, I could tell that the two women who always greeted me warmly on Wednesdays didn't recognize me without it. One got up and walked away, adjusting her cardigan sweater over her shoulders with that universal gesture of nurses, and the other one snapped her gum and scowled down at paperwork. I was carrying a Christmas cactus from my house, one that looked as if it would be blooming very soon. This is for Mike, I said, putting it on the counter. Mike's gone, the woman said without looking up. I couldn't believe it. My hands began to tremble. What do you mean? I said finally, after a long silence that she didn't seem to notice or participate in. He ain't here. He's gone, she said again. What do you mean by gone? Did he--Did he--I couldn't say it. She looked up at me then and recognized me. Oh, it's you. Hi. She looked puzzled. Mike ain't here on Thursdays. He's never here. Thursdays are his rehab day. He goes with the van downtown to the bottle place. He sorts. Seeing the series of looks that must have crossed my face while she spoke, the nurse opened her eyes wide and nodded with sudden comprehension. Oh no, honey, you thought I meant he was gone, like really gone. She snorted a brief, mirthless laugh. No, most everyone do go from this place, but when they go, they don't go in the rehab van, I can tell you that. Mike and them will be back by four, she said. I'm still the Plant Lady, but my heart has gone out of it. Mike loved the cactus, he told me the following Wednesday, but he missed his flowers. He looked wistfully towards the row of empty vases and baskets when he said

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this, and I was stung by his sweet forgiveness of my terrible mistake. The Wednesday after that, he had developed pneumonia and was on oxygen and couldn't leave his bed, so we just waved and he pointed towards the sill at the cactus, which had bloomed with one small red flower, and he gave me a thumbs up. The following Wednesday, after I had finished my routine, when I put my head around Mike's door the first thing I saw was a vase of withered sweetheart roses and a small Chinese azalea plant in a plastic pot on the sill instead of the cactus and the empty vases and baskets. Mike was sitting on his bed with his back to me, but when he turned his head, he was a gaunt young woman in a seersucker robe, tethered to an intravenous drip, her head wrapped tightly in a scarf or a bandage, I'm not sure which. She turned her head and looked at me over her shoulder, like the girl in the Vermeer painting, and I knew in that instant Mike was really gone. I've told the Garden Club that someone else will have to take over for me sooner than I thought, even before the weather gets milder. Elsie Edwards has a Range Rover, after all. It's not that I don't like doing the work. I just can't bear to form any more attachments right now. Maybe, in a while, when it warms up, I'll think about a puppy.

TRAUMA

Trauma is life-changing in terms of loss, love, and, most especially, time. This issue of the Connecticut Review features fiction, poetry, scholarly articles, personal narratives, and an interview that conceive of trauma consistent with Sigmund Freud's original conception of it in 1895. The pieces in this issue represent trauma both in their content as well as in their form: many, like the histories they detail, present time as non-linear; they echo and repeat significant moments via flashbacks; and they question the ability of language to convey unimaginable events.

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Before and after photos of a two-story wood frame house about a mile from an atomic blast. Both pictures were taken on May 5, 1955. (Source: National Archives)

Aimee L. Pozorski

T R AU M A

Trauma's Time

"What I wanted to say just now was that there's no way we're supposed to make it--you know that, don't you?--there's no way we're supposed to last. It's the final damage. It's what always comes after." --R. Clifton Spargo, 2005

In his short story appearing in this special section of the Connecticut

Review, R. Clifton Spargo depicts lovers saying goodbye at the end of an affair disrupted by rape. The rape, it seems, not only terrorized the protagonist, Anne, when it happened, but it also somehow tainted the couple's past, and it prevented their future. As Anne sadly proclaims in the final pages: "there's no way we're supposed to last. It's the final damage." And, with a striking reference to the future, Anne links the damage of the rape with time--with the time of trauma: a time that is paradoxically not the moment itself, but "what comes after," what will always come after, the "afterwardsness" or belatedness of trauma itself. Entitled "Second Sorrow," a self-conscious coda to Spargo's 1999 "Anne, Afterward," this story seems to present a new understanding not simply of the effects of rape, but of the problem of time that is inextricable from traumatic experience. The emphasis on the word "after" in each of these stories refers not simply to how people cope physically or emotionally in the wake of a traumatic experience, but to the psychic dimension as well: the repetition of the traumatic event in the mind of the survivor and the implications this repetition has for those who love her. Spargo's stories capture a very precise understanding of "trauma," one suggested by Sigmund Freud in 1895: Trauma is not simply a horrific event, but it is also an event that misaligns our perception of time. Such an event occurs too soon for consciousness to process it during the moment in which it occurs, so that subsequent time for the survivor turns on the repetition of the key aspects of the event--with no beginning and no end--in search of that missed encounter with death. Trauma theory, in this light, articulates what's at stake when a witness or victim must confront her traumatic past endlessly, living day to day with a sense of skewed temporality. After a traumatic event, there appears to be neither a before nor after. The time of trauma is what comes after. And before. During a crucial moment in "Second Sorrow," Anne suggests to her long-time lover Carter how only an unfathomable event such as rape can

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simultaneously separate and unite them. In trying to represent traumatic moments such as an encounter with death and the ultimate rape as otherworldly, "Anne, Afterward" links, on the one hand, Carter's new understanding of Anne as an angel following her miraculous survival, with, on the other hand, the angels who hover above her during and after the event. "Second Sorrow," however, takes a different approach. Grounded in the quotidian details of the couple and their lives together, the story takes an important turn when Anne confesses: "I like it that every day we stay together after my rape is such a long day. It's an eternity to other people's time, and even if I left tomorrow we'd still be together because of everything we can't forget." The time of trauma, as Anne crucially suggests here, never ends--not only for the survivor, but also for her loved ones. In this rendition, the couple are bound not by memories of the past, conjured at will, forgotten if necessary, as would be the case with most couples, but rather by what cannot be forgotten, even if one tried. They are bound by memories that do not fade with time, but that repeat endlessly. Afterward. Spargo's emphasis on how trauma deforms the narratives of our lives connects up with an important contemporary discourse around catastrophe. In her 1996 book, Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History, for example, Cathy Caruth writes about the impact of trauma not only on narrative, but on history as well. In her emphasis on time gone awry--on the effects of a witness's failure to claim a traumatic experience as it is happening--Caruth reveals a significant debt not only to Sigmund Freud, but also addresses the more recent scholarship of trauma and its theoretical counterparts as modeled by the work of Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub. In theorizing this "unclaimed experience," Caruth addresses the endless repetition of the traumatic event in the mind and life of the witness, as well as the sense that this moment necessarily affects all other moments in time. The book opens with the revelation that: Freud wonders at the peculiar and sometimes uncanny way in which catastrophic events seem to repeat themselves for those who have passed through them. In some cases, as Freud points out, these repetitions are particularly striking because they seem not to be initiated by the individual's own acts but rather appear as the possession of some people by a sort of fate, a series of painful events to which they are subjected, and which seem to be entirely outside of their wish or control. (1-2)

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T R AU M A

As Caruth points out here, what defines a traumatic event involves not simply crucial and horrifying details of the event itself, but also the temporal effects of that event--precisely, the haunting imposition of these events in the lives of the survivors. Key words in this passage such as "uncanny," "possession," "subjected," and "fate" emphasize the apparent agency of an event as it becomes inextricable, and yet oddly separate, from consciousness. For Caruth, it is as if the future--what always comes after--is as much at stake as the present time. The trauma, in other words, lives in the present, and in the future, as much as the past that carries with it the original event. Looking back, it appears as if Freud's own articulation of the displacement of time and narrative was, on its own, not easy to integrate into cultural consciousness. In other words, at the very moment that Freud posited his radical and disorienting theory of trauma, the articulation of the theory was as traumatic as the events he was trying to understand at the time: a confrontation with sexual development, sexual assault, hysteria, and--later, in his 1920 Beyond the Pleasure Principle--the effects of trench warfare during World War I. Freud's earliest theory, called Nachträglichkeit in Project for a Scientific Psychology (1950[1895]) and developed through his correspondence with friend and colleague Wilhelm Fliess between 1887 and 1902, works to distinguish between trauma and any other kind of event in a person's life, explaining that a "traumatic event" is not simply one that is difficult to endure or even unimaginable. For Caruth, we can turn back again to Freud's own writing at the time to see that Freud, too, was unprepared for what he encountered in his thoughts: "Freud suggests that he discovered this patient, in whose symptoms he came to discover and develop some of his

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Ruins seen from Circular Church, Charleston, SC, 1865. (Source: National Archives)

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central traumatic concepts, in a trip in which he was attempting to forget the neuroses--as if the theory emerged as itself the interruption of a forgetting." Indeed, the tradition in trauma--in the psychoanalytic works, the criticism, but, most especially, the literary tradition­bears this out. In my interview with Caruth in these pages, I ask why Freud's theory of time as it relates to trauma seems as traumatic as the events he is addressing in his patients. I ask, in other words, why there appears to be a fifty-year gap between the 1920 formal articulation of trauma, on the one hand, and its return after the Vietnam War, on the other hand, when trauma newly emerges as a problem for psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and sociology (Explorations in Memory 3). After all, this event--namely, the emergence of trauma as a theory--appears to follow the same structure as the traumatic events it describes: It was an event that came too soon, and was largely missed, only to return to us repeatedly via literary representations, political studies, and historical events thoughout the decades that we align with world-wide atrocity. A recipient of the 1930 Goethe Prize, a prestigious German literary award, Freud set in motion not simply a traumatic theory of trauma, but several generations of writers within this traumatic history as well--all writers who unwittingly happen upon repeated representations of traumatic events even as we try to heal from them, or even forget. Literary events among authors in this tradition betray a sense that they, too, are trying to come to terms not only with Freud's ideas, but also the implications of these ideas: implications for understanding the alienating effects of trauma itself. As is the case with many contemporary authors interested in exploring trauma and its effects, Spargo returns to the same moment of trauma--the rape of a loved one--across several works. An exemplary case of how the literary work itself enacts traumatic repetition, "Second Sorrow" is not only a story about the repeated force of rape in the lives of its protagonists, but also enacts, as a meta-fictional commentary, its own return to the missed moment of a horrible rape, a moment missed not only by the woman who stares over her own shoulder as she tries to remove herself from the situation, but also by her partner, the man who thinks about her, not knowing her reality, as he works late into the night. This structural problem of time, as Freud hinted over 100 years ago, is also a problem of history. It is the problem of survival and witness, the problem of facing a horrible moment over and over, of facing the moments of our loved ones, our neighbors, our ancestors. Our current moment indeed

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appears as the time of trauma--as trauma's time--not only with a new interest in trauma and trauma studies, but also with the emergence of history itself. With their grandparents passing on, the third generation after the Holocaust, along with their parents, have come forward to articulate the haunting of a genocidal past. Increasingly, the witnesses to September 11, 2001 have come forward to tell their stories, along with the story of New York City. Every day, media accounts detail the current and belated suffering of the soldiers and the people in Iraq, the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia, the cleanup efforts following Hurricane Katrina. And the list goes on with each passing day--lists filled with fragmented details involving cultural disasters, natural disasters, historical disasters, and such personal disasters as rape, incest, murder, theft. But the "time" in the time of trauma, as I have tried to articulate here, is not simply one moment in history during which trauma appears prevalent. The "time of trauma" or "trauma's time" also refers to a radical change in the way we understand the relationship between time and trauma, or, more precisely, between time and consciousness, of its effects not only on the present, but the past, and--most strikingly--the future. In keeping with the dual understanding of trauma, this issue of the Connecticut Review features fiction, poetry, scholarly articles, personal narratives, and an interview that conceive of trauma in its most traditional sense--through repeated references to time. The pieces in this issue represent trauma, then, both in their content as well as in their formal innovations: many, like the histories they detail, are presented non-linearly; they echo and repeat significant moments via flashbacks, and they question the ability of language to convey such horrific events. In this way, Cathy Caruth writes on Vietnam, R. Clifton Spargo on sexual assault, Pamela Leck on treating survivors of 9-11 (in this case, a worker for the NYFD), Natalie Friedman on the third generation following the Holocaust, and Stephanie Cherolis on the surprising failure of language evident when Holocaust survivors try to articulate their experiences for the Fortunoff Video Archive. In other words, these selections view trauma as having reclaimed time to convey a compelling history that remains with us. Cherolis, for example, suggests that viewers of the Fortunoff videos "recognize that the Holocaust is not safely situated in the past but still painfully exists for survivors in the present." Friedman, called as a witness to the Holocaust, opens her memorable essay with the words, "I have nightmares about something that never happened to me." And Leck, in writing about a fireman who suffers from PTSD four years after

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the 9-11 attack, acknowledges "wounds that have been covered over, but are still raw and unhealed." The raw, unhealed wounds of history­both personal and public­resonate equally forcefully in the poetry and short fiction of Elizabeth England, Irene Sherlock, Jennifer Thompson, Nicole Cooley, and Grace Cavalieri. Trauma, such authors as Martha Serpas, Nicole Simek, and J. Karl Bell illustrate, is as inextricable from history as it is from human subjectivity and the natural landscapes we too readily take for granted. The time of trauma, they reveal, has necessarily lost its innocence. As these selections make clear, in other words, trauma theory remains increasingly pertinent as a way of addressing this loss. Trauma theory and and the work of the writers published here provide a way of addressing the unspeakable moments in our history and culture that refuses to reduce traumatic events to banal, redemptive, superficial, or flat statements about the world. Perhaps most significantly, however, all of our contributions suggest an ethical dimension to trauma and trauma studies--a dimension that begs for a response that can only attempt to recognize suffering in the twentieth century and beyond. According to Caruth, what is at stake here is a recognition of "the story of the way in which one's own trauma is tied up with the trauma of another, the way in which trauma may lead, therefore, to an encounter with another, through the very possibility and surprise of listening to another's wounds" (Unclaimed 8). In this way, the important work of Caruth in this field, like the work of her predecessors Felman and Laub, suggests that an adequate witness to a traumatic event does not turn away. Building on this notion of witnessing, the work that appears in this issue--the work of a newly emergent generation of writers in the tradition of trauma--reveals how the time of trauma is what always comes after. In this paradoxical moment simultaneously outside of time and eternally, disruptively, present within it, what matters most, these writers say, is how we listen to the survivors of traumatic events. Such survivors speak from within an alternative experience of time, and what we do with their words reveals, if not understanding, then, at the very least, a belated witness to their knowledge of trauma's time, the time which always comes after. Works Cited

Caruth, Cathy, ed. Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1995. . Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1996. Spargo, Clifton R. "Anne, Afterward." North Atlantic Review. 11(1999): 253-64; revised and republished by The Voices and Faces Project at www.voicesandfaces.org.

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An Interview with Trauma Pioneer Cathy Caruth

During the mid 1990s, Cathy Caruth's critical and theoretical work

on trauma made headlines, and not just among university departments in the US where scholars were intellectually invested in the representation of trauma in psychoanalysis, critical theory, and history. Her work also generated excitement throughout the world, where people from all generations and cultures were looking for a way to understand the impact of traumatic history and the "crises of witnessing" it produces. Looking back over the last decade, it is not surprising that her eloquent discussions of trauma's centrality in the founding texts of psychoanalysis, contemporary film, and theory resonated beyond the walls of the academy. Her sensitive treatment of the apparently inexplicable--and recurring--effects of historical and personal crises resulting from the Holocaust, the Vietnam War and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to name only a few, appears to have given literary critics and other academics a name for what ordinary people have known for a long time­that traumatic experiences implicate all of us by demanding an adequate, but simultaneously impossible, response. Pozorski: Sigmund Freud's early thought on trauma--articulated as Nachträglichkeit in A Project for a Scientific Psychology [1950 (1895)]--suggests that a traumatic event is not simply one that is, by definition, horrible to endure. Rather, the idea of trauma comes more from a theory of time­a kind of skewed temporality. That is, for an event to be called traumatic, it must be experienced and, in a sense, take place belatedly. It is interesting that, in 1920 with Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud himself returned to this idea, in a somewhat different version from its original formulation, to help explain what he was seeing in the veterans of World War I. However, in the United States, it wasn't until fifty years later, following the Vietnam War, that the problem of trauma for psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and sociology came into broad cultural recognition. Would you say that there was a fifty-year gap between the time that Freud conceived of trauma theory and the time when trauma was considered something to be taken seriously? In a way, given the re-emergence of trauma studies in the last two decades, is it fair to say that

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the birth of trauma was in itself traumatic as an event that came too soon, and was largely missed, only to return to us repeatedly through the decades that we align with world-wide atrocity? Caruth: It is very interesting to connect the temporality of trauma as a delayed or "missed" event to the temporality of its own history. That trauma (as an experience and as a theory) has a history, that it appears on the scene, disappears, returns, etc.­and perhaps changes in nature--is important to think about and raises the question of which conceptual framework would be able to account for such a history. Since the notion of trauma, as a delayed experience, is itself a rethinking of the relation between history and temporality, it is quite possible that we could not understand the concept's own vicissitudes without at the very least taking into account the framework provided by trauma theory itself. As you seem to imply, this inquiry would involve examining the history of trauma in (at least) two somewhat different ways: on the one hand, in the context of various empirical, cultural, and ideological events (such as wars, institutional histories within psychiatry, and changing ideological and cultural frameworks in Europe and the US) and, on the other hand, as a conceptual event in itself, the shock to thinking occasioned by the introduction of this strange notion of temporality that does not seem integratable into traditional philosophical (or, for that matter, psychoanalytic) conceptions of time. The two dimensions are entangled; once the notion of traumatic temporality has been introduced, it is no longer simply possible to place this notion within a larger and more traditional temporal framework (i.e., to place the conceptual event of the theory of trauma within the framework of the empirical, institutional, and cultural histories that are its context), since that would disavow the central insight of the theory, which suggests that our more traditional conceptual histories may have to be rethought. On the other hand, the theory of trauma is centered on the encounter between the mind and an event originating outside it, thus also suggesting that we should examine carefully the relation between, for example, the re-emergence of trauma theory in Freud (with Beyond the Pleasure Principle) and the occurrence of war. Trauma is, after all, is an attempt to think differently the relation between "event" and "mind," in which the two are not separable in the usual ways. (For instance, in the repetition compulsion the mind seems to think less about history than to be its vehicle.) Or put somewhat differently: can we think the twentieth- and twenty-first-century history

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of war without trauma theory? And can we think trauma theory without the history of war? Is the theory a conscious set of speculations about experience, with its own separate theoretical history, or is it part of the actual events upon which it speculates, as a form of memory, forgetting, and experience in its own right? (It should be noted that there are a number of people who have written about the peculiar historical patterns of trauma conceptualization--Robert Ostroff, for example, and perhaps most notably Judith Hermann--although the full theorization of this history has not taken place. And there are a series of emergences and recessions of the theory--after World War I, World War II, within the context of incest and rape studies, etc.--as well as differences between the history of the theory in Europe and the US. So the specificity of these circumstances would need to be addressed.) But the place to begin such a study would necessarily, I believe, be Freud's own writing, since he always gave his own theoretical texts on trauma a self-reflective frame that carefully linked trauma as an object of study to the nature of the study itself. Thus, for example, in his early "Katharina" case study from Studies on Hysteria (1895), Freud suggests that he discovered this patient, in whose symptoms he came to discover and develop some of his central traumatic concepts, during a trip in which he was attempting to forget the neuroses--as if the theory itself emerged as the interruption of a forgetting. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle, as Jacques Derrida has noted, the structure of Freud's own speculative remarks is linked to the structure of the game of the child playing fort/da and which becomes one of the central objects of his theorization. I have also noted that one cannot separate the "departure/return" game of the child from the actual structure of Freud's argument about the child at that point (moving from an interpretation of the game as departure, as return, and then again as departure), and I believe that at this moment in his text the child's own language passes into Freud's text. And in Moses and Monotheism (1939) Freud carefully links the structure of the writing of his text--which, as he notes, separates into several parts, is divided by a gap, and repeats in the second part much of what is in the first part, etc.--to the structure of the traumatic history that it theorizes. In every case, Freud seems to suggest that trauma and its theorization cannot be separated and that this is not a hindrance to, but at the very heart of, its insight. This would also be the point of departure, then, I believe, for a study of the history of trauma theory.

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Pozorski: I am curious about the place of psychoanalytic thought in your own career as a scholar, and about how trauma theory came to you from your readings of Freud, Lacan, de Man, Kant, and Wordsworth, among others. Shoshana Felman has said that poetry is language that does not know what it knows, which seems to come from a deconstructive tradition, but also a psychoanalytic one: according to psychoanalysis, the analysand may not know what she knows until she speaks it in analysis. This understanding of a language that reveals something beyond itself, as if by accident, seems crucial for the work you've done in trauma. It's as if, as you say in Unclaimed Experience (1996), all we have are the words--unexpected, alienating, otherwordly­to gesture toward a terrible and incomplete past. Could you talk about how this awareness has grown out of your own particular intellectual background, as a student of Paul de Man, Geoffrey Hartman, and also as the daughter of two psychoanalysts? Caruth: When I was working on Locke, Wordsworth, Kant, and Freud, who were the authors I examined in my first book, I was looking at philosophical, literary, and psychoanalytic stories of experience (or theories attempting to account for experience). And what I found at the center of these texts were encounters that were not, strictly speaking, experiential: death encounters between parents and dead children or between children and dead parents. I was interested in these non-phenomenal encounters that seemed somehow central to what was otherwise an experience defined by perception or phenomenality, and that passed itself into these texts through certain aspects of their figuration. I had planned to continue this work by writing on the figure of the accident, when I came across the example of the traumatic accident in Freud, which appears as the prime example of the event that causes trauma. Trauma is itself an event that is in one sense the most immediate of experiences and the least experiential, just as the flashbacks seem overwhelmingly visual and yet cannot be described as traditionally perceptual or phenomenal. In Freud too, this encounter must be read in his text not only at the level of the concept but also at the level of the figure--for example, as I have suggested, in the figures of departure and awakening--and to this extent the theory retains a literary element. So the link between trauma theory and Romanticism for me is itself an entanglement of concept, figure, and accident. There is certainly a resonance as well, for me, between the notion of

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trauma as an event that returns as an interruption of consciousness, and the theorization of reference as I have understood it, at least in part, in Paul de Man. This is why I placed the chapter on de Man in the trauma book. De Man's writing on the way in which language produces and resists its own theorization can be understood, I believe, in terms of a kind of interruption that occurs in reading, the interruption of closed (formal or hermeneutic) systems by linguistic elements not containable within them. I have understood this as his way of rethinking reference as something that interrupts rather than supports meaning. As Cynthia Chase has put it, we would need a non-semantic notion of reference. This event of reality (or the imposition of otherness) in reading, a reality that imposes itself even though it might not be recognizable in any pre-conceived conceptual framework, can be thought together with trauma theory, I believe, although I would never wish to reduce one to the other. And again, I would point to the fact that both "theories," if we can call them that--de Man's writing on reference and Freud's writing on trauma--cannot be closed off as conceptual or theoretical systems. For example, I have suggested that de Man's rethinking of reference in "The Resistance to Theory," "Phenomenality and Materiality in Kant," and his essay on Kleist's Marionettentheater must be read in part through the figure of falling that weaves its way through these texts. Freud also links the figure of the impact of trauma within the conceptual theory of his own writing to the passage from the Unfall of the accident to the auffallen that is the striking of the theoretical recognition of trauma. But, of course, one would not want to equate one fall with another. . . . Pozorski: What does your training as a Romanticist bring to your ideas about trauma and trauma theory? I am thinking particularly about the place of the child in your writing--on Locke, Wordsworth, Freud, Lacan--who appears as invested with all of the characteristics of the Romantic subject. Is there something about the representation of the child in Romanticism that sheds light, for you, on what, precisely, is at stake in the game in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, the dream of the burning child in Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), and Lacan's Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (1977)? Your later work, too, reveals a concern for, or interest in, the relationship between children and trauma--the inner-city Atlanta teen who gives up the clothing of a lost friend, the child who witnessed an avalanche of sand. . . What is it about the place of the child that seems so fundamental to

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our theorizing trauma? Caruth: It is true that I have written about the child in many texts--though that happened by accident, not intentionally--and the child is perhaps a figural connection between my essays on Enlightenment and Romantic texts and the later twentieth-century trauma texts. In both cases, there seems to be a link to death, or a death encounter, which remains resistant to full theorization (it is a genuinely and obscurely figural moment in the philosophical, literary, and narrative texts, and something I believe I cannot theorize completely). There is a kind of radical vulnerability to the child and an incomprehensibility of the child's language that emerges in some of Freud's and Lacan's writing on trauma, and that appears to place the child on the side of death, or of dying--in Locke (the mother endlessly mourning her dead child in the chapter on association) and in Freud and Lacan (in the dream of the burning child) we can see this at work--and that remains unreachable, though central, to the adult (or to the survival that is redefined around the relation to this entity). But the child is also the one who seems to have a precocious relation to death, as in Wordsworth or the child playing fort/da, and who is, itself, defined in terms of this relation. As Robert Jay Lifton noted, trauma is associated in the later Freud with adult experience, and the child's game of repetition is placed alongside that of soldiers going to the battlefield. That juxtaposition of war and childhood is telling and may draw on an unconscious history of sorts within the figure of the child. But in Wordsworth and in Freud we also see a central link between the child and the development of language, and there is something both foundational and non-integratable in the way in which the child and its language enter the linguistic system. In Freud, as I have suggested, it is the child's own somewhat incomprehensible game of "o/a" (or perhaps it is just "o"), reinterpreted by Freud as "fort" and "da," that, I believe, becomes the linguistic foundation for the theory of trauma as an attempt to return to the moment before the trauma that always departs again. Something incomprehensible that Freud hears in the child's just-forming language passes into the theory. I believe that it is here that we might find a history stretching back to Romanticism, a figural history that links trauma and literature around the child. Pozorski: I wonder if you would be willing to talk for a bit about the ethical dimensions of trauma. You speak in the "Traumatic Awakenings" chapter of

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Unclaimed Experience of an ethical imperative of an awakening that has yet to occur (112), which suggests, on the one hand, that we must awaken to the unspeakable, unspoken traumas of our collective histories. But this also seems to be a very personal kind of ethics: one that demands we awaken to the unexpected speakers--or even literary texts--before us. Is there a way in which to conceive of trauma theory as a theory of ethics--of confronting the alienating forms that we cannot master on a daily basis--so as not to undermine its major contributions to much larger scale historical events such as the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Vietnam? Caruth: The chapter in which I write about the imperative to awaken concerns Lacan's reading of the dream of the burning child, in which he reads that dream in terms of his understanding of the unconscious as "ethical" and in which he allows the dream to resonate (within the framework of the seminar as a whole) with images of the Holocaust. The analysis is interesting because it is intensely personal in a way--a father near his child's dead body confronted, in a dream, with the dying child's words--but it clearly carries with it larger resonances (Christian as well). This echoes Freud's own tendency to move from the individual (for example, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle), in which the trauma concerns, say, the nightmare of a soldier or the game of a child, to something larger than the individual, such as the death drive or the life drive. One way to understand that move is to suggest that the trauma contains within it already a larger intergenerational or collective structure-- who could say, for example, that an experience that one does not fully possess is simply one's own?--and that the very notion of trauma undoes some of our general distinctions between individual and collective. Thus Beyond the Pleasure Principle and Moses and Monotheism can be read through each other, around the figure of departure, although the individual/collective distinction is not dissolved. The life drive in Beyond, I think, must be read in that text (as I have argued in my essay "Parting Words") through Freud's own, very specific language in that text, a language that gives testimony to, repeats and parts from the language (in the game of the child playing fort/da) of the death drive. Lacan's association of this awakening to ethics stems, I believe, from the otherness and imperative quality of the child's words, from the way in which the traumatic awakening of the dream is not so much simply a matter of what one can know as of how one must respond. (And how one must

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respond to a voice and an other that cannot be integrated conceptually.) This response is also impossible, to some extent, because it is always too late--this is Lacan's rereading of the originary structure of the death drive, I think--but precisely to that extent absolutely necessary. Because it is a rereading of the death drive, Lacan's analysis of the dream implicitly links the individual response and a larger historical necessity, though obscurely. I cannot answer the question you have asked fully, but I would point out that the question of trauma and ethics as it emerges through the Freud/Lacan pairing must always, I think, be linked to the notion of events, of occurrences. In Freud, trauma is about occurrence, about historicity. It is not about a structure alone; the emergence of life is an event in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, and is structured by the shock of its own belatedness--it is always a survival (though only potentially, in history, a trauma). Similarly, the child's voice in the dream of the burning child occurs in relation to an event, and the awakening repeats (and testifies to) this event (though it may not always be simple to identify the event). So we cannot simply assimilate trauma theory to a philosophical ethical theory (for example, Levinas), because there is this historical dimension that is crucial. Now, of course, one can ask whether or not we might think of individual encounters as "events" and thus extend the model beyond deaths, wars, etc. I would simply want to say here that whether individual or collective, the awakening occurs in relation to and as the passing-on of an event whose true impact lies in the future.

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Second Sorrow

worry about it sometimes, that you didn't know what you were getting into. Do you think if you had it to do over again, knowing what you know now, knowing all that was about to happen and the toll it would take, do you think you'd still choose me? Probably you would, you're a good person. You might do it because you thought you should help me. Do you ever wonder about that--about the difference between loving somebody because you have to love them and because you want to love them? Sometimes I'm not sure which is which. When you first met me, I'm pretty certain you'd have said, "I have to love her," and I liked it so very much that I was compelling to you, that you never felt as if you could not choose me. Carter, I don't want you to feel obligated to me. I'm a strong person, I know that about myself. Sometimes with you I'm weak, but that's only because I allow myself to be, because I love you enough to let you help me. If you left right now, I'd pull through. Maybe I couldn't have done it three years ago, right after I was attacked, maybe not even last year, but now I could. I don't need you the same way I needed you even a year ago, and I like it that I'm getting to a place where I might not need you at all. I'm grateful for you, but I get tired of thinking I'll always be in your debt. You know that African tribal belief that when you save someone's life the person you saved belongs to you forever? It's a beautiful idea, but so burdensome. I've said this before and I believe it--that you helped save me, that I was in the most impossible place. I needed someone who was different from everybody else, who could be only for me, but maybe it's been too much for you. I know this about you: you'd never leave until you were sure I was going to be all right, and I've been thinking lately that in your mind you'll never really be sure. You're always calling to check on me, to make sure I'm home safely, because you know I could just be out walking again some night and it could happen all over again. You think about that every day, don't you? I feel sorry for you sometimes. For a while I felt safer because you were always worrying for me. It was like being protected. I was tired of worrying for myself, and somebody did it for me. Do you remember how we would be

I

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walking in Georgetown and I would let myself go, like a kid, ready to walk off the curb into traffic? But you were always paying attention. Every time you'd catch me by the arm and pull me out of harm's way. For a while there we started to count how many times you'd saved my life. We made a game of it. It was funny. I was so accidental, it seems impossible to me now that I was once like that. After you'd saved my life, I could always laugh and be happy. Whenever I was at home and depressed, physically unable to get out of bed, I didn't have to call you because you were so reliable, you were so concerned. You'd call me and say, "Anne, are you sad again today?" and I'd admit that I was, and then you would just talk to me and let me be sad. It's not that simple anymore, though. The world is hospitable to violence, to sorrow, I can see that clearly. I read the true crime books, I read those stories of rape in which an armed man enters a house while a couple is together and he holds the gun to the husband's head and ties him up, and then he rapes the woman in the other room or sometimes in the same room. What could you do about that? If you tried to save me, he'd kill you; and that's the only thing that could possibly make it worse--watching you die. The rape wouldn't matter then, I wouldn't even care. If we're ever together and we get attacked, I don't want you to interfere. I can survive anything, even another rape, as long as I know you'd still be alive. Promise me you won't do anything. Shall I tell you something? Do you remember how I used to say that someday I would tell you everything? How I was so mysterious about a part of me that was too painful to share? Sometimes I can't even remember what all my secrets were, what it was that I thought was so awful that if you knew about it you couldn't love me anymore, why I had to let you see me only gradually, letting my flaws become apparent only once you were already enamored of me in a thousand ways. What I wanted to say just now was that there's no way we're supposed to make it--you know that, don't you?--there's no way we're supposed to last. It's the final damage. It's what always comes after, like when a couple loses a child. Sooner or later their relationship is a casualty. Every day you go forward, but you're a constant reminder to one another of the awful thing that you endured together. Even when you're not thinking about it, you're

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still thinking about it. I like it that every day we stay together after my rape is such a long day. It's an eternity to other people's time, and even if I left tomorrow we'd still be together because of everything we can't forget. Still, there's part of me that wants to be done with it all, to close it off from memory--God, how I wanted to shut down so many times after it first happened. You stayed by my side and gave me a choice, and then one day I decided I wouldn't shut you out. We were on Hilton Head, and we couldn't go in the ocean because it was windy and never above sixty-two degrees, and we played table tennis, read novels under blankets at the beach, and took long afternoon naps. One morning I was terribly depressed, and I'd told you over and over again that I wanted to die. But you didn't badger me or barter with me, you didn't treat me like a child. You just said that you would never be the same if I died. And I didn't tell you--I couldn't say it out loud just in case I couldn't keep my promise--but it was at that moment I promised not to shut myself off from you. Do you think if you had it to do over again, knowing what you know now, knowing all that was about to happen and the toll it would take, do you think you'd still choose me? Tell me, did you think I was mysterious when you first met me? I sometimes wonder what you thought I might be hiding. What would you find unacceptable? How much would it take to drive you away? I was always so worried about our differences. "We are so different," I would remind myself, but then I couldn't remember how, except that there were things you wanted that didn't require me. There were times after we first met when I would talk myself into leaving you for your own good. I would write notes to myself in my journal, "You must leave him so he can find someone who will not be so troublesome, who will not get in the way of all the things he wants to do." I really hated my own neediness. And that was all before I was attacked. Which goes to show that often what we think of as need isn't the real thing. After the rape, then I needed you. Did you like being needed? I was pretty sure you did. Do you remember how, after you moved me into that very secure, high-rise apartment in Arlington, immediately I began to hate the place? My god, it had no charac-

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ter. Of course, I was also depressed, and probably would have been depressed no matter where I was. I'd get myself back and forth to work each day, that was all I could do. I couldn't be bothered with hanging prints or cleaning the apartment. For how long did I sleep on that ridiculous mattress on the floor? It seemed entire days passed and I barely moved from that mattress. You'd drive down for the weekends, and you'd find me in bed and you'd offer to take me to dinner, only I refused to shower or take a bath because the bathroom was dirty. So you scrubbed the bathroom, I can still picture you down on your hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom for me. You'd call me into the bathroom to see if it was passable yet, and I'd point out a hint of mold under the faucet or soap scum on the shower curtain, and you'd walk me back to bed and clean some more. Eventually the bathroom met my standards, and you drew me a bath and helped me get undressed. And afterward when I was outside, for the first time all day in sunlight even though it was already evening, I did feel better. Do you ever wonder about that--about the difference between loving somebody because you have to love them and because you want to love them? Most of the time I can't remember anything of what it was like back then. I can remember your kindness if I force myself, but the person I once was is barely recognizable to me. If I saw a picture of her, if I saw a home movie of a young woman who looked like me and was acting that way, I'd say, "Who is that? What's wrong with her?" I'm not that broken person anymore, and I know how much that pleases you. I did it, I kept making myself better, but not without your help. I'm your achievement. Yet the broken me is always there in your memory, like a parent who fights with a grown child by remembering the rebellious teenager in her, never the autonomous adult. With a parent, what you say can never be judged solely for the pure truth or error in it. We've always had the most interesting conversations--about whether F. Scott and Zelda ever really fell out of love, about why the Boomtown Rats might be better than the Beatles, about whether or not Bob Dylan is really a poet. Still, maybe there's part of you that handles me. You don't mean to be condescending, maybe you can't even hear it when you are, but if you've seen someone when she's truly vulnerable maybe you can never get that idea of her out of your head. Do

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you think that's true? Don't become too attached, I feel like warning you, to the part of me that has to get left behind. There was a time when I would invent scenarios in which you wouldn't have loved me. I'd locate them before the rape, wondering if my life had gone down a wrong path, if I were using lots of cocaine, sleeping with many men at the same time, skipping from job to job, and we met under those circumstances, could I still charm you? Would you be willing to risk it? The person you love now would still be there buried inside and you'd see her, maybe only for a flash, and long to be with her. If you saw me as already so worn out by life, perhaps you'd think you could undo some of the damage. Or, what if I'd been married and had three children, what if I'd stuck with Sebastian, my college boyfriend? In my mind I'd put these challenges to an imaginary you: if I were divorced or separated, and I'd fallen out of love with my husband or maybe never loved him, would you start up with me? I hate it that I can project my life along those lines and put myself in those scenarios and see myself there, knowing I really could be those ways if I hadn't been so lucky and that, maybe under the wrong set of circumstances, you wouldn't love me. Everything seems so arbitrary. As if love is just a way of deluding ourselves about the perfectly contingent details in the life of a person we say we can't live without. So much depends on getting to someone before her choices exclude you forever from central aspects of her life. When I tried very hard and could really imagine myself in a dire parallel life, I'd get angry with you for your inability to recognize me for who I really was. I thought you of all people should find me, even if I hadn't yet been brave enough to let myself emerge. Do you remember where we were when you first told me you loved me? We had just met some friends for drinks at the Skydeck of the Sears Tower. You were moving away to New Haven, and I didn't yet have the job in DC. We'd been together every free minute for the prior two weeks, and we didn't want the night to end so we sat on the steps beneath the Sears Tower and suddenly you asked me, "Do you want me to love you?" I smiled and said, "Why, do you?" That was what I wanted from you--the risk of it, with no guarantees in advance. You didn't miss a beat and you admitted, yes, you loved me. Then I said that I very much liked the idea of you loving me.

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I didn't say "I love you" back. I hated the idea that my words might be dependent on yours. I wanted them to be spontaneous and true, so I kept them secret until I could choose the right time. I worry that you can't ever choose me now, and I hate that. Everything's been decided for us. We were already in love, but there was so much ahead of us, so many choices to come. Then this happened, and the choice was made for us. You've got no choice but to love me and stay with me until you're sure I'm all right, and if I were another woman maybe I could just rest in that and allow myself to be taken care of. Only then I wouldn't get to choose either. So instead I have to get to a place where I'm perfectly free to choose you or leave you. In which case you can't win--maybe I'll change and become easier to live with, but then I won't be yours anymore. Probably you'll never be able to get over your attachment to that person I once was who absolutely needed you, you'll never learn to see me as I truly am or as I'm going to be. And someday I'll have to leave--just to prove I can do it. You won't hate me for it, will you? What if what I was keeping from you when we first met, long before the rape, was my knowledge of what was coming--my secret was what I saw. It was as though my whole life had prepared me for it. I'd come out of the worst childhood. I'd conquered growing up with an alcoholic father, a susceptibility to violent boyfriends, an anxiety disorder. Even though all my high school friends were fundamentalists, I broke free and learned to think outside the lines. I was a feminist, I read the books. I read Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, and I knew what could happen. Statistically, it was even probable. I couldn't tell you all of this. You would have thought I was paranoid. But maybe I was just a woman who understood how things really are. That's what I couldn't yet tell you. I haven't told you everything, Carter. I know now I never will. It's impossible to tell another person everything about yourself. Maybe it's impossible ever truly to know another person, at least not in the way you know yourself. Some people would say that's obvious. Not if you believe in love, though--then you want another person to see you in all the ways you are, almost like God. You can't keep anything hidden, and even if you could you don't necessarily want to. When I feel that way, I start to resent it. I want my privacy. For me there

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will always be a few things I want to keep hidden, even if I'm not sure in any given moment what they are or whether they're important. When I feel you wanting to know everything about me, I tell myself, "He wants too much," like Daisy letting down Gatsby. I worry we're too intimate. We don't keep anything from each other--our flaws, moral or physical. I'm critical of you sometimes in a way I would only be critical of myself. I want to know your anxieties, to feel privileged by my knowledge of you. Maybe women like that sort of intimacy better than men do, in which case men are lucky. You don't have to worry about what to confide because women want all your confidences. It might even be a maternal thing, certainly by now it's cultural. Think of how fathers cringe when they learn about their daughters' periods, when they imagine them as sexual beings--but mothers, they're not even horrified by wet-dreams. I worry that you can't ever choose me now, and I hate that. You're different from most men, still maybe not different enough. Maybe I should have told you less. Early on I had no choice because everything in me wanted to confess to you; and then later after the rape I let it all out, my defenses were down and you saw everything--all my fears and vulnerabilities. I didn't bother anymore. I let you scrub my bathroom, I let you clean out my kitchen when there was rotting garbage in the sink and every now and then the smell got so bad I wouldn't even go to that side of the apartment. All the things one keeps hidden from the rest of the world, except maybe for the briefest glimpses, and I gave them away. Even marriages are based on some deception--the things you don't let the man learn about you. When I was still at college I remember having drinks with this graduate student after a summer advertising class, and he started to tell me about his marriage. I asked how it was different--being in love versus being married-- and he said, "You know the honeymoon's over when you're in the shower and your wife comes in to take a dump." Well, it was crude of him to speak about it that way, but in the back of my mind there was the secret thought, What could she have been thinking? Do you want to know what I now think my real secret was? The thing that goes so far back I'd almost forgotten about it?

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I'm afraid I chose you because I knew one day I would need you. I had to make you love me. I told you only what I thought you could bear until you could bear more, and I let you fall in love with the best parts of me first. Yes, it was because I saw what would happen, because I knew bad things were coming, and I needed you--someone who was loyal, who would know how to love me when I was in a bad way. I loved you instinctively: you were that person and I liked the way it made me feel. It was the survivor in me that knew you right away, but I wonder now if maybe that was unfair.

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View of a V-1 rocket in flight over London during the last days of World War II. (Source: National Archives)

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When Language Fails: Witnessing Holocaust Testimony

"But somehow, we had a need for each other, because he knew who I was. He was the only person who knew. You know, you feel like you come from nothing, you are nothing, nobody knows you--it's a very strange feeling. You need some contact, some connection, and he was my connection. He knew who I was and I knew who he was." --Helen K.

elen K., a woman whose story is one of over 4,000 documented at the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale University, described before a video camera in 1979 the foundation of her marriage to another survivor. Although she describes that marriage as though it originated after the Holocaust--"you know, you feel like you come from nothing, you are nothing, nobody knows you"--the marriage, in fact, began before the war and continued after the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. Her loneliness, what she describes as knowing no one and no one knowing her, refers to the death of her mother, father, two sisters, and younger brother. Her comments about needing a connection, and having no one who "knows" but her husband, come during an interview in which she is trying to communicate, or, more precisely, to connect the pieces of this fragmented history for the generations who will come after her. She understands the importance of forming connections, and perhaps is aware that she must function as a connection between her own history and the generations to come for whom she is an important link to a past they would not otherwise know. But, the description of this connection with her husband reveals that she must find a way to connect her experiences with a language inadequate to convey them. For Helen K., the most reliable connection is with her husband; for, when it comes to connecting traumatic experience with a narrative, she is much less successful. It is precisely at the moment she says during this interview that: "you need some contact, some connection," that the impossibility of forming a connection through narration becomes clear. Only her husband understands her traumatic loss. Yet it is an understanding that comes not via language and a coherent narrative, but through what he saw with his own eyes. While Helen K. never directly mentions an inability to communicate her experiences, the failure surfaces throughout her narrative. She was involved

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with a rebellion group who famously resisted Nazis from within the ghetto, and stories of this rebellion group make up a good portion of her testimony. It soon becomes clear that she is more comfortable speaking about their heroics--something she does with enthusiasm and grace--rather than her personal tragedies. When she reaches a point that requires her to broach more painful events, for example, this articulate and strong resistor struggles to find the right words. When discussing the death of her brother, her mother, or her father, she flatly states that they disappeared. This is in the midst of painstakingly detailed testimony concerning the actions of the rebel group, the state of the ghetto, and tragic stories of death in the camps. Perhaps the most telling example of the disconnect between language and traumatic history emerges when Helen attempts to tell the story of her father's death. Helen recalls that her family was forced into the Warsaw ghetto, and one night her father went out to a store in the ghetto and never came back. Helen won't elaborate, or can't elaborate after that. The interviewer questions her about this sudden ambiguity--up until this point Helen has been incredibly detailed in her descriptions, after all--and Helen pauses. She struggles to explain, stating that people were just picked up like dogs: helen: Well, he never came back so we assumed that. . .you know. . . there were a lot of people. . . they were catching people like a dog catcher, you know, when a dog catcher goes out he catches dogs, anybody they saw on the street they picked up, so my father was picked up. interviewer: But you don't know. . .you didn't. . . helen: Oh, we know, we know he was picked up. interviewer: Did anyone witness it? helen: Yeah, people told us [stutters] he went out and never came back. She quickly moves on to the next event in her story. Helen knows what happened to her father, but she cannot verbalize the truth. She tries to communicate the event, using the failed metaphor of a dogcatcher to express the inhumanity of the experience. After trying and failing with another metaphor to express this loss--she later compares the situation to Cambodia--Helen in the end returns to the place where she began, with her general and evasive statement: "He went out and never came back." In the end, these are the only words that seem to do justice to the last moment she knows her father was alive, and yet, they seem spare and insufficient. As if she realizes the failure of this moment, of this task of recalling her father's last moments, she gives up and moves on to another more cohesive piece of narrative.

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Far from a failure to communicate, however, this telling moment is perhaps the most successful in conveying that which cannot easily be communicated: the systematic loss of one's entire family. In this moment when her narrative breaks down, Helen exposes a kind of absence, indicating how language cannot possibly encompass the enormity of such personal trauma. Even when turning to metaphor--what one has come to think of as a successful conveyor of emotion, the tool of highly articulate poets--Helen's discourse reveals that not even literary language can patch the holes of this broken experience and the narrative that must carry it. Affirming that such pain exists, rather than trying to gloss over it with an imposed narrative structure, is a unique characteristic of these archive testimonies--an archive that tells the story of the Holocaust in between the gaps, slips, stutters, and silences of the survivors who tell their story on behalf of history. The Fortunoff Video Archive is a project that began over twenty years ago as an attempt to preserve survivor testimony for future research. Today the archive has over 4,300 videotaped interviews with people who experienced Nazi persecution first hand, totaling more than 10,000 recorded hours. The project's goal is specifically to give voice to the victims and thereby work against the rising tide of indifference, or worse, Holocaust denial. Those who spearheaded the original effort--Laurel Valock, Dori Laub, William Rosenburg, and Geoffrey Hartman--felt that the archive could offer a new dimension to Holocaust studies. Indeed, the archive is matchless in its minimalist approach to survivor narrative. As a result, viewers recognize that the Holocaust is not safely situated in the past but still painfully exists for survivors in the present.1 Helen's testimony reveals how such ongoing struggles with memory carry into the present for survivors. Here, while telling the story of her family and her own survival, she also inadvertently tells the story of a failure in language--itself a story without hope, understanding, or comfort. Helen expresses the true alienation that results from unimaginable trauma and the failure of language to encompass it. Her story is ultimately antireparative, which is only reinforced by the medium through which she tells this story. Filmed testimony allows for a focus on these failures in a way that would be impossible in other media. Literature, personal interviews, and art often use a kind of narrative structure--a cohesive representation of an event or story in art--to cover over such breakdowns or to seal the traumatic wounds. Video testimony stands in direct contrast with narrative in that it captures

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these revealing slips and silences that occur when the speaker is struggling to form a narrative. As a result of its refusal to provide a coherent picture of the survivor's history, the video testimony alienates its viewers in ways that other forms try to resist. These other forms, by contrast, fail adequately to acknowledge the crisis of witnessing that the survivors present, and therefore­despite all of their coherence--do not tell the entire story of the Holocaust. The power of these interviews lies in the opportunity for survivors to narrate their experience, many for the first time, in their own words, and to express their ongoing struggle to live with the traumatic past. The tapes best reveal this, not so much through what is said, but rather through what is not said--through the survivors' inability to find words that accurately describe the experience. As such, the tapes themselves capture an expression of the struggle to witness, the impossibility of expressing trauma, and, in turn, the failure of language. In this way, the viewer is forced to encounter the unspeakable, to see and acknowledge the performative nature of speech. This is precisely the tragedy that supervenes from the Holocaust survivors' inability to express their loss and the isolation felt when language fails. In this way, film is able to document the Holocaust in an inimitable and unsettling manner. It allows for a focus on the everyday that unearths realities often overlooked or hidden from the naked eye. Testimony on film becomes not just a narrated record of traumatic events, but also a record of trauma's effect on the familiar. Specifically, the camera reveals the act of language--something generally overlooked or glossed over in other forms of communication. In Helen's narrative, this is revealed when she attempts to describe the disappearance of her mother. She painfully states, "This is another one that is very hard. . . I want you to know my mother wasn't even forty years old." At this point, the viewer can see her struggle to find words, their inadequacy, and that ultimately Helen is creating and directing this narrative. The pauses, the struggle to articulate, are documented and observable. When participating in testimony, that is, when acting as a listener, one is concerned with understanding the narrative, or focused on responding appropriately to the speaker. While watching the speaker on film neither pressure is present. A viewer of film is freed up to focus on the "hidden details of familiar objects."2 The most striking quality of the archive, beyond even the uncomfortable moments the camera records, may be the stark simplicity and pliant structure of the interviews. The unedited footage is of survivors telling their story while

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the interviewers and cameraman focus on observing, listening, and documenting. For the most part, the camera refrains from manipulating views and the interviewers do not question the facts given by survivors.3 There is a general question to begin discussion, usually directing survivors to a time before the war. Interviewers play a very small role in the testimony, generally only entering with questions when the survivor becomes stuck, or is apparently struggling to continue his or her narrative. While interviewers work to get the survivor through narrative breaks, these moments mark an important aspect of video testimony. The unadorned presentation highlights these pauses that might otherwise go unnoticed. In these breaks, the contemporaneous struggle that exists for survivors becomes clear. When the subject becomes distraught, or perhaps tries to skim over events, the interviewer asks questions to encourage discussion of the elusive details. As survivors are pushed to describe that which they were clearly avoiding, the struggle to articulate the most traumatic and unspeakable events is in full view. The power of film is that it presents these moments to the spectator as well, conveying the radically alien notion that language is not all we need to communicate, and that the story that this inadequacy of language tells is a story of a history that remains wholly outside of communication. These moments appear as not only outside of history, then, but also--and more crucially--outside of language as well. Many times in these uncomfortable moments, a survivor might try to reach for narrative conventions in order to make his or her story more palatable, but, unlike the seemingly innate narrative structure of fiction, the act of placing such conventions onto a narrative is clearly seen as coming from without. In Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory (1991), Lawrence Langer theorizes these narrative impositions as they contrast with the troubling narrative breaks within these testimonies. In a chapter on what he refers to as anguished memory, Langer notes that video of immediate testimony allows for breaks in meaning that a fictional account told through literature cannot. The interviewee does not have time to construct a proper narrative. In other words, an interview takes place in the present; the questions posed require immediate answers. The results are free from editing--the interviews require a kind of spontaneity not seen in written works. The interviewee is freed from, or, perhaps it is more proper to say, is unable to use the conventions of literature to shape his or her answers. In discussing written Holocaust memoirs, Langer states, "such memoir still abides (some more con-

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sciously than others) by certain literary conventions: chronology, description, characterization, dialogue, and above all, perhaps, the invention of a narrative voice" (41). But it is these conventions that detract from the real story these survivors tell, the story not only of a past that cannot be articulated via traditional standards, but also of their own confrontations with language, memory, and loss. The Fortunoff Video Archive, in both the nature of testimony, and in a conscientious effort by organizers, seems to stand apart from these other approaches that use identification, heroism, and responsibility to communicate the legacy of the Holocaust. As opposed to the comfort afforded by understanding, the testimony presents only an unreachable struggle, an unspeakable and continuous suffering. Whereas the alienating nature of the failure of language, as expressed by videotaped testimony, refuses any sense of reparation, other, more "traditional," forms of Holocaust memorial, such as museums and written accounts, seek to convey this uncertain history through more comforting representations. For example, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum encourages a kind of identification with victims in order to create a personal connection for visitors.4 Visitors are asked to wear ID tags recalling the practice of assigning concentration camp numbers; children can explore exhibits on a child-victim of the Holocaust; and visitors walk down a path made of stones from concentration camps. The identification, however, never dislocates the events from history. Visitors emotionally connect with the artifacts--they can learn about historical facts, after all--but this historical history comes at the expense of the most complicated and emotional effects of the trauma itself. Identification within the safety of contemporary times invites the visitor to sympathize with the victims and atrocities of the past, but visitors are never asked to recognize or to confront a struggle in the present.5 More reparative modes of Holocaust representation reveal that narrative helps communicate an experience by providing structure in a way that appears inherent to the event itself. A heroic narrative allows for positive affirmations--tales of insurmountable human spirit, the value of perseverance--in the midst of tragedy. In Holocaust testimony, however, there are no heroes­a truth noted by several survivors. Hanna F., another survivor who has contributed testimony to the Fortunoff archive, states: "And I am Jewish, all right. I had determined already to survive, and you know what? It wasn't luck. It was stupidity. There was no guts. There were just sheer stupidity" (Greene 218).

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Stephanie Cherolis

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In an example of humanity's need to create a narrative that is both heroic and familiar, the interviewer claims that Hanna is plucky and that is why she survived. Hanna, however, is adamant that her survival was not heroic in nature. Survivors rarely see themselves as special or different, but those outside the event find it comforting to view them as such, thereby imposing structure and meaning on an otherwise inconceivable event. While the traditional heroic narrative can be found within Holocaust literature and art, more contemporary approaches to confronting the Holocaust require viewers to take responsibility. More recent works, literary, artistic, and beyond, have rejected a conventional approach that celebrates survival. Joan Rosenbaum, in the director's preface to Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art, notes that contemporary artists addressing the Holocaust in their art "dismiss classicism, edifices, and memorial rituals. They replace them with a disquieting, demanding, and jolting approach" (vii). In other words, these contemporary artists attempt to break free from conventional expression and often use shock to communicate with the viewer. It's hard to express the feelings of disgust, directed at oneself, upon viewing Boris Lurie's "Saturation Paintings" (10) in Mirroring Evil, which juxtaposes historical footage of Holocaust survivors with pornography. In orchestrating a jolting experience, the artist relies upon our feelings of disgust to comment on a pornographic fascination with the shock value of death instead of respecting the personal tragedy involved.6 In this moment when her narrative breaks down, Helen exposes a kind of absence, indicating how language cannot possibly encompass the enormity of such personal trauma. All three of these modes­identification, celebration of heroism, and calls for responsibility­fail to have the alienating effect that is so powerful in the video archive, because they refuse a consideration of the impact of the crisis of witness, as articulated by Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub in their book Testimony; Crisis of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History (1992). This work expounds upon the central idea in trauma studies that a victim of trauma suffers from a crisis of witnessing. Victims are forced to witness an event that is outside of language and, therefore, outside of manageable human experience. According to Laub, for example, "the victim's narrative--the very process of bearing witness to massive trauma--does indeed begin with

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someone who testifies to an absence, to an event that has not yet come into existence, in spite of the overwhelming and compelling nature of the reality of its occurrence" (57). Likewise, Cathy Caruth finds trauma to be an experience that defies articulation, as an event a survivor is forced to revisit without the ability to assimilate it into his or her existence. The result is a victim haunted by painful events, one who experiences extreme feelings of isolation, because he or she is unable to communicate the struggle to anyone. The true impact of the Holocaust is recorded inadvertently on video as the failure of language, at the very moment when nothing can be expressed. Many have attempted to commemorate the Holocaust, or memorialize it in a way that both does justice to the survivors' experience and somehow passes on the legacy to future generations in hopes of preventing such atrocities from occurring ever again. The archive has succeeded in capturing the horror of the Holocaust--not simply by capturing the voices of the survivors but, paradoxically, by witnessing their silences. These testimonies do not let us look away from the moments of these struggles with language, and­as a result­they do not let us look away from the effects of history itself. Herein lies the success of the project, a project that reminds us that the effects of Holocaust trauma are no longer, indeed, were never, safely in the past, and that the enormity of the suffering can be best seen in the terrifying loss of language. With this archive, then, we have access to the stories of over 4,300 individuals who all express the horror of the Holocaust in the very moment that they are unable to use language. Like Helen, they all in some way tell the story of the necessity to connect. The success of the archive, then, is connecting this story with the story of language, a story that implicates all of us. Notes

For a more detailed history of the archive see the background given by Geoffrey Hartman at the end of Witness: Voices from the Holocaust. 2 The opportunity to perceive hidden realities through film is one predicted by Walter Benjamin in "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." In this work Benjamin discusses how technology is changing the experience of contemporary art. The importance of an original work, or a piece handcrafted solely by the artist, is fading. Instead, photography and film are creating a new dimension to art, new possibilities. To Benjamin, film allows us to recognize "hidden details of familiar objects" (236). 3 This would be problematic in relation to the Wilkomirski debate. Disregarding historical accuracy in favor of traumatic effect, according to critics like Gross and Hoffman, may support false identification in what they refer to as a victim culture. 4 Alison Landsberg in "America, the Holocaust, and the Mass Culture of Memory: Toward

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a Radical Politics of Empathy" finds transference necessary for generations not directly connected to the Holocaust. This transference is needed to remember and assign importance to events with which they have no first hand experience. 5 This argument appears in a slightly varied form of the controversy over false identification and the Wilkomirski case. Binjamin Wilkomirski supposedly wrote a Holocaust narrative titled Fragments as a survivor, but, later, after much acclaim, it was discovered that Wilkomirski had no connection at all to the events of the Holocaust other than through research. Wilkomirski held fast to his identity as a survivor and many believe he convinced himself these facts were true by connecting his real childhood trauma to the trauma experienced by Holocaust survivors. Andrew S. Gross and Michael J. Hoffman use this event to point out the dangers of victim identification in their article "Memory, Authority, and Identity: Holocaust Studies in Light of the Wilkomirski Debate." They state that such respected institutions as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum support this kind of false identification.

Works Cited

Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken Books, 1968. . The Arcades Project. Trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2002. Dean, Carolyn J. "Empathy, Pornography, and Suffering." Differences 14.1 (2003): 88-124. Felman, Shoshana, and Dori Laub, M.D. Testimony: Crisis of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History. New York: Routledge, 1992. Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, T. 152, Menachem S. Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, T. 58, Helen K. Greene, Joshua M. and Shiva Kumar, eds. Witness: Voices from the Holocaust. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000. Gross, Andrew S., and Michael S. Hoffman. "Memory, Authority, and Identity: Holocaust Studies in Light of the Wilkomirski Debate." Biography 27.1 (2004): 25-48. Landsberg, Alison. "America, the Holocaust, and the Mass Culture of Memory: Toward a Radical Politics of Empathy." New German Critique 71 (Spring-Summer 1997): 63-87. Langer, Lawrence. Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory. New Haven: Yale UP, 1991. Rosenbaum, Joan. Director's Preface. Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art. Ed. Norman L. Kleeblatt. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2002.

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Grace Cavalieri

The Heart For It

After New Orleans' flood

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In this plain box of a house, the tiny dresses are lined up in case I ever have another baby. The rack goes from one end of the room to the other, dozens of little outfits, pink smocked dresses with green stitches, a red and blue play dress with bloomers to match, the white sun suits, a yellow sun dress, three ducks embroidered on the front, and four dresses different sizes, all exactly alike, all blue, so soft I could not leave them in the store. I just didn't have the heart for it. After all someday I might have another baby. But now there is a warning. In a land of empty houses, it's time to pick them up from their hangers and carry them next door, someone will need them. Oh. No one is there to collect them. Perhaps every hour on the hour someone will come. No lights are on. Who will I give them to, little dresses hanging on hangers like dreams. No one is home. What shall I do with these beautiful things I've saved? In this land where no birds are singing, the only visitor is my friend Jan, back from the dead, carrying an empty photo album for our future.

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CSU Art Award

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Rolandas Kiaulevicius, The Dream 27 x 22 inches oil on canvas 2005

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david leeson, Battle for Al Kifl digital original digitally reproduced Iraq, 2003

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david leeson, Barred Owl digital original digitally reproduced Texas, 2003

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david leeson, Sparrows in Snow digital original digitally reproduced Texas, 2004

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david leeson, Storm 35mm film digitally reproduced Nebraska, 1998

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david leeson, Shoreline original 35 mm film digitally reproduced Lake Michigan, 1998

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david leeson, Iraqi Army Dead digital original digitally reproduced Iraq, 2003

david leeson, Dew on Grass original 35 mm film digitally reproduced Texas, 1997

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david leeson, Tears for a Comrade digital original digitally reproduced Iraq, 2003

Artist's Statement

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David Leeson

he universal relationship of humankind with nature is one of both solace and terror. It is a dichotomy in precarious balance. The gentle breeze crossing a lake is a respite from the heat of a summer day, yet it breeds a legion of mosquitoes carrying either obnoxious bite or potentially deadly disease. A thunderstorm brings drama to the skies and sustenance to the land, while spawning flash floods and destructive lightning strikes. A heavy fog brings mystery and wraps the world in a soothing shroud, but causes ships to sink, cars to collide, and travelers to be lost. It's interesting that we seldom think of the harsh reality of nature when we seek it. We become like forgiving parents, forever excusing the delinquent behavior of a wayward child. We traipse gleefully into forests, fields, nooks, and crannies with little thought that, at all times, danger is within easy reach. But our fears are as fragile and displaced as our relationship with nature. I suspect there are few who would deny the beauty of a flower, the glorious setting of the sun, the majesty of an elder tree or the sanctity of a certain solitude we seldom find anywhere but within hills, valleys, fields, and forests. We fear what we choose not to trust. We trust things we should probably fear. But the call of nature is infinitely more complex than this. In my own life, nature has been a steadying force, always there even if I'm not exactly sure where to find it. I know it is "out there," somewhere, waiting to be personally discovered. I also know nature holds universal truths and a beguiling sense of peace. Perhaps it is our sentient desire to name at least one thing, whether it be God, nature, or stamp collecting as the pathway to something more in our life, even when we have no genuine concept of what constitutes "more." I know I found that "more" one day in Melange, Angola. I was photographing a soldier from the Angola army who was enraged. He had with him a man he accused of committing adultery with his wife. His prisoner, bound by wire, blood trickling down his bare, sweaty back, remained in humble silence as the man screamed accusations to a gathering crowd. An execution was drawing near and I approached with trepidation, somehow mustering the courage to make photos of the scene. Suddenly, the police, or perhaps the army, I have no idea, arrived and

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the shooting began. People fled for cover, including myself. There was no place to hide; there was no cover of tree, bush or building, so in desperation I threw myself to the ground between the crossfire. It was there that I found a single blade of grass before my eyes, and I focused my mind on its simple beauty, oblivious to the trampling and gunfire. Blow upon it and grass will bend. Storms may come and go but grass remains. It was a simple beauty desperately needed in a desperate time. I lay face to the ground, bullets flying overhead, with a blade of grass occupying my mind, transporting me to somewhere else, though I knew not where. Such is the beauty we seek to be take us from where we are. It is a dichotomy defying description. We believe it is good to be led from travail and trial. But the cliché, "from the frying pan to the fire" is befitting of our course in life. We flee the pan without knowledge of the fire. If we could only know the difference between the two we could achieve omniscience. Would any of us truly wish this? I doubt it. I suspect, like me, it's ultimately good to be human. Nature has been my friend even though I once lived in a house that flooded eight times in three years. We had as much as three feet of water in our home. I remember watching the water rise above the keys of a beloved grand piano and how I later shoved and pushed it through the front door of my home to the sidewalk in front for city workers to collect as trash. I remember the tears I shed when I found a Bible, filled with personal notes and reflections, destroyed by the murky waters, and I remember the stinking, fetid muck I shoveled until I grew physically sick. Yet, I love the rain as much as any man. Perhaps that is why my life of covering global conflicts as a photojournalist is not as foreign to my journey as some might think. After all, I was young, married, and a father to three beautiful children in those years. It was no small price to pay to leave them and risk death. But, I knew it was my path in life. How I knew is an answer that eludes me. It's like asking how do you know you are in "love?" Though­let's be clear about something­I had no love for conflict. Somehow I also knew my life was bound to a love of nature. I have always known that nature was filled with an infinite source of compassion because my journey, yours too, is bound to a law. There is a constant in the physics of the natural world. The cycle of life brings a measure of peace simply because we accept it as a matter of fact. I can somehow know the un-

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known simply by knowing it as "unknown." I can rest in the knowledge that the uncharted forest is like a journey into any new challenge. Death itself has no sting if it is seen as discovery, yet one more step into the unknown­the forest of our future. But, here I am again caught in a fabulous memory, prone before a blade of grass, as reverent in that moment as a devotee, marveling at pure beauty. I can still see that single blade of grass in my mind. I can still smell the earth and faintly hear the rapid fire of automatic weapons. I was as safe in my shelter of thought as I have ever been in my life. I could sleep soundly in the midst of such dichotomous wisdom found in a single blade of grass. "Lay low," she said. "The storm will pass and you will rise and feel the sun upon your face." I survived. My fears subsided. I returned to Luanda the next day. I was filled with relief to be safe from the chaos and uncertainty of war. As I walked through the lobby of my hotel on my way to the reservation desk, I felt a resounding pressure at my back and a millisecond later a loud crash at my heel. I turned to see what had happened. A four-foot by eight-foot sheet of mirrored glass had come loose from a second story alcove above the lobby, just inside the entrance to the hotel. It slid down the wall and struck the floor at the back of my feet. The glass had dropped a full story before exploding into tiny fragments and gouging a one quarter-inch deep, four-foot wide crease in the marble floor. If I had been one-half second less arriving at the hotel my head would have been split completely open. In other words, I would not be here to write about it today. I had survived the crossfire, the frying pan, and narrowly missed the fire. There was no way I could have anticipated my near death experience in a Luanda hotel, but a blade of grass held the message­the storm passes and we rise to live. Fear has little place in our lives. Wisdom matters. But ignoring danger is foolishness. Standing in the middle of a busy highway is probably a bad idea, but traveling in a car down the same road in spite of the fact that more people will die in this nation from auto accidents than nearly every US death from the thirteen-year war in Vietnam may be a reasonable risk depending upon where you are going. A trip to a family reunion rates more than beating traffic for a ten-percent-off sale at Ikea. But how does it differ from a gentle hike through a flowered field?

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There is no real difference in my opinion. A journey is a journey just as a rose is a rose. Death is always within arm's reach wherever we go. But, in nature, I find spontaneous worship. It is that moment where everything we are and everything we dream of comes together in a single moment of understanding that we don't need to understand anything except that we are somehow. . . okay. My eyes behold a glorious sunset, and somehow I know I will see tomorrow. The sun sets, a volley of gunfire creases the sky in the same way a mirror falls two stories creasing marble, while a single blade of grass, growing majestically from parched earth, reminds me that I will see tomorrow.

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Natalie J. Friedman

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Inherited Trauma: A Member of the Third Generation Speaks

have nightmares about something that never happened to me. These nightmares always start the same way: I can see myself lying quietly in my bed, I can see my chest rise and fall with the easy, rhythmic breathing of deep sleep. Then, in the midst of this peaceful, quiet dream, a sound like gunshots comes out of nowhere: someone in my dream is banging on the door. The banging is breaking the night in two. Suddenly, the dream fastforwards like a movie reel: I am standing bolt upright, and bright sunlight is blinding me. Someone is threatening to shoot me, and I don't know where my family is anymore, I've lost track of everyone, I am alone and terrified. At that moment, I awaken, my heart racing as I grab my blanket, feel the warmth of my bed, reassure myself that it is only a dream. I got an early education in horror stories, the kind that produce such nightmares, and they didn't come from books or movies. My lessons were learned at a tea table; my grandmother was the professor. How to Survive a Concentration Camp 101, or maybe the course should have been entitled Stories to Pass Down for Generations. Both sets of my grandparents survived Hitler's concentration camps, but it is my maternal grandmother who imbued me with a sense of constant dread. Her stories of her life in the camps, her tales of family lost, retrieved, burned, vanished, or damaged were her versions of nightmarish fairytales. Ever since I was a little girl, I have visited my grandmother on Saturday afternoons. Her apartment is small and overwarm and smells of mothballs. Every week is like a holiday because she loves to bake, and her little tea table is always covered with her superb Hungarian pastries. She stuffs me full of food and stories on those afternoons; she talks about her Carpathian childhood, about her beloved brothers, about how chic she used to be, in the 1930s style. Often, she talks about what it was like to be in a ghetto. Usually, she talks about being in Auschwitz. I say "being" deliberately, because I don't really know another verb for it. One did not "live" in Auschwitz, one did not "stay" or "visit." One was interned, imprisoned, incarcerated, but I don't like to use the passive voice. I like to imagine my grandmother as a hardy little woman who would be wor-

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thy of the active voice. She survived, after all. She existed. She was. She still is. When I visit her nowadays, I am struck by her toughness, both physical and mental. She is ninety-two, but acts and looks younger. Whenever I ring her bell, she opens the door and stands in front of me, blocking the entrance to her apartment with her small, stocky frame. She is not a tall woman, and yet she can convey a certain hauteur. My grandmother does not seem frail and broken, even in her worst moments of sadness. She is an intense, intelligent, curious, opinionated, driven, meticulous, exacting, and often obnoxious nonagenarian. I figure that these are the traits that must have helped her to survive not only the atrocities of Hitler, but also the hardships of Stalin, her husband's early death, and her immigration to America. I watch her, pouring tea, and I wonder how she can do it. How can she "be" after what she went through? I look at her body: hands, skin, flesh, face, nose, ears, wrinkled throat. How did that body look standing in the middle of a cold, snowy courtyard, naked, waiting to be counted? How did it look marching in wooden shoes in the snow to Bergen Belsen? How does she pour tea for herself now, how does she walk to the supermarket, how did she even fly across the ocean to America anyway? How did she do it all after "being" there? Sometimes, when having coffee with a friend who isn't Jewish, I look at him or her and wonder, would you hide me? Would you save me? Would you betray me?

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We speak in Yiddish; mine is like a rusty hinge, while hers is like the clear, fluid rushing of a stream. The rules of our conversation are simple: she speaks, I listen, without interrupting. Her conversation is wholly unpredictable in the sweeps, turns, and digressions she might make. The seesaw between despair and happiness, however, is a constant. No matter what she chooses to discuss on any given day, she is sure to see the dark side of it, and then just as quickly, she can turn around and smile or laugh. When she makes these rhetorical moves, I have to stop myself from thinking, is she mad? Did she lose her mind in the camps? I don't know what "normal" is, though­how could I compare her state of mind to another old lady's? Even if I compare her to other survivors I know, I still can't say that she is more or less psychologically damaged than they are, because each one of them bears different psychic scars, and

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each one deals with the pain differently. One relative has put the memories behind her, and never talks about them; another one has become so silent and secretive that no one knows anything about her past, not even the year or the place she was born. Not all of them talk about death. Not all of them spend their days mired in self-pity, locked in imaginary battles with longdead enemies. Each time I visit her, I confront that eternal human problem: the problem of never really knowing someone else. It is impossible to inhabit another's consciousness, and we can only guess at the inner life of others. But my grandmother is doubly, triply difficult to know. She is already distanced from me by her age; she is already distanced from me by the fact of her foreignness, her language, her birthplace; and she is distanced from me even more because of the suffering she endured, a suffering that left few physical traces, but too many emotional ones to count. The weird thing is, I try, through my own mental exercises, to bridge that gap between us. In fact, I don't have to try very hard­a bridge does exist, one that she and I built together though her talking and my listening. I try to put myself in her place. I try to picture myself doing a simple household chore, like taking out the garbage, and looking at the incinerator, and suddenly being reminded of another type of incinerator. Does the image ever grab her in the middle of the day, as I allow it to grab me? I summon the image, I court it, I want to see how she feels when she is doing mundane things but thinking about the horrible past. For example: looking at myself in the mirror in the morning, I suddenly wonder what I would look like with my hair shorn. Or, I look at my naked body and imagine its contours shriveled, its bones protruding through grayish skin. The irrational idea that perhaps one day I'll find myself in a concentration camp springs on me as I watch the evening news and see horrible images of Sudanese refugees. Sometimes, when having coffee with a friend who isn't Jewish, I look at him or her and wonder, would you hide me? Would you save me? Would you betray me? This obsession of mine with imagining her tragedy, her suffering, is a strange result of hearing her stories over and over again. Her trauma becomes my trauma; her stories become my stories. And yet, I know that I can never quite understand what she went through. I can never experience her pain or measure her loss. So I imagine it, I desire it, I want to be able to put myself in her shoes and feel what she felt. I must sound like some paranoid with a penchant for the macabre. I'm not, really. I go about my day like every other

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young American. In fact, I am typically described as a very happy person. I have every reason to be; my life is whole, not fractured and hastily patched up like my grandmother's. She betrays her cracks, leaks out her stories, then tries to stanch the flow. I am not broken like my grandmother, and yet, I can feel those cracks along my own body. I can also do something my grandmother cannot: I get angry. My grandmother cries when she remembers, but I rail against history and the injustice of Fate. I even get angry with the dead: Why didn't they leave Europe when the war started? Why didn't they see the proverbial writing on the wall? Why didn't they run away? Then, when I have exhausted myself with such fruitless questions, I rail against my grandmother: why does she have to talk about it all the time? Can't she stop herself, can't she see that she can be mind-numbingly boring? Yes! See? I said it! I'm not ashamed to admit it: these ugly, lurid tales of survival are both thrilling and boring, titillating in their evocation of death, but also plagued by a sordid sameness. It might be anathema to even dare to speak these words, but I can't help it. It is not the fact of the Holocaust that numbs me; it is the endless need I feel behind her stories, the pleading. It's as if she wants some response from me, from someone, anyone. But what can I possibly do for the dead brother she grieves over, or for the murdered nephew who was such a talented musician? How can I possibly return her precious string of pearls to her, or her favorite books? Or her father? I have nightmares about something that never happened to me. I am caught in a sticky web of helplessness, feeling sick because I can't go back and undo what happened, and because I have to sit, like a trapped animal, and listen patiently as my grandmother brings the camps to life in all their vivid, gory detail: the smell of the burning bodies; the smoke obscuring the sky; the parched, lice-ridden, exhausted women lying on the floor of the barracks, begging for water. The images won't go away; they glue themselves into the photo album of my memory. The stories my grandmother told me throughout my life seem so much a part of me that I could almost believe that they were braided into my hair and woven into the interlocking pores of my skin. I remember once being assigned to write a short story for homework in elementary school. "Write what you know," my teacher had suggested. I was ten years

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old; whatever I knew came from books or television. I came home and wracked my brains. "I don't know what to write about," I lamented to my mother. "The other girls are all writing about unicorns and fairies." I was not a reader of fantasy or science fiction or V.C. Andrews the way my classmates were. I had been reading the mysteries of Agatha Christie, and a book of O. Henry's short stories over summer break; my head was filled with murdered Englishmen and The Gift of the Magi. I knew I couldn't write a short story as clever as O'Henry's or as convoluted a mystery as Christie's. What was I to do? What did I know? What could I possibly write about? That's when my mother suggested I write about my grandmother. Inspired, I grabbed my pen and wrote a short story from the point of view of a woman who is taken to the showers in a concentration camp, and whose head is shaved, and her arm tattooed. The last line of the story­I remember it even today­was "Her arm aching, her head shorn, she walked into the harshly lit courtyard, and knew that this was the beginning of hell." Pleased with my efforts, blind to the awful clichés that littered my prose, I turned it in and was gratified by the high grade my paper earned. "Very well written!" my teacher wrote. "Mature and interesting! What a tough subject to write about!" Looking back, I cannot imagine what my fifth grade teacher thought when she came across my story; but as a teacher now myself, I can see that her response was carefully worded and neutral. She could not have written anything critical about my choice of subject, and she probably had no idea what the appropriate response might be. She wisely chose to praise me; had she used a red pen to correct me or upbraid me, she would have crushed me and insulted my grandmother in the bargain, without even knowing that my grandmother was a survivor, or that I even had a grandmother. Instead, she validated my innermost belief: my grandmother's story was remarkable, and I was remarkable for telling it. As I grew older, I decided­smugly­that I was going to try to write my grandmother's life story. I would become her biographer. I bought a blank journal and began writing down snippets of the tales she told me, or the names of towns, places, people. I even scribbled some of my grandmother's favorite aphorisms or expressions into my notebook. But I couldn't write her stories down. I froze at the enormity of the task I had set myself. Could I dare to chronicle of my grandmother's life? Could I dare to try my hand at novelizing it? It would make a great family saga­One Woman's Courage in

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the Face of Evil!­but would I be up to the task? And if I wrote it, how would I handle the problem of capturing my grandmother's voice, that voice with its heartiness, its varying tones of softness, its occasionally grating urgency, its cracking under the weight of emotion? Her voice was absent, and without her words, without her gestures, without her pauses, sighs, and sharp breaths punctuating her storytelling like music, the tales were hollow. They were a bunch of facts written down baldly on paper. My grandmother was taken to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. Her entire family, save one sister, survived. The stories sounded even worse if I tried to write them in the third person, novel-style: "Margaret stood horrified and watched as the people who had once been her neighbors kicked her father and tore out pieces of his beard." I would look at the words and feel nauseated by the corniness of what I had written. Furthermore, there was the issue of truth vs. fiction. I felt that I must somehow write an oral history of my grandmother in order to remain as close to the truth as possible. But I was removed from the "truth." My grandmother's memory was all I had to rely on, and writers will be the first to tell you that memory is unreliable. Therefore, I could only write the "truth" as my grandmother handed it down to me, and I was, as the translator, pressing my own fingerprints into the stories like a potter shaping clay. I could hear the sound of critics already. See? They would say, pointing fingers. This Friedman girl is making things up. She admits that her grandmother's memory can be faulty. So how can we believe any story she tells is true? From there, the leap is not so far to the weird logic of Holocaust deniers­if this grandmother cannot be trusted as a storyteller, if these young women cannot be trusted to write "the truth" down on paper, then how can one prove that the Holocaust happened? All of these issues strangled me, bound and gagged me. I could not write anything with all these concerns weighing on me. The older I got and the more I read, the more convinced I became that I could not tell my grandmother's story lest someone accuse me of being presumptuous, superficial, or untrue. I was even more afraid of being called an opportunist. I felt that the Holocaust was quickly becoming commodified. People in the book and movie business were quick to recognize that Holocaust stories were worth telling and, if told well, could actually earn fame or fortune. Many survivors and their families cheered the efforts of the entertainment industry to bring

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the Holocaust to the masses; others, however, voiced their concern that the Holocaust was becoming overexposed, or worse, misrepresented for the sheer benefit of personal gain. My grandmother was one of these dissenting voices. "Look at Elie Wiesel," she would say, pointing to the television screen where he appeared, talking to Oprah, nodding in his wise way as the camera zoomed in on his large, sad eyes, eyes that seemed to reflect an entire world of pain. "There he is, talking about the Holocaust. He's making money on our suffering!" "Elie Wiesel is a great writer," I would argue. "He's written many books. He won a Nobel Prize." My grandmother shrugs. "So what? I could have written a book too. But I didn't. I respected the memory of my dead relatives. But he took the same story I had and made money on it. How could he do that?" I look back on that conversation and see hints of envy in my grandmother's words. Was she really angry with Wiesel or was she simply jealous that he had expressed all of her own pent-up anger and sadness, and had been successful to boot? Her words, easily dismissible as envious complaints, stayed with me, haunted me, whenever I tried to write down a sentence or two about her life. Was I merely trying to exploit my grandmother's story for my own personal gains? Norman Finkelstein, in his book The Holocaust Industry, criticizes what he sees as the exploitation of the Holocaust by Jews to further various Jewish

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Children waiting outside the wreckage that was their home. (Source: National Archives)

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interests, or to sell books and movies. "I sometimes think that American Jewry `discovering' the Nazi holocaust was worse than its having been forgotten," (6) he writes, and when I read those words, I felt a stab in my heart, as if Finkelstein were accusing me and looking deep into my guilty soul. I have, however, come to disagree with Finkelstein. Talking about the Holocaust, writing about it, and learning from it, is not the same as exploiting it. Exploitation comes out of a need to gratify some weird desire­in other words, it's exploitation if we tell Holocaust stories so that some freak with a thirst for horror stories gets pleasure at the mention of gory, brutal details. I knew the difference between my own desire to share my grandmother's experiences and exploitation, because I experienced the perverse desires of those who feign interest, but who are really getting off on the bad stuff. I've had those kinds of conversations with people: someone will ask me to describe the physical horrors my grandmother lived through, saying things like, "Was she ever beaten?" I always refuse to answer these questions, because behind it I see a hunger for cheap thrills, a search for the satisfaction that a good horror flick can bring. Once, in a college history class on World War II, I happened to mention that my grandmother was able to survive the camps partly because she worked as a cook and a domestic in the home of a wealthy Bürgermiester outside Auschwitz. The class had recently viewed Schindler's List, in which a Jewish woman is forced to work in the home of a Nazi, where she is regularly humiliated and molested. A member of the class asked me, "Was your grandmother ever treated like the girl in the movie? Did her boss ever try to rape her?" The older I got and the more I read, the more convinced I became that I could not tell my grandmother's story lest someone accuse me of being presumptuous, superficial, or untrue. My reaction to this vile, prurient question was to become angry to the point of physical illness. My grandmother told me that the people she had worked for had been very kind to her, had given her food and treated her like a human being, quite unlike the Nazi officers in the camps, and here was some brash American college kid, safe within his comfortable American Jewishness, his safe family history, asking me questions that would fit in with his own idea about the Holocaust. On the basis of one movie, he was assuming that he knew what it must have been like to be a Häftling. He would not have

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been interested to hear about the goodness of the few people my grandmother encountered who did not humiliate her; he wanted brutality, atrocity. Had I been willing to entertain this line of questioning, and had I been willing to turn my grandmother's story into some kind of made-for-television soap opera, then perhaps I would be exploiting her story. But it would not be exploitation, however, if I felt compelled to add a story to the canon of Holocaust writing, or to add another personal reflection to the growing mound of personal reflections. I felt a burning need to try my hand at representing the unrepresentable, to express in words or images the pain reflected in my grandmother's eyes. As I entered graduate school and began teaching disaffected teenagers, I also became afraid that once the generation of survivors would disappear, the world would consign the Holocaust to the dustheap of history; that it would become as distant and unreal as other wars have become; that students in history classes would regard it with the same dispassionate stares they used to examine something like the Revolutionary War. Some historians and theorists have a name for this fear; they call it "Holocaust panic." The word "panic," though, is freighted with notions of insanity, of mass hysteria, of a mob mentality; when I hear it, I think of hundreds of other Jewish grandchildren like me, running through the streets, their eyes darting, looking for the next anti-Semitic attack, the next potential harm, the incident that smacks of Jew-baiting. My fear was not panic­it was more tempered. I feared that the Holocaust would come under attack more frequently; revisionist historians and Holocaust deniers have made it their goal to rewrite the past, to cancel out the survivors' stories. I worried that when the last survivor dies, no one will keep checks and balances on the lunatics who claim the Holocaust was a hoax. Would the museums like the ones in Washington, New York, and Berlin be the fortresses that guard against libelous and untruthful rhetoric? Could the slim volumes of famous Holocaust stories­Elie Wiesel's Night, Anne Frank's Diary­be dams against the tide of skepticism that will rush in to overwhelm the validity of Holocaust suffering? Would it not be better for anyone­children, grandchildren, descendants of survivors, and even perpetrators­to add their voices? Weren't those of us who knew survivors privileged in some strange way to be the keepers of their memory, and therefore compelled to write about it? The urgency of writing down my own thoughts and feelings about be-

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ing a grandchild of Holocaust survivors increased after September 11, 2001. When terrorists devastated the World Trade Center, I watched with horror from the safety of my apartment, but I was not shocked. The inevitable had happened, and there I was, faced with the very dangers my grandmother always warned me about, and I was utterly helpless. Almost immediately, parallels and connections to the Holocaust surfaced: approximately 3,000 people died in the space of about an hour when the WTC collapsed, which was about half the number of people killed each day by Zyklon-B at Auschwitz. Human bodies were reduced to ash, most of which floated and sifted until it settled like a fine dust all over New York's downtown. September 11 seemed to be the thing I had been waiting for and hoping against. It was my grandmother's dark prophecy come true. I felt alone in my fear, as many people must have during those dark days after the terrorist attack. It was not until much later that I learned of other people­children of Holocaust survivors, like the writer Art Spiegelman­who also found frightening parallels between the Holocaust and their current lives. The childhood fears that slept within me­of Nazis hunting me down, of my family disappearing­came flooding back from the distant corner of my mind to which I had banished them. I felt, somehow, that I must reach out and try to find like-minded individuals, people like me who felt and thought as I did. If I could only get people together, to unite them, we might begin to share our traumas with each other, to confess our strangeness, to allow our inner catastrophists out into the daylight, and maybe, just maybe, chain them up or cast them out. At the very least, if we could organize ourselves, we might be able to form some kind of coalition. I wanted to make sure that I was not alone. There is some strength in sharing the inheritance of trauma and tragedy. For a model, I looked to the children of survivors, the Second Generation, who, at least in America, seemed organized; there were support groups for them, and collections of writings by and about them. I began to see that they were united, and had found ways to try to heal themselves and each other. But no such network, no such help lines, existed for the Third Generation, for the grandchildren. I wanted to establish some kind of connection among Third Generation members, and I started locally, with my friends. I began talking about my own feelings and thoughts about being a grandchild of survivors, and soon found that there were other grandchildren who felt as I did. But now that I

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had discovered these like-minded individuals, what could we do? Meet regularly to discuss and compare our various neuroses? That hardly seemed like a productive thing to do; it verged on the humorous, the satiric. My misgivings about forming a coalition of Third Generation people were reinforced by my discussions with my parents. They truly bore the brunt of their parents' nightmarish experiences, and they bore another burden: they were born to "replace" those relatives lost in the Holocaust. There were long shadows of history in my parents' nursery rooms. Knowing that my parents bear their own emotional scars, and that they have acted as important buffers between me and my family's history, makes me feel as though I have no right to feel that I, too, had somehow inherited my grandmother's traumas. Hadn't my mother suffered for me? My parents did not want to talk or write or reflect on the Holocaust. It had shattered the world in a way that for them was irreparable, and they saw no use in staring at and studying the fault lines. But as grandchildren, my sister and I had the privilege of being the recipients of our grandmother's love. She spoiled us; she showered us with her version of reserved, elaborately mannered affection; she treated us in ways she had never treated our mother. In some ways, we were better, more patient listeners than our beleaguered mother. Grandchildren of survivors began writing me about their own set of strange experiences. Therefore, I reasoned, if Second Generation children felt marked, set apart, from the rest of the world, so did the Third Generation. We had just as much right to speak about the inherited knowledge we possessed and the ways in which it shaped us. I began gathering people's stories, asking them to write down what they were thinking, how they felt about being the inheritors of their grandparents' and parents' histories. I decided that, if I could collect enough of these reflections, I might actually put together a collection of essays for publication. I could make public the knowledge of the Third Generation. I sent out a call for papers over the Internet, and was wholly unprepared for the deluge that followed. Grandchildren of survivors began writing me about their own set of strange experiences. One young woman e-mailed me to tell me that her grandfather, the only living survivor she knew, never spoke of his experi-

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ences, and that the family had been trying for years to pry them out of him. His silence and emotional distance had made her parents' lives, and her life, almost unbearable. Another young woman wrote in to tell me that her grandmother talked about her stories incessantly; like my grandmother, she was a compulsive storyteller. But she never told her stories to her children, the Second Generation­she reserved her tales for her grandchildren. She had developed a completely different relationship with her grandchildren, even going so far as to invite them on a trip to visit her old hometown in Poland, but excluding her own children. I began contacting these people, and I slowly began to piece together a loose network of Third Generation members. One woman I contacted, a fellow English professor, suggested we meet at the annual Modern Language Association Conference, which was to be held in Washington, DC that year. Her parents, it turned out, were survivors, but she considered herself a Third Generation member because of her age­her parents had her late in life, and she was only in her early thirties. Her father had a remarkable tale­he had escaped from Europe to the Philippines, and was one of a small Jewish community that survived the war in Manila. (He has recently written a book about his experiences, called Escape to Manila). Family on both sides had perished in Europe, and she spoke of her parents' resulting ambivalence to their Jewish heritage. "My parents are proudly Jewish," she said. "But in the most private way. When I was getting married, my husband and I wanted a big hora, with lots of dancing­you know, big music, big circle. My mother was horrified. She said to me, `But isn't that too Jewish?' And I didn't say anything, but I thought, `Do you know in how many ways you just psychologically messed me up by saying that?'" To deal with her inherited trauma, she had decided to become an academic, to devote her life to scholarship, especially on Jewish themes; she says such commitment to the life of the mind helps to keep her sane, while she also grapples with issues of literary anti-Semitism. Shortly after I met her, another academic wrote to me to offer an essay. She too was a professor, and she was interested in writing about biography. Her connection to the Holocaust lay in the fact that her American grandfather had been an ambulance driver during World War II and had seen the concentration camps upon liberation. He had written long letters to his wife back home, letters that had ended up in the hands of his granddaughter. Her essay was a wonderful exploration of the letters and the connection they gave

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her to the Holocaust. A third woman wrote in to tell me about how her family fled to Argentina; her grandmother had left behind sisters in Poland who perished in the death camps. She now lived in Spain, where she was a graduate student. She wrote an essay about how her family's wandering nurtured her own wanderlust, and influenced her vision of herself as a kind of Wandering Jew. In fact, when I met this young woman later, it was in the United States; we met over coffee, and she told me she was just visiting her father, who had moved to California after living in Argentina. Her exotic, peripatetic life seemed, to me, to be a strangely uplifting outcome to her family's tragedy, but she did not seem to agree. She seemed to be suffering a bit, because she saw her own life's movement as a chronic family problem, a permanent sense of exile and displacement. Other grandchildren had still other experiences to relate: one young man wrote of his desire to become a great athlete and physically imposing person so that he could clobber the Nazis or, at least, the tall, blond bullies who lived down the block from him in his Minnesota hometown. Another young man spoke of his dedication to Orthodox Judaism as a way to assert his identity. Yet another young man wrote that he rejected his Judaism in favor of secularism, having stopped believing in God after watching his grandfather rail against the injustices of the Holocaust. Most interesting, perhaps, were the few responses I received from grandchildren who were connected to the Holocaust through the perpetrators. One afternoon, I got a phone call from a woman who revealed to me that her grandfather had been a Nazi. She had a German last name, but she was American-born. Since she had no real connection to her German grandfather, she felt that she could gain the necessary distance required to reflect on what his history meant to her. I found this woman incredibly compelling and brave. That she would call me up and share this knowledge with me, without knowing what my reaction might be, took guts. She had no way of knowing how I might respond to a granddaughter of Nazis. In fact, I was shocked. I had never met anyone who would have willingly shared such information. After all, she was also an inheritor of trauma: the trauma of knowing that her grandfather was a war criminal. Unfortunately, a few weeks after our phone call, she called me again to tell me that she could not go through with writing the essay. Her family had

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begged her not to make public this terrible secret. Although I tried to talk her into writing the essay anyway, even under an assumed name, she refused. I eventually hung up, disappointed, but I understood. Her own inner catastrophist had pushed through to the surface; but unlike mine, which was always looking out for the next Nazi, her inner demon was afraid of exposure. She obviously bore the scars of her grandfather's past, and I had uncovered them. I did not want to cause her any more pain. September 11 seemed to be the thing I had been waiting for and hoping against. It was my grandmother's dark prophecy come true. The vast variety of answers I got made me believe ever more firmly that there was power in the stories, and that they needed to be heard as much as the survivors' stories needed to be archived. I began sending query letters to publishers, and each proposal came back to me with a resounding "no." Many editors simply claimed that the book idea was "not right for their lists." Some said that publishers were not interested in publishing collections of essays, which rarely sell well. Others told me that the book was just not that interesting because the authors were not survivors themselves, and the general public was more interested in the voices of the survivors, or their children­the grandchildren seemed too far removed from the trauma to have anything relevant to say. Still other publishers revealed an even scarier truth: the demand for Holocaust books was diminishing because a kind of "Holocaust overload" or ennui had set in. Many Jewish publishers even told me that they were no longer going to accept proposals for Holocaust-related material because of the wealth of books already out there. These responses horrified me. How could someone say that there were too many Holocaust stories? Even in my moments of anger and boredom, listening to my grandmother drone on, I was able to recognize that her tales were important and needed to be heard by someone. I knew, listening to her, that the world would never hear all of the unique tales of loss and survival. Even if thousands of these stories were published, there would never be enough to represent the vast sea of personal history. And here were publishers­Jewish publishers!­telling me that the Holocaust's moment of cultural hipness had passed, and that the world didn't need another Holocaust book.

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I sought advice from various friends. One person suggested I contact a Jewish organization like the UJA, a good idea that went nowhere. Another publisher told me to find a source of funding, raise some money, and pay for the book to be published myself. I cringed at the idea, thinking that such a process would taint the book, making it look like a vanity piece, a self-indulgent little gambit. I began to be discouraged by the project, but I have not given up hope entirely. I have heard that some of the contributors to the book have found homes for their essay, publishing them in various journals, so their stories are being heard, though not in the form I envisioned. And I have not given up the idea of writing about my grandmother; this very essay is an attempt to do so. I firmly believe that the Third Generation has an imperative to impart the terrible knowledge they possess, and whether we choose to do it through reportage or fiction or poetry or academic criticism is a personal choice; what matters most is the telling. Geoffrey Hartman, the famous literary critic, said in a lecture he gave at Boston University in 2001 that as the survivors die and their stories disappear with them, then it will be up to those of us who feel like the elect witnesses to carry the memory torch. He even believes that fictionalizing the Holocaust will not provide fodder or proof for Holocaust deniers and revisionist historians that the Holocaust did not happen, or that it was a made-up hoax; rather, he believes that writing and producing art about the Holocaust will keep it alive in public memory. He is less afraid of revisionist history than what he calls "anti-memory" or the public's sudden disenchantment with the Holocaust's powerful emotional draw (10). I agree with Hartman­stories about the Holocaust have the ability to move people, to make them feel catharsis and pity like a Greek tragedy. In connecting with people and making them feel, making them cry, aren't those of us who want to continue writing and talking about the Holocaust hoping to stir them to action? To make them realize how these stories are recurring today, in our world? In a sense, I want to continue the tradition of storytelling begun by my grandmother, even if it is incomplete, somewhat inaccurate, blended with my own visions and thoughts, even if what I say is sometimes unpleasant, or even unbelievable. Why do I worry about this now, when the world is burning with newer, more pressing horrors, when the threat of terrorism makes all our lives resemble my nightmares? So much is happening now that could obscure the past; our own current fears of terrorism are, in a way, informed by World War

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II and the Holocaust, and yet, the numerous pressures of adapting to life in this new era are sure to overshadow that link. We are all of us­the victims and the perpetrators of terror­inheritors of the evil lessons of the Holocaust, but already, those lessons are being forgotten and warped. I see evidence of this shift in the way that both terrorists and victims toss around the vocabulary of the Holocaust without thinking. Arab youth call American soldiers in Baghdad "Nazis"; American families who lost their sons and daughters in battle call the American government "fascist"; Palestinians call Israeli soldiers (whose grandparents might have been Holocaust survivors) "Hitler." The world does not stop for one moment to consider the danger in such loose and thoughtless rhetoric. The world does not stop to consider how those careless epithets, flung out of anger, can hurt not only innocent bystanders who read them or hear them, but can also tear at the fragile fabric of interpersonal and international relations that was woven after the Second World War. I feel that the past lives here in this present moment of conflict and change. The Holocaust affects us all, and we must take care to learn what we can from its painful lessons that seem, in some ways, far away from those being taught to our generation anew. And yet, there are the things we can glean from history, signs we can watch for, hatreds we should extinguish, groups of people we need to help, educate, and feed, so that they do not shapeshift into enemies. Works Cited

Finkelstein, Norman. The Holocaust Industry. London: Verso, 2000. Hartman, Geoffrey. The Longest Shadow: In the Aftermath of the Holocaust. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1996.

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Pamela Leck

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A Fireman Walks In

e comes in and sits across from me. For a second we are just two people sitting in comfortable chairs. Just sitting. Then, I can't help but notice how his body appears both exhausted and revved up, ready to go. It's as though he might pass out at any moment, yet at the same time he's sweating with anticipation of the next disaster. He's perspiring. Sure it's hot outside, and there was a rush to get here for the first time, but the other guys in here today weren't sweating. Of course, they've been coming here for awhile now. I know the script. I could recite it in my sleep, what I need to say at this first meeting, about symptoms and treatment and confidentiality. What keeps me on my toes is the significance of the pacing, the timing of the lines, the tone of my voice, the look in my eyes. I've just met this man and I already want to make sure he returns. How are you doing? Okay. He's "okay," and I'm scared. I feel this familiar edginess that comes with a new trauma patient. It's an edginess I experience as though it is seeping out of his pores over there in that chair and creeping into mine. It is like a special adrenalin gas released into the room. I want to tell him to breathe, relax, take a breath, but he'd think I was nuts, this woman telling him to breathe. So I take a breath. I fleetingly imagine both of us standing to peer out the window, anticipating a bomb, a building falling, a pedestrian hitting the ground. But we don't. We stay seated. I breathe. He tells me he's okay. Inside this cloud of edginess, this transmittal of energy resulting from four years of poor sleep, and the steam seeping through from the images his body is holding at bay, not ready to really look at them yet, at the core is the awareness that something awful has happened. We are enveloped by this electricity in the room, and at the same time I'm feeling frozen in time. I feel myself frozen in time with him, as if a scene from a horror film, his horror film, might suddenly take place in front of us, right now. Time is mixed up. I know this feeling: something profound has happened. This man across from me has been changed to his core, and by his coming to see me, this first time, crossing the threshold into the psychologist's office, I am the first witness to this fact. For four years he's been plowing ahead, hoping things

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would improve on their own. He is no longer the man he thought himself to be, but he hasn't told anyone yet. He hasn't even deigned to think it quite that way. He's just noticing that life has not been the same since September 11, 2001. He hasn't been the same. He can't even put his finger on it. He tells me he's okay, that he's working; he's been promoted several times in the past few years. I think of icing on cake. This thick layer of gloss that has made the past four years livable, before it was time to stop, to look, to listen, to speak about things that until now were too unbearable to consider. He's telling himself he's okay, telling me he's okay. I'm okay, doc, I'm okay, and you can't fuck with that. If I'm going to talk to you and by being here admit that I'm not. . . , well, we have to agree on that, that I'm okay, I'm still putting one foot in front of the other, still going to fires, still supporting my family. I'm still me. I'm still a man. And I know that at the end of 75 minutes we will shake hands and affirm that he is indeed "okay" and that crossing this threshold doesn't mean he is a weak and shameful boy who never learned to suck it up and be big and strong and brave. One does not trump the other. Strength and weakness, muscle and tears, bravery and fear. These are all part of him. It's time to ask him about his symptoms. And they're all there. He's been waking up three or four times a night for the past four years. He's quick to jump on his wife and kids. He hates himself for it. He has to be careful watching TV because commercials make him cry. He is so ashamed. He hasn't talked to his best buddy's wife since the funeral. He doesn't care if anything happens to him, he's always been ready to die, but he's worried about his kids, his wife. New York is a dangerous place. Talking about that day doesn't really bother him. He could talk about it again and again--there are no feelings connected to it. And nothing is really fun. Not even playing ball with the kids. But he does it, because he's okay--he still knows what's important, what his responsibilities are. No nightmares, now--in the beginning, but not now. The memories are sealed, underground. No need to revisit them, doc. I've dealt with those. Not sure why I'm here. He's "okay." And part of me really wants to send him off. "Keep truckin'," my friend. And I tell him he's come to the right place. That his symptoms mean he has PTSD. I know how to help. It takes work. He'll feel better. For this hour, I'm walking the tightrope between acknowledging his pain without denying his strength. I tell him I can help without suggesting he is weak. I convey that it's not about me helping him, who is so used to being

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the one who helps, who saves lives. It's not about one of us being better, smarter, stronger, the other weak and timid and lost. I try to convey that it is he and I in this room facing a reality that will not be laid to rest until it is acknowledged. He has been affected by what he saw, what he did, and the many he lost. And please, this doesn't mean you're weak, it means that you and I are part of the same species and we care about what happens to us. If I can pull this off this first session, there's a better chance he'll make it back. He is no longer the man he thought himself to be, but he hasn't told anyone yet. I tell him I know it is a big deal for him to come here, to have gotten here this first time. And how important it is for him, for now at least, that no one knows he is coming here. Not his wife or friends. It is a tall order to make this worth his while. There are so many reasons for him not to come back: that inscrutable whisper in the air that strong men don't need therapy; that talking to a shrink means you're nuts at best, weak at worst; the fear that sharing emotions is weak, and that this weakness will demolish in a second any other signs, or proof, of strength; people can use it against you, professionally, personally; he's made it this long, why bother getting help now; he's a doer, not a talker. How is talking to a woman whose read a lot of books but never fought a fire (at least not a literal one) going to help? And of course, there is the fear, the knowledge that he will have to talk about the very things he's been trying to forget. And on the side of making it back to my office: some would argue that he will come back, because he knows his symptoms are only getting worse without treatment, or because in this first session I explain PTSD to him in a way that makes enough sense that he knows he needs treatment. That he makes a rational choice. But I think it is something much more basic that I have to appeal to: that human need for understanding, for speaking the truth, for making sense out of what has happened. And not to do it alone. So if I am up for it, and I always am, because it is what I know is at the heart of this first encounter. I pull out all the stops and no matter what is coming out of my mouth I am using all of my radar to give me clues on how best to engage THIS man. I know I won't be able to help if he doesn't come back, so that is all that matters this first time, getting him to return. And I trust my instincts, because there is no time to logically and rationally sort

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through all of the information I am picking up. And if I am successful I relay the message, in one of many possible ways, "You are strong, you are in pain, what you are describing to me makes sense and it won't be easy, but if you come back we can start making things better." Oh, and things will get worse before they get better. That's a tricky one to say, with the right tone, the right cadence, at the right time. But I have to say it, because I know that just making this first trip here, acknowledging just this much to himself, will likely start his mind and body going. Everything that has been held in and pushed down, those memories and feelings and thoughts, it's as though they can smell a therapist's office, and they know it's time to start rising to the surface. What gives me my backbone, in asking him to do something that will initially make things worse, is my knowing that it works. The treatment works. If I can only get him engaged, give him a hint of hope to hold on to. I close the door, aware that next week will be an ounce easier, the initial seduction a success. Next week we will have to begin charting this new territory for him, allowing himself to fall apart a little, a lot, to clean out the four-year-old wounds that have been covered over, remaining still raw and unhealed. Allowing this strong man to lean on me a bit--letting him know that it really is okay.

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Martha Serpas

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No Name Storm

The peacock that for months roamed the green belt on River and Kenneth blew over from the zoo without mention-- like the urban homeless perched on the landmarks of our commutes--not on platforms and doorways but on pine trees and jacaranda, what we might acquaint in ourselves divorced by the drive-- our morning-coffee travel cups, sidelong glances over pursed, slurping lips as if cobalt plumes and a fan of eyes were just another line of palm trees, another plodding timeline. The nameless storm brooded over the Gulf, sucking water from inlets and rivers-- soggy frogs swapping duck calls, banana leaves ripped to streamers, ants clumped on the surface of rising water, a rebellious yellow sky against our faces like a darkened mirror, an alchemized image no longer discernible, only the plaintive scream of the peacock, its unintelligible, unpronounceable refrain.

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The Boat Shed

Long after the salvage, the boat shed covers the shadowed tide, feeling the hull inside its shiplap like a ghost limb, like a thought inside a dream. So we named the bar after its falling roof and split sides, a crumbling shelter for all we've lost-- rusty bow a few steps from the door and a varnished wheel running wild toward closing time--shells in the parking lot, more like white stones in a field keeping watch.

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A Future With Hope

In threads of moss and potato vines, grimy sidewalks, chain-link fence, a convincing dampness, on leaves, on roots, under the eaves of houses. Branches bar the black-oak sky. Crows and grackles bear what yellow light there is. Between wrought iron gates, a slight wind. Leave hope there where it belongs, on the other side of the levee where later it can be found easily, its weight, bread crusts on water. But here in the middle, between the slow river and cypress, stands a single blue heron, barely moving. Watch.

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Through the Looking Glass This photograph of the view through a sniper scope was taken by Rusten Currie while he was stationed as a military intelligence officer in southern Baghdad.

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A woman in a two-piece suit comes up to me. Am I Major Krompecher? Reflexively, I reply: "Yes, Ma'am." She informs me that Dave is waiting for me in the cargo area. What will I say to his wife Cindy when I meet her? Words and thoughts swirl around my head, but I can't locate anything. All I feel is grief, and Cindy does not need me to cry on her shoulder. There are no Army manuals to instruct me on what to do. I am at a loss. I am the escort officer who is taking my fallen comrade home for the last time. ­Maj. Zoltan Krompecher, from his poem "Coming Home: A Soldier Returns from Iraq"

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Pierre Bourdieu & the Subject of Trauma

ritical debate in trauma studies today focuses in large part on the bodily or psychic mechanisms through which trauma is experienced and remembered, and, more specifically, on the extent to which trauma can be considered a discursive or extra-discursive event, registered either in consciousness or directly in the body. Dominick LaCapra, for example, advises the critic to avoid celebrating the sublimity or inaccessibility of the traumatic event to the exclusion of historical explanations (when locatable, historical events are in question) or any form of normativity (normativity, although potentially open to reinterpretation, is indispensable, he argues, to ethicopolitical judgments and action).1 In an attempt to recover the place of history in trauma, I turn here to the sociological work of Pierre Bourdieu, whose conceptualization of the subject (as an agent endowed with what he terms habitus) and concern for the effects of violence on agents can contribute much to the study of trauma and to processes of working through. Between psychoanalysis and socioanalysis: the concept of haBitus Bourdieu's sociology may at first seem an unlikely tool for an analysis of trauma, a concept first developed within medicine and the emerging field of psychoanalysis.2 Indeed, Bourdieu's own pointed criticism of the discipline, and his repeated emphasis on the primacy of social conditions in the process of subject formation, have led some to view his methods as a form of social reductivism, while his attention to subjectivity and use of psychoanalytic terms (including, for example, denial, repression, sublimation, libido, and the unconscious) have created confusion for others, pointing to an ambivalent attitude toward the usefulness of psychoanalytic approaches.3 In relation to trauma studies more specifically, LaCapra has noted that Bourdieu's work veers at times toward "reductive contextualism," one of two prevalent forms of reductivism stemming from the conflation of transhistorical or structural trauma (such as the traumas of originary mimesis, birth, or, in Lacanian terms, the entry into the symbolic order; that is, non-event centered traumas that are experienced universally and tend to involve existential absences) and historical trauma (involving specific losses, events, and subject positions one may occupy with relation to the events) (76-83). While the tendency to "generalize structural trauma so that it absorbs or subordinates the significance

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of historical trauma," as LaCapra states, results in "rendering all references to the latter merely illustrative, homogeneous, allusive, and perhaps equivocal" (a tendency which can also dangerously dissolve distinctions between victims and perpetrators), reductive contextualism "is typical of historians and sociologists who attempt to explain, without significant residue, all anxiety or unsettlement--as well as attendant forms of creativity--through specific contexts or events" (82). Therefore what remains, he continues, as a goal of historical analysis is an exploration of "the problematic relations between absence and loss (or lack) as well as between structural and historical trauma without simply collapsing the two or reducing one to the other" (84). This distinction draws attention to the specificity of historical losses, and responses to these losses, which cannot simply be explained in relation to pre-existing, anxietyproducing conditions. Attending to this fundamental distinction also enables the critic to understand better how traumas such as slavery problematically become a "founding trauma," one that comes to serve as "the basis for collective or personal identity, or both" (81). Keeping in mind LaCapra's important distinction, I would like to turn now to a more productive use of Bourdieu for trauma theory. Bourdieu's sustained attention to symbolic violence--a form of violence distinguished from brute force by the means through which it is exerted, the degree of complicity on the part of the dominated groups that it involves, the efficiency with which it achieves its effects, and its tendency to be lived unreflectively as natural--is highly pertinent to understanding the workings of trauma. While ostensibly removed from the concern for the markedly disruptive character of traumatic events and their aftermath, Bourdieu's concept of symbolic violence, along with his theorization of habitus (and its social correlate, field 4), is not only useful to a discussion of trauma's effects on the self, but also can further elucidate the ways in which serialized or difficultly locatable historical traumas (such as racism) operate and continue to exert effects across generations, precisely because of its social orientation and capacity, as a tool, for dealing with naturalized behaviors and beliefs. Examining habitus and the subtle workings of symbolic violence, the ways in which harmful schemes of perception such as these are imposed on subjects, can do much to counter the intergenerational transmission of anxieties stemming from trauma (such as the anxiety experienced by oppressed ethnic groups on a day-to-day basis) that are taken as a natural "part of life" rather than an oppressive ideological force from which one has the right to

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be free. The notion of habitus is a key concept in Bourdieu's analysis of symbolic violence. It is most easily described as a set of dispositions or schemes of perception that structure a subject's (or agent's, Bourdieu's preferred term) tastes and actions. Developed through experience and conservative in nature (in that it tends through its anticipatory function to reproduce past actions, and disposes an agent to seek out situations with which it is most familiar, avoiding through self-censorship social spaces in which it does not feel "at home"), the habitus is never, however, rigidly determined. Because the habitus remains open to revision through new experiences and contact with changing social forces, the actions of an agent in a given situation can never be reduced to, or predicted by, her class position or social status through any strictly causal relationship, for example. Habitus as a principle accounts for observed regularities in the conduct of individuals over a period of time--or of groups whose individuals, as products of similar experiences, share similar dispositions--without attributing these regularities to a rigid logic of "rules." Commenting on the formation of habitus, and the essentially practical logic which governs its function, Bourdieu writes: The conditions associated with a particular class of conditions of existence produce habitus, systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles which generate and organize practices and representations that can be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them. Objectively `regulated' and `regular' without being in any way the product of obedience to rules, they can be collectively orchestrated without being the product of the organizing action of a conductor. (Logic 53; my emphasis) Central to this definition is a concept of "practical sense," an "approximate, `fuzzy' logic" (Logic 87) or semi-conscious mode of behavior likened to that of players in a game, whose anticipations of other players' moves and appropriate game strategies and moves to make are internalized to the point of becoming more or less automatic. Not equivalent to either rational, calculative thought or pure reflex, practical sense is, "in the language of sport, a `feel for the game'," a "quasi-bodily involvement in the world" or: an immanence in the world through which the world imposes its imminence, things to be done or said, which directly govern

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speech and action. It orients `choices' which, though not deliberate, are no less systematic, and which, without being ordered and organized in relation to an end, are none the less charged with a kind of retrospective finality. (Logic 66) Habitus is therefore an ontological structure (akin to Heidegger's notion of Dasein in that it is a structure rather than a substance), but an empty one whose content is always historically contingent and specific. As such, it is a useful analytical tool at both the micro and macro levels, that is, in the study of individual subjects (understood, however, as always already the products, and producers, of social relations) and sociological inquiries into larger groups. As "an acquired system of generative schemes" that "makes possible the free production of all the thoughts, perceptions and actions inherent in the particular conditions of its production--and only those," habitus, endowed with an "infinite yet strictly limited generative capacity," gives an account of human agency intended to overcome the dichotomy between structuralist and voluntarist theories of determinism and freedom (Logic 55). This agency can also be described as "a spontaneity without consciousness or will opposed as much to the mechanical necessity of things without history in mechanistic theories as it is to the reflexive freedom of subjects `without inertia' in rationalist theories" (Logic 56). Habitus allows, then, for the infinite variety of possible responses and actions an agent may deploy in the many situations she encounters throughout her lifetime, while recognizing the limiting effect of past experiences as conditioning factors influencing future "choices" and tastes. Like Freudian models of childhood development, Bourdieu emphasizes the influence of early social inculcation and the family as, generally, the primary site of this inculcation, arguing that "[. . .] the anticipations of the habitus, practical hypotheses based on past experience, give disproportionate weight to early experiences" (Logic 54). This disproportionate influence both creates and sustains the agent's "inertia," or conservative tendency to reproduce past schemes of perception, by incorporating early on both the "feel" for certain social spaces and an investment, lived as natural, in these fields.5 The body, highly important to practice (habitus is a set of embodied structures of social relations and history), is viewed in Bourdieu's theory not as a transcendent, biological "given," but rather as a socially constructed site of incorporated beliefs and practices. "Practical belief," Bourdieu continues: is not a `state of the mind', still less a kind of arbitrary adher-

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ence to a set of instituted dogmas and doctrines (`beliefs'), but rather a state of the body. Doxa is the relationship of immediate adherence that is established in practice between a habitus and the field to which it is attuned, the pre-verbal taking-for-granted of the world that flows from practical sense. (Logic 68) The structure of the habitus functions as a protective device, according to a logic somewhat similar to that of Freud's "protective shield" (an interpretive filter that is both conservative and adaptable6). The habitus "tends to protect itself from crises and critical challenges by providing itself with a milieu to which it is as pre-adapted as possible," avoiding anxiety and discomfort by choosing social circles, careers, or activities, for example, "according to concrete indices of the accessible and the inaccessible, of what is and is not `for us'" (Logic 61, 64). In other words, the habitus seeks out situations in which it feels at ease, like "a fish in water," to employ another of Bourdieu's metaphors. It is precisely this "taken-for-grantedness" of one's involvement in the world, this "feel" for the game, and unreflective capacity to generate behaviors adjusted to social contexts that is disrupted by a traumatic event. Distinguished from any discomfort-producing encounter with unfamiliar fields or social milieus (such as that of being unexpectedly called upon to give a public speech, to use a familiar example), trauma represents a limitcase of defamiliarization, defined by the extreme urgency of the situation, which requires immediate action on the part of the agent (as in a threat to life, for example). Such a model requires, however, that an event be recognized as traumatic, i.e., as a threat, and, moreover, that the experience of trauma be inevitably framed by the schemes of perception that structure the habitus. Such an assertion runs counter to the recent, influential theory upheld by physician Bessel van der Kolk and literary critic Cathy Caruth. Both advance a totalizing and absolute dissociative model, one that claims that traumatic events are not registered in either conscious or unconscious memory, but are, in a manner as yet undetermined, literally inscribed in the agent, imprinted in the body (flashbacks and nightmares, traumatic symptoms, are also held to be literal repetitions of the event, unaltered by interpretation) and therefore utterly beyond representation.7 As Bourdieu points out, however, "[s]timuli do not exist for practice in their objective truth, as conditional, conventional triggers," but "[act] only on condition that they encounter agents conditioned to recog-

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nize them" (Logic 53). Recognition of stimuli (as something to be feared or responded to) does not necessarily entail the internalization of a satisfactory response to such stimuli; what marks the traumatic event is the breakdown of practical logic, of unreflective action, and of the habitus' capacity to make the reasonable hypotheses on which it bases its actions. Whereas trauma has traditionally been defined as inducing a "disorder of memory" (Leys 2), a model of trauma based on Bourdieu's concept of habitus may describe traumatic symptoms as a breakdown or disruption of "practice," stemming from the failure of memory (of embodied dispositions) to reproduce actions that, in the agent's view, are useful, sensible (that is, lived as meaningful), and appropriate to the situation (leading to the frequent description of traumatic events as "incomprehensible," "beyond belief," or "senseless"). Trauma reveals the instability and unpredictability of the social world that formerly appeared stable and reliable. Such a disruption, which renders what is normally taken for granted explicit and no longer dependable or immediately meaningful, means that the victim of trauma can no longer take her relationship to her surroundings as natural and predictable, and may live in a state of hyper-consciousness and constant vigilance, unable to "forget" the event or experience it as past. Because of the habitus' mutability, however, victims can work through trauma, developing over time new practices and dispositions that allow them to cope with their new sense of the world. history, the unconscious, and recuperation Intended to transcend the opposition between structuralist and voluntarist conceptions of agency, the concept of habitus and its relation to field is designed to go beyond what Bourdieu considers a critically reductive dichotomy between conscious (rational) and unconscious (mechanistic and uncontrollable) thought and action. Pointing out that rational action (i.e., conscious reflection and decision-making) can co-exist with an agent's dominant, practical mode of action (as long as rationality is not mistaken for an impossible, total objectivity; Logic 53), it would seem to follow that for Bourdieu, unconscious action can also co-exist with practical sense, as a point at the end of a continuum between consciousness and the unconscious--if, again, the unconscious is recognized not as a universal structure, but as having been shaped by--and continually in a dialectic with--social structures. This contention situates Bourdieu close to Lacan, who famously argued that the unconscious is structured like a language (a symbolic, that is,

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social and historical, rather than essential, order). Since the habitus is "embodied history" or "the active presence of the whole past of which it is the product," the "unconscious," as Bourdieu puts it, "is never anything other than the forgetting of history," an amnesia of origins that takes place through the habitus' internalization of this history "as a second nature" (Logic 56). The unconscious functions through misrecognition--that is, the misrecognition of arbitrary, historically developed structures as natural or essential. Misrecognition is key to the operation of symbolic violence, the violence inherent in schemes of perception that cause certain groups to remain dominated by others through these groups' own internalization of these schemes and values. Misrecognizing sexual divisions of labor and spheres of interest as based in a natural biology and ignoring the social construction of gender, have led to the reproduction of social structures that hold women in a dominated position; perceiving culturally and historically specific categories of race and standards of human worth to be universal and essentially valid has produced debilitating feelings of inferiority and helped to maintain social inequality in contemporary society, to take another example. What is central to the persistence of this domination is the extent to which "blacks," "whites," "women," and "men" internalize these principles of division that define them as groups, to begin with, seeing them as natural characteristics and dispositions.8 Neither the complicity of the dominated group nor the exercise of power on the part of the dominators can be described as "bad faith," or as willful and consciously strategic, although the semi-conscious schemes of perception underlying such divisions can be accompanied by strategic acts or physical force intended to reinforce one's position. To counter such social structures, a process of anamnesis--a recuperation of the historical and fundamentally arbitrary nature of categories of perception, and a method for uncovering the ways in which such principles impose themselves--must be established. The task of historicization--or "thought about the social conditions of thought"--that Bourdieu sets to social science "offers thought the possibility of a genuine freedom with respect to those [social] conditions" (Meditations 118); ultimately, critical reflexivity can lead, through practical interventions in the political field, to the implementation of a "Realpolitik of reason" and a democratization of the field of power (126).9 As tools for reflexivity, Bourdieu's concepts are useful to trauma studies first as a means for dealing with the disruptive effects locatable traumatic events can have on the self

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by stressing the importance of practice. Because of the habitus' reliance on experience and semi-conscious modes of behavior, recognition (or conscious memory) of the traumatic event alone does not generally permit a sufficient process of working through, but must be accompanied by a long process of habitus reformation (not restoration, which would entail the full recovery of the pre-traumatic self), that is, by the buildup, over time, of new, empowering practices that allow the subject of trauma to function as much as possible according to a practical logic once again. Secondly, Bourdieu's concepts and focus on historicization are perhaps most useful, however, for dealing with traumas that are difficult to locate and, in particular, historical traumas that function as structural ones. Studying symbolic violence, its function through the imposition of complicit schemes of perception on the part of the victim, and the liberating effects the recuperation of the historical bases for these schemes can have when accompanied by a concrete rehabilitation of social structures and institutions over time, can do much to counter the intergenerational transmission of anxieties stemming from trauma (such as the anxiety experienced by oppressed ethnic minorities or women on a day-to-day basis) that are taken as a natural "part of life" rather than an oppressive ideological force from which one has the right to be free. toward a sociology of trauma Bourdieu's emphasis on the recuperation of history, which is a gesture toward increased rationality rather than a presumption of total objectivity, runs counter to much Lacanian-inspired criticism focusing on trauma as a sublime excess or irruption of the real, its inaccessibility, and the betrayal of the real that results from attempts to narrate or recover trauma. The sociological model discussed here, while compatible with many accounts of trauma and its aftermath, is perhaps not sufficient for fully addressing the problem of traumatic dissociation and amnesia on an individual level (a problem central to trauma studies since its inception, and one which has given rise to theories of the inaccessibility of traumatic memory). Bodily symptoms of trauma cannot simply be explained through this model (just as they cannot be satisfactorily explained, in my view, as situated entirely in the body and untouched by representation or interpretation). This may be due to the focus of Bourdieu's research, oriented toward collective processes of change.10 More inquiry into the relation between practical sense and bodily memory

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is certainly a direction of research that needs to be taken. The usefulness of Bourdieu's theory for the problem of structural trauma and existential anxiety needs to be addressed in much greater detail than space permits here as well. What Bourdieu's conception of subjectivity does suggest, however--with important ramifications for understanding the relation between narrative and identity--is that since individual subjects are always already the products of social relations, the experience and representation of trauma is inevitably framed by the schemes of perception that structure the habitus. Rather than viewing this social determination as limiting or reductive, recognizing this very determination, and the mutability of determining structures, is precisely what makes social transformation and working through possible.11 Notes

Drawing on Freud, LaCapra defines "working through" in contrast to "acting out": acting out is linked to the repetition compulsion and describes the traumatized victim's "tendency to relive the past, to be haunted by ghosts or even to exist in the present as if one were still fully in the past, with no distance from it," while working through is defined as "a kind of countervailing force (not a totally different process, not even something leading to a cure)," in which the victim or the secondary witness (e.g., the psychoanalyst, historian, or literary critic) "tries to gain critical distance on a problem and to distinguish between past, present, and future" (142-43). Although LaCapra sees working through as a desirable process, the importance of the need to act out, he states, should not be disregarded or depreciated. 2 As Ruth Leys recalls, the term trauma originally designated a "surgical wound, conceived on the model of a rupture of the skin or protective envelope of the body resulting in a catastrophic global reaction in the entire organism" (19), while early studies of traumatic symptoms attributed their cause to "shock or concussion of the spine" (3). The analogous conception of trauma as a psychic shock produced by an incursion of external forces or events, although dominant in modern definitions of trauma, has been complicated throughout the history of trauma studies, and notably in Freud's work, Leys argues, by the role attributed to latency and belated memories in the production of traumatic symptoms. 3 See Jean-François Fourny, "Bourdieu's Uneasy Psychoanalysis," SubStance 29, no. 3 (2000): 103-112, for a discussion of the latter position. 4 Bourdieu uses the term field to designate (historically produced) social spaces that function similarly to "games," involving specific stakes and a belief (illusio) in the serious or worthwhile character of the game. Unlike a game, however, "in the social fields, which are the products of a long, slow process of autonomization, and are therefore, so to speak, games `in themselves' and not `for themselves,' one does not embark on the game by a conscious act, one is born into the game, with the game; and the relation of investment, illusio, is made more total and unconditional by the fact that it is unaware of what it is" (The Logic of Practice [Stanford: Stanford UP, 1990], 67). Moreover, the "rules" governing a field, which are never completely explicit, are continually contested and subject to modification by its participants.

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Bourdieu uses the example of language acquisition to illustrate this point: "In the case of primary learning, the child learns at the same time to speak the language (which is only ever presented in action, in his own or other people's speech) and to think in (rather than with) the language. The earlier a player enters the game and the less he is aware of the associated learning (the limiting case being, of course, that of someone born into, born with the game), the greater is his ignorance of all that is tacitly granted through his investment in the field and his interest in its very existence and perpetuation and in everything that is played for in it, and his unawareness of the unthought presuppositions that the game produces and endlessly reproduces, thereby reproducing the conditions of its own perpetuation" (Logic 67). 6 See Sigmund Freud, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle," vol. 18 of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, trans. James Strachey. 24 vols (London: Hogarth Press, 1953-74), 3-64. 7 This view has come under sharp criticism; see Leys chapters 7 and 8 for a refutation of van der Kolk and Caruth's claim. 8 Incorporated practices of self-censorship can be highly persistent and also explain why social change cannot take place merely by declaration, as witnessed, for example, in the tendency of women to abstain from voting or take part in political activities (viewed sometimes as superior activities requiring an unachieved competence, but often simply as uninteresting or as "men's business") even after the promulgation of suffrage laws authorizing such practices. 9 For a detailed discussion of these points, which can only be briefly summarized here, see in particular Pascalian Meditations, chapter 3, "The Historicity of Reason." 10 As Bourdieu states in The Weight of the World, "Sociology does not intend to substitute its explanatory method for that of psychoanalysis; it only intends to construct in a different fashion certain facts that the latter takes up as objects of inquiry, fixing on aspects of reality that psychoanalysis dismisses as secondary or insignificant, or treats as screens to be traversed in order to reach the essential" (quoted in Fourny 109). 11 I would like to thank Tom Trezise and Zahi Zalloua for their valuable insights into earlier drafts of this article.

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Works Cited

Bourdieu, Pierre. Pascalian Meditations. Trans. Richard Nice. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000. . The Logic of Practice. Trans. Richard Nice. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1990. Caruth, Cathy. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1996. Fourny, Jean-François. "Bourdieu's Uneasy Psychoanalysis." SubStance 29, no. 3 (2000): 103-112. Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Volume 18 of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Trans. James Strachey. 24 vols. London: Hogarth Press, 1953-74. 3-64. LaCapra, Dominick. Writing History, Writing Trauma. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2001. Leys, Ruth. Trauma: A Genealogy. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2000.

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Settling Matters

"Mrs. Sanfield?"

It was the young man from the city morgue calling again. His voice was all business this time, not as tender as yesterday, Myrna noticed, no chatty questions about the deceased, no small talk about grief; it was as if overnight he had grown impatient with the indecisive old widow. "We're running out of time, ma'am," he said. "I'm sorry to be so blunt, but we need an answer." "Answer?" Myrna said. The hard plastic of the phone, unused since yesterday, was cool against her ear. "Yes, ma'am," he said. "Our storage limit is two weeks." "Has it been that long?" Myrna said. "Two weeks?" She was sitting alone in the wooden booth of her small kitchen watching the first snowflakes of the year smash purposefully into the windows. Melting upon impact, these intricate, one-of-a-kind kamikaze figures left no mark, no reminder on the thick glass. "I thought I had longer," Myrna said. "No, ma'am," he said. "You have until today. More precisely, until five o'clock this afternoon. We called to find out what you've decided." "It's not up to me, at least, not entirely," Myrna said. "I need to find his note." "His note?" "That was his way," Myrna said. "He was particular about certain things, no rhyme or reason, mind you." She saw eyeglasses on the shelf above the sink, wedged discreetly between two coffee mugs. For days, her husband Alexis had puzzled over where he had put them, and now they seemed so obvious. "I just know he would have told me what to do. About something like this." "In the interim, that is, until the note surfaces, perhaps there's someone else I should talk to, a family member, a relative," the young man said. "Someone with the authority to make a decision." At first, Myrna thought the young man was irritated, his voice was so firm, but then she realized that what she heard was simply youth, the urgency to move on to the next thing. "No," she said. "There is no one, it was just us, Alexis and Myrna. The Sanfields."

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The young man paused politely before saying, "I'm sorry," and then, "we have until five o'clock to decide." "We?" Myrna said. It was the pronouns, the we's and our's, that were the hardest to overlook, to let pass by without comment. "I mean you," he said. "We must know your decision by this afternoon, Mrs. Sanfield." "When you called before you told me your name, but I've forgotten, forgive me," Myrna said. "Billy," the young man said, his voice softening, but not much, as if reminding her that a name doesn't offer connection. "And it was yesterday," he said, correcting her. "We called yesterday because of our urgency to know, ma'am, how we should treat the body, that is, is it to be cremated or buried?" His sentences were unequivocal, carrying with them such momentum, such possibility of closure. "What do you think, Billy?" Myrna said. "What is your preference? Because, you see, I'm stuck." "Excuse me," he said, breathing more deeply into Myrna's ear. "I don't understand." "Which would you choose, cremation or burial?" Her fingers combed and untangled the purple fringe of a worn placemat. "It's personal, ma'am," he said. "Yes, I know," Myrna said. "But what if." Still sitting in her booth, Myrna lifted first her left thigh and then her right and swiveled her hips around so that if she wanted to get up, to look at the list of things she had written down, matters that needed her attention, household chores she normally tackled without a reminder, with a dedication and interest that others, friends of hers and even acquaintances, found remarkable, she was now in the correct position. "Cremation is more definitive," Billy said. "The body is truly gone." "But I've heard it's like incineration," Myrna said. "Like what they do to garbage." "I shouldn't really be doing this, ma'am," Billy said. "Offering opinions. It's not my area." "Area?" "My job is storage and transport," Billy said. "Nothing more." "But if it was your area," Myrna said. She touched the half corn muffin, buttered and toasted, in front of her. It was no longer warm. "What seems

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better, more respectful, more human?" She could hear that Billy was fiddling, messing around with the supplies on his desk, perhaps refilling a stapler or flipping the unnecessary pages of his daily planner, Saturday and Sunday, the weekend days being so useless to a workweek. Then he began picking at one thing in particular, Myrna could sense the focus, his determination to unleash a linoleum desk cover, a misplaced decorative sticker, something stuck askew on his faux maple civil servant desk. "There are advantages to both, I guess," Billy said. "Advantages," Myrna said. "I can't seem to see any." "Mrs. Sanfield," he said, his accent, relaxed British or maybe even Boston, the two linked by short A's and ancestral longing, grew stronger, more formal, as he made his pitch: "We need to know sooner rather than later." "Yes, I know," Myrna said. "Do you?" "Has anyone you loved ever died," Myrna said, wandering back to the kitchen. The journey between the two rooms, kitchen to bathroom, bathroom to kitchen, was her daily pilgrimage. "I think so." Myrna found Billy's pattern of inhalations and exhalations nearly hopeful. She lifted herself up and walked the short distance from the kitchen to the guest bathroom. In the rectangular mirror, she saw how chapped her lips were, her face narrower than she had ever seen it, her hair translucent, and her brown eyes receding into their sockets. "I'm disappearing," Myrna said. "Ma'am?" Billy said. His voice, anticipating a conclusion to all this, startled her. "He just disappeared," she said, turning on the cold water and then the hot, just to hear the sound of something moving. "Alexis. One minute here and then gone." "He didn't disappear, ma'am," Billy said. Myrna said nothing and put the phone gently down on the sink rim. She turned off the taps, squeezing each one forcefully to ensure its closure and watched the skin on her hands whiten with the effort. When she picked up the receiver, she said, "Billy? Are you there?" "I'm still here," Billy said, sounding a bit unsure why he was. There

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was no sound from his office, no street noises, no co-workers chatting, and Myrna imagined him in the basement of a federal building on lower Broadway or Chambers Street, somewhere out of the way, yet official. "I know this is hard, Mrs. Sanfield." When she found Alexis dead in his desk chair, his coffee mug overturned, his white shirt stained with brown dribbles, he had just been alive. It was mid-afternoon on a sunny cold Sunday. There were no keyboard strokes tapping like a metronome, keeping pace with her needlepoint, pull, pull, push, pull, pull, push. It was probably an hour, Myrna guessed later when asked by the EMT medic who responded as if it was an emergency, as if there was someone to save. It was probably an hour, Myrna explained, before she dropped a stitch and saw the hole in her needlework. "Alexis," she had called out, no longer hearing the tapping. "Alexis," she said again. And then, leisurely, she said to the medic, without any hurry, she walked into the study and saw the coffee pooling by her husband's foot, the sound of it soaking into the thin Oriental rug seemed overwhelmingly loud. Piles of books were on the floor, his leather chair needed emptying, Myrna remembered noting, there were so many of Alexis's clothes gathered there. "Alexis," she said. "Your coffee." Slumped was the word she used to describe his body, though the medic had looked at her quizzically, which made Myrna wonder if it was a word, slumped, or if a better word choice would have been dead. He looked dead, was probably what the medic wanted, but to Myrna, he was still living at this point, he was just resting. Slumped. "Have you ever lost anyone?" Myrna said. "Excuse me?" Billy said. "Has anyone you loved ever died," Myrna said, wandering back to the kitchen. The journey between the two rooms, kitchen to bathroom, bathroom to kitchen, was her daily pilgrimage. Standing in front of the stove, she looked briefly at the unlit burners, covered with casseroles, pies, paper plates of cookies with their small hand-written notes attached, the crusts and sprinkles old and rigid, ready to be heaved not eaten. The snow had stopped suddenly, and the sunlight made her arms and legs look checkered, awash in black and white squares, reflections from outside that had no beginning or end. She hadn't talked to anyone for this long since Alexis died. "I have." "Yes, I know," Billy said. "My grandmother died when I was little, but I guess that doesn't count since I don't remember any of it." "It counts," Myrna said. "What did you do with her?"

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"We buried her," Billy said. "I remember that part." "Was it satisfying?" Myrna said. "I was too young to know," Billy said. Myrna could sense his drifting back to his hometown, remembering an old tree behind his house perhaps or the dinner bell from a neighbor pealing out the lateness of the day. She traveled with him. He said nothing for a few moments, and then with a salesman-like decisiveness, Billy said, "I assume it was in a way. Satisfying, that is." "He was a stress expert," Myrna said. "Alexis. Isn't that funny?" "I have scientist written down," Billy said. "Of buildings," Myrna said. "He was a scientist of buildings." "Then I would definitely opt for the burial ceremony," Billy said. He was chewing gum now, his teeth snapping the red or yellow or perhaps peppermint-white stick against his molars rhythmically, sounding out the tempo of imminent victory, a case closed. "But you see," Myrna said. "I've searched everywhere, overturned things, thrown them upside down, shaken them, still, I haven't found his note." She wandered down the hall towards their bedroom. "He would have told me what he wanted. That was his way. Giving precise directions about the most peculiar things, water plants to this line, throw away milk when there's this much left, never touch a dead battery. This would have been his domain, death, bodies. It just would have been." "You'd be surprised," Billy said, sounding much older than he was, "how little we know about our loved ones." Myrna listened to the water leaking from the bathroom faucets and to Billy's rhythmical breathing, the gum tucked away inside his mouth. "I just haven't looked hard enough," she said. "It seems that, given your husband's background, science and all, he would prefer to be in the ground," Billy said with an assumption that he would get no argument from her. She wondered how long he would stay on the phone to fill a quota. "He wouldn't leave the matter unsettled," Myrna said. "Without telling me what to do, how could I possibly decide for him? He just wouldn't do that." How foolish she must have looked, a small-boned woman who despite her white hair looked younger than sixty-three, looked positively good for her age, for any age, really. How foolish she must have looked, shaking such a big man, a dead man, in fact, urging him to wake up, practically lifting him

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out of the chair, she was, at one point, shaking him so hard. "Your coffee," she had said to him and then walked over and righted the cup and saw drool leaking from his mouth. "Wake up," she said or something like that, something just as silly, just as naive. How much drool, the medics asked. Not a lot, she told them, just a little, enough to seem odd. His head was turned to the side; his eyes were shut; miraculous, the medics had said, for his eyes to shut. She took hours before calling the EMT. How many hours, they asked her, why did you wait? Myrna didn't know; she wasn't aware of any time passing at all. She found him and it was light out, the sun was shining off the white buttons of Alexis's shirt. When the medics arrived, they followed emergency protocol. They ripped his shirt, those white buttons falling to the floor like hail stones, and then they pulled him to the ground, felt for a pulse, a heartbeat. They almost did CPR, but chose not to pretend any longer and merely pronounced him dead of a massive coronary at 8:07 p.m. Sunday night. How did she find him, they asked her, and she told them the story of the coffee and the drool and the relentless shaking. She didn't tell them about how she waited for a fact, scientific evidence, physical proof, for his skin to suddenly turn from warm to cool. A discernible sign of death, Alexis whispered to her once in a movie, explaining a scene. That happened after the sun had gone down. She was sitting on the floor next to him, holding his hand, when she noticed the temperature of his fingers had changed. "It could be years before you find a note," Billy said. "Or moments," Myrna said. She had competently filled out the papers permitting an autopsy, donating his organs and registering his body with the morgue. They wanted to know where and when the deceased was found, in what condition. In the Dead Condition she wrote. Dead, dead, dead. Everything about him was gone, she continued writing in the report, without response, inert, inactive, no longer smiling at her, his wife, his poupee, he used to call her, his doll. "I just need more time." "I know this is hard," Billy said. "Perhaps the hardest thing you'll ever do." "Compared to what?" Myrna said. Billy was quiet. She imagined the phone stuck between his mid-twenties clavicle and chin, his fingers busy erasing something or tuning in a pop station on his radio, his mind imagining the woman he's dating. He said finally, quietly, "Compared to living."

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Myrna squeezed a tissue from the arm of her cardigan and wiped her eyes, her nose. "You've been very patient." She alone had watched as they pulled the sheet over Alexis's head and prepared to transfer him. She had listened to the small talk of the ER residents, talk of dinner plans, girlfriends, lives in progress. She wanted to say "wait" in a voice both urgent and apologetic. She wanted them to wait before pulling the sheet over his forehead, the place she loved most to kiss, the place Alexis would point to, almost childlike, waiting for her lips to touch him. But she said nothing. It wouldn't be the same, now, would it? Nothing's the same, now, is it? "Let us know your plans," the medical examiner had told her, touching her hand with the coolness of marble, of confidence, of attempted compassion. "I don't make these sorts of plans," Myrna said. "He does." The same examiner had smiled as if she was joking. "So we will hear from you later today?" Billy said. He stopped chewing and picking. There was silence. Myrna could feel that he was poised, pencil point waiting to circle an answer, a standardized test oval, the proper shading of the blank space so crucial to the end result, the final score and the direction a life can take. "I will look for the note right away," Myrna said. "Or we will have to give your husband the common city burial." As she listened to Billy resume his chewing, she longed for that sense of relief, which he seemed to have just then, the relief of having something nearly completed and far behind you. "Excuse me?" she said. "A city burial," he said. "You wouldn't want that, Mrs. Sanfield, trust me." "I will find something," Myrna said, knowing that that was impossible, that there was nothing to be found. But still she looked. She hadn't been in the bedroom during the day since Alexis died. Everywhere she looked, there were couplings: combs on the bureau, her lamp and the old brass stand-up of Alexis's, shoes thrown under the chair, some his and others hers, hers and his, Alexis's and Myrna's. The streetlights were on now, and it looked as if gray fabric had been pinned to every window. Myrna turned on the light in Alexis's closet. She took out a few suits and stretched them carefully over the bed. He had five good ones, Alexis would say, and three suits saved for sentimental reasons: his first, his marriage, and the one that belonged to his father. Myrna just took the five good ones and then chose various shirts to go with

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each one. The blue button-down was more casual and went nicely with the navy blue pinstripe; the flamingo pink plaid was racy and popped out of the black double-breast; the rest of the shirts were starchy white with small monograms on the chest pockets, and with their versatility, they looked fine with the remaining brown tweed, green tweed, and summer seersucker. If he was to be buried, he should look good, she thought. But if it was cremation that he wanted, then it didn't matter what she chose. Although she had meticulously searched through everything of his, she once again opened Alexis's drawers. She took out underwear, socks, and even the soft handkerchiefs that began their days pressed in Alexis's jacket and ended in a ball in his pants' pocket. Though he rarely wore the suits anymore, the handkerchiefs would always be in his pants when she checked before laundering. She was sitting on the floor next to him, holding his hand, when she noticed the temperature of his fingers had changed. She dumped every drawer and stripped every hanger and emptied duffel bags of lost socks that Alexis believed, with a fervor that both frustrated and intrigued Myrna, would return to their mates. Even when she had tipped over every box, bin, tray, container that held anything of her husband's, she found, as she knew she would, nothing. "Damn you," she said to the suits, feeling something in her resist and then finally cave as she said the two words again and again. How unlike herself she had become! She imagined Alexis watching her in her undershirt, the cardigan removed, the skin on her upper arms and chest exposed for the first time in days; she bent down to adjust a coat button or straighten an arm. "Damn you," she said, first to the pinstripe and then to the dull black one that Alexis had begun to wear only to funerals of friends and colleagues. She picked up the jackets and stuffed her hand in each pocket, even the tiny breast ones inside the lapel that were designed only for pens. She watched the spit spray out of her mouth as she cursed the tweed, her saliva landing on the wool and beading there for a moment before sinking in and vanishing completely. She searched the pockets of everything, pants, sports jackets, the pea coat, the old jean jacket that never really fit properly, and, of course, the sheepskin full-length coat they had bought on their trip to New Zealand. She found only matchbooks, toothpicks, some in cello-

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phane, others worn down from use. So, you old kook, she imagined Billy muttering under his breath while waiting for her to call him back. You were wrong; he didn't leave a note; he left nothing; now, what do I do with the body? "You were right," Myrna said when Billy answered. "He wants to be buried." "Did you find something then?" he said. "Yes," Myrna lied. "I was right about that." "My condolences, ma'am," Billy said, "on your loss of Alexis." "Thank you, Billy," Myrna said. "I know I was out of the ordinary for you." "May he rest in peace, ma'am," Billy said, neither agreeing nor protesting. "May he," Myrna said. Like a director who suddenly yells "Action," Billy set in motion the funeral production, and Myrna read her lines, accepted condolences from all of Alexis's school friends and his colleagues, men and women whom she had never met, but had heard about for years. She performed her part and rode with Alexis's body as it traveled in a hearse through lower Manhattan, up the west side highway towards the Catskill Mountains where Alexis was born. There, she watched as two men dug a hole, a duet of dirt rising and then falling, a sound as familiar to her as Alexis's breathing, his body coiled in sleep and his heart pumping tirelessly. They counted to three, heaved the casket on their shoulders and then gently lowered Alexis down, using ropes that seemed to Myrna so old and worn and archaic, nothing like Alexis when she last heard him tapping at his desk. One of the men gave her a handful of dirt and instead of throwing it into the hole and saying her good-byes, Myrna quietly pocketed the mound, nodded to the men, signaling that she was finished, and thought, this is what they'll find in my clothes.

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Irene Sherlock

The Last Time I Saw My Brother Alive

The last time I saw my brother alive, he was straight, I think: drug free, as they say, working long hours on his coffee truck, a grown man with unsmooth hair thinning but no longer trailing below his shoulders. TV blared in his apartment, a background better than the silence of his old drug. Wrapping sandwiches at home to sell on his route, counting up receipts, adding what he made, subtracting what he owed. The last time I saw my brother alive, he came to my house to refinish an old table, carried it alone downstairs to the garage, confident, the way he was when he carried his bat, pitched a ball fast and true. Later, he worked construction, raising buildings. This was before rehab, before the street. My brother stripped the varnished table, years of finish gone bad. I had forgotten he could do things. The oak, smooth as polished stone, glowing under the honey stain, his delicate strokes. Later we sat on the porch, drinking coffee, talking about the heat, old summers, how the days were even now growing short. After a while, my brother put down his coffee cup, went down to the garage, and this time worked the fine steel wool, knuckles bare; he sanded the fleshy wood, back bent, thin muscle flexing, a whole rhythm to the work, the belly of the table finally smooth. I wanted to ask about the old hunger, if he felt the gnaw of it now in this turning away. But I didn't, just watched the circular path of his arm, scattering dust the color of fruit trees.

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Jennifer J. Thompson

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Hunger

Tadeusz' once-robust form has dwindled again to bone, hide, teeth, hank of hair. He signals urgently for help, I.V. rattling. With the flourish of a mountebank his son, Avi, offers juice, broth and a congealed mass splattered on a gray tray by indifferent hospital hands. The old man refuses it. He has transcended such slop has been unworthy of it since the frozen morning when he crawled from a ditch, reborn arms full of icy shards of soil and potato. Upon emerging, he saw a Russian soldier who transfixed him with a gaze not with the sidearm held slack in one hand. Tadeusz saw a cheap enamel hammer-and-sickle pin mud-colored greatcoat, rough dun cap, gun but feared the man raw with youth and frankly afraid of the shit-smeared forms clawing, squabbling, dead around him. The soldier's gaze conjured up the prisoner livid, scored skin lice and all a figure for hunger shame in human form. This gaze taught Taudeusz in one stroke what he had become. This has been called "liberation." It is as if that very day he reached his present age.

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For months now, he has been stripping away the weight of the intervening years. He struggles to prop himself up jarring a flurry of nervous chirps from the bank of machines by his bed. The son surges up to help cradles his shoulders shifts the slight and raging burden up, back. Tadeusz heaves, growls nestles down again among gray, flat pillows. The son subsides into a chair of molded plastic. It adds a trivial ache to this vigil this siege. And so Avi feels a surge of rage so strong that his breath tangles in his throat. The wary arrogance, violence that history has sown and cultivated in this his bitter and beautiful native soil all this bursts into flaming blossom and he hates the terror and shame he reads in his father's every gesture his whole cringing attitude his never-ending stance of refusal. And so Avi pulls out a cell phone quickly grows absorbed in the simple but addictive game he found yesterday on some sub-menu. Pure American, his father thinks. Shaved head mirrored sunglasses a black leather jacket so soft, so supple that it's hard to believe it was once stripped from a cow's carcass.

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But Tadeusz always knows where things come from. He thinks, We came to the Promised Land learned to share one language--God's. We raised them as soldiers they grew up to be producers slipping out into the hall when he thinks I'm asleep yakking in English into that fucking phone. And Tadeusz knows: his son will never taste the dirt and tubers of that ditch in Auschwitz. He's shed Poland, Haifa, Lebanon and New York like successive skins each time emerging brighter, harder more closely scaled. And he does not want to bequeath to Avi a mouthful of rotten potatoes. Avi feels his gaze, looks up. "Dad, how many Freudian psychiatrists does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "You got that one from me," he snaps. Wheedling, Avi comes back "I've got a new one off the Internet from Hollywood." Tadeusz concedes. Inconsolable, he longs to be consoled. His hands work at the blanket like white spiders spinning. "How many Surrealists does it take to change a light bulb? Three: one to put the fish in the bathtub and two to throw the TV out the window."

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His father's eyes have wandered, though. His every sense attends to this his own, chosen death this unnatural, absurd and protracted last act. He feels worms growing in his empty belly already.

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J. Karl Bell

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Return of the White Plague

It should have been dead and buried; like Hitler, Pol Pot, and polio.

The unholy resurrection of tuberculosis is bad news indeed for an embattled world already struggling with AIDS, unleashed hot-zone diseases, and the threat of biological warfare. Allegedly snuffed out over the years or at least reduced to a back-page statistic, TB has risen phoenix-like out of the ashes of its drug-induced demise in a frighteningly resistant state. Like AIDS, tuberculosis is rampant in poorer societies, but we have not been spared a share of the contagion (nor are we exempt from global responsibility). With the frequency of border crossings, both legal and otherwise, the white plague is re-emerging as a fellow traveler capable of further darkening our domestic picture. TB never has respected sovereign boundaries. Before a "cure" was developed in the fifties, those unfortunate enough to have contracted the disease were confined to tuberculosis sanatoriums: private if you had money, public if you did not. These were often confused with those other institutions of incarceration--sanitariums--adding to the shame of the afflicted: bad enough to have contracted TB, worse to be tagged with a mental disorder. At least visitors to the TB ward didn't have to worry about patients cavorting naked in the corridors or advancing on all fours to lick their shoes. Still, most of those confined soon enough found their visits from the outside world dwindling, especially if they were housed in one of the public institutions, where cubicled wards replaced the neat little cottages found in private establishments. An open ward of coughing "lungers" (the horrid term some applied to the diseased) was enough to send the healthy scurrying back out for fresh air. In the early forties, I contracted tuberculosis from my father, who'd suffered from it for ten years. I was seventeen. He succumbed shortly thereafter, at the age of forty-six, expiring in a state of delirium while housed in a private sanatorium. His hatred and fear of the public TB wards had kept him at home throughout most of his illness; when his doctor finally felt it was imperative for him to be hospitalized again, he entered a costly private institution. There, he said, he would find people of his own educational and professional level: people of his class. When the disease finally deprived him of breath, class had become irrelevant--he left us penniless. His only legacy lay embedded in my chest.

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The last place a tubercular patient should attempt a cure is at home, where he becomes an inescapable source of infection. But my father scoffed at this idea, willfully naive in his belief that one so afflicted would surely recover more quickly if lodged in the bosom of his family. Ignored was the reality of the awful contagion of TB, its ability to penetrate and infect even the healthiest of lungs inhabiting the same household. His presence over the years of his illness was announced like clockwork by his cough, reverberating through our small apartment like a wet jackhammer. And with each cough came the specter of the bacilli, infectious ghosts permeating the air, air to be inhaled by us, my mother and I. We lived in an atmosphere dominated by the smell of Lysol--undisguised by fragrance in those days and sold in a bottle bearing a skull and crossbones--and steam, the result of my mother's daily scalding of my father's dishes to the point that the delicate flowered patterns eventually disappeared. All of these acts of purification were futile, of course. You don't contract TB from toilet seats and dishes. It's in the breath, as pervasive as oxygen. Equally futile was one of the few "medical" techniques employed by the doctors in their battle with the disease: a bag of BBs placed on my father's chest to hold down his breathing and give more rest to the lung. The supply of BBs was kept in an old saucepan on the steps leading to the attic; it was always blanketed with dead flies, a fatal attraction I never figured out. At the public sanatorium where I was housed, there were patients who took a perverse pride in the disease. They referred to themselves as lungers, endlessly reminding newcomers that TB was chronic, a word implying to the novice, "forever." Some could no longer imagine leaving the ward, no longer even wanted to. They'd become afraid of the outside world. These fearful souls developed imaginary chest pains, manufactured nonexistent coughs, swooned weakly into their beds, all in an effort to convince the doctors to hold them back. "No cure for it, none," I was told by one of these long-timers, speaking with the authority of a third-year medical student. Unfortunately, if one eliminated the remedy of bed rest, he was correct. The cynicism of the patients found its frightening affirmation when someone with "up time" (those deemed sufficiently on the mend were granted a limited number of hours on their feet each day) suffered a breakdown and was remanded back to bed to start all over again. To the newly arrived, this presented a grim scenario. Like the disquieting philosophy that would have us repeating some version

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of our lives over and over for eternity, it portended an unwelcome future, one dominated by the farcical cycle of pajamas to robe to street clothes and back again. The final stop, the one we all dreaded, was the move to a private room, one of the "white boxes" from which no one ever returned. On the day a dignified elderly gentleman who had daily walking privileges was taken to a white box, I was shocked, having so far equated up time with progress. I'd failed, however, to attach any significance to the fact that as time passed, the man was never moved forward to another level. I came to understand that the doctors believed he would make no more progress and that walking could do him no harm. He departed for the white box in a wheelchair, waving as if he were Franklin Roosevelt reviewing the troops. At any sanatorium, public or private, physical activities for the completely bedridden were pretty much limited to reading, eating, and defecating (and, of course, especially for a teenager, the ever present consolation of self-satisfaction). We weren't residents of Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain hostelry, where drinking and cigar smoking aided the downcast spirit, if not the tubercular cure. As in Mann, though, fresh air did play a part. One of the buildings where I was housed had an open-air covered porch to which patients could move if they so desired. I lived out there for a whole year, wrapped in blankets, wearing a cap and heavy sweaters and gloves when it was cold enough, watching birds perch at the foot of my bed in the spring. The meal tray and the bedpan supported the consumption of food and its later expulsion. In the public institutions, at least, they also provided opportunities for raunchy and disgruntled dialogue. There was certainly truth to the ongoing negative commentary about the predictably terrible food, though the phrasing of these critiques would have prohibited their inclusion in the culinary columns of Good Housekeeping. The fare ran a consistent course each day, from the paste-like cereal and not-quite-soft, not-quitehard-boiled eggs in the morning to aged mutton chops or odoriferous boiled beef in the evening, the latter usually accompanied by a mélange of tangled, unidentifiable greens. Was the food any better at the private sanatoriums? Since quality and variety usually vary favorably with cost, I assumed it had to be. I'd heard from my father that individual entrées brought to his private room bore a silver cover to keep them warm. It's doubtful that stringy corned beef ever warranted such treatment. Defecation on a grand scale took place each morning. A metal bedpan, sometimes thoughtfully heated by the staff (depending upon who was on

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duty), was placed on the bed. The patient mounted it by standing on a chair next to the bed and sliding the receptacle under his buttocks. Although we were spared the sight of all but our cubiclemate's acrobatics, the sounds and smells were free to float about the ward, where they mingled with the constant coughing of the men. But the bedpan routine provided a platform for those who wanted to address their compatriots face to face, as they stood, now relieved, above their full receptacles. At all other times, engagement with anyone but the patient who shared your cubicle was limited to the auditory, the speaker seeming to address only the metal walls surrounding him. Sometimes the voices were of a radical nature; at least they seemed so to those of us who'd arrived from more sheltered environments. Coming from a conservative Catholic family, I indiscriminately labeled all of these men "Communists" and was frightened and disturbed when Marx and Lenin intruded on my Hail Marys. (In later years, I would consider myself lucky to have been exposed to this diversity while my psyche was still malleable.) One of the Communists said that praying was like throwing pennies into a wishing well. I'd never thrown a penny into a well, and at the time I found myself wondering more about what happened to the pennies than about whether any of the wishes came true. Would the successful wisher come back and try to retrieve his lucky coins? Or would he simply continue throwing pennies into the beneficent well? This was the kind of thing I had plenty of time to think about in those days. There was one event I did look forward to and that was the arrival of a new corps of student nurses. These young women spent a couple of months at the sanatorium, rotating through the wards and up buildings. When word was passed among the men that a new group had arrived, the anticipation triggered a tangible sense of renewal. The bed bath drew the most attention. If there was any inclination on the part of a student nurse to pull the covering bath blanket down below the navel during her soapy ministrations, this was cause for rejoicing. If she accidentally bared a portion of pubic hair, salvation seemed near at hand. Unfortunately, the excitement associated with these baths often led to disappointment. The ultimate frustration was to be wheeled into the bath area by a young goddess, your spirits soaring, only to be turned over to a jaded nurse's aide who bathed bodies as if she were washing cars. This despair was heightened when the goddess reappeared with a grinning fellow patient, whose dreams were brought to reality right before your eyes. It was best not to look.

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J. Karl Bell

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Self-styled experts on sanatorium behavior and habits held numerous theories of recovery. One postulated that tubercular patients, subject as they were to long periods of mandatory bed rest, had too much time to think. It followed that, depending on the focus of these thoughts, those so confined could either help or hinder their own progress in combating the disease. If contemplation were too introspective, too directed toward self-pity, too concentrated on a dim and distant future, the healing process would be disrupted by agitation of the body and depression of the spirit. The same outcome would prevail if the bedridden harbored constant anxiety about the fate of his family, such as how they were faring without their breadwinner. In the early forties, I contracted tuberculosis from my father, who'd suffered from it for ten years. I was seventeen. But if a patient's intellectual and emotional scope were broadened by some positive influence from beyond the ward--by literature, for example-- this outward focus could produce a regenerative physical state. Dwelling on a Shakespeare sonnet, or even a paperback mystery, would theoretically provide better ground for a cure than staring glassy-eyed at cubicle walls, pondering your fate. And while TB precluded excessive indulgence in many diversions, reading was not one of them. As a result, there were a surprising number of patients at the public institution who were extremely well read in the classics, politics, and history. Pockets of the intelligentsia could be found in all corners of the wards. There were also those few who appeared to be simply reconciled to the situation, although whether this serene state sprang from a deeply religious nature or just plain simple-mindedness was sometimes hard to determine. Regardless, these patients smiled a lot as they wove mats, crafted leather billfolds, and fashioned the other rather pathetic products of the resigned bedridden. Religion in general played an erratic role at the sanatorium, and holidays differed little from any other day. Christmas lacked both religious trappings and Santa Claus, although a tree did appear in the dining room, where patients with three or more hours of up time ate. Gifts that arrived with family members were necessarily limited to items one could use or consume in bed. Patients who wished to exchange gifts or cards purchased them from "the Cart," a miniature mobile store stocked with toilet articles and a few

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magazines, which was wheeled through the wards once a week. At Christmas, the cart was decked out with a wreath and red ribbon and carried a limited selection of cards and those same toilet articles wrapped in holiday paper. It was quite common for patients to receive cards and gifts identical to those they'd given. Suffice it to say that no miracles took place in the drab bed wards while I was there, no precipitate disappearance of a cough, no "My God I can walk" epiphany (this despite the sacred pictures taped to cold metal walls, Bibles on bed stands, relics of saints pinned to cloth bedheads). Priests and pastors visited regularly (there may have been rabbis, but my provincial sensibility did not take note of them) to counsel, to hear confession, and to comfort the diseased by reminding them that God has a reason for everything. I was once privy to a rather vaudevillian exchange between an afflicted parishioner and his pastor. "You must remember," said the pastor, "God has a reason for your being here." "He does, I know," replied the patient. "I have TB." Humor, however absurd or dark, was much needed here, where genuine laughter could be rare. Although faith in the Lord and myriad saints helped some through the recovery ordeal (and no doubt assisted others who did not survive), many patients found their faith tested for perhaps the first time. Some found it wanting, not up to the task, despite whispered supplications, readings of the Good Book, and recitations of the beads. This led to a depressed state, in which the formerly devout patient refused to eat or to talk to anyone. More severe reactions manifested themselves in fits of crying and bedwetting, and in the throwing of objects such as urinals and bedpans, which made a terrible clanging noise when hitting the hard floor. Others of lost faith replaced the Bible with Camus or Kant; the Hundred Great Books vied with comics and pulp thrillers as solace. I found an additional escape when I achieved several hours up--I became the DJ for the two music programs broadcast throughout the sanatorium. A cramped little room in the basement served for both record storage and the studio; an old record player set up on a small table was used to test-play the 78 rpm discs before each program, to ensure that cracks, scratches, or just plain wear would not materially impair the sound. I was amazed as the surprisingly large library of records, which had decreased as the brittle discs were broken or otherwise rendered unplayable, was broadened as patients or friends of the sanatorium made donations. Thinking ahead to the future, when I was well, I pictured the day when I might make a

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generous donation myself. The day I could say, "I'm going home," came three years after I'd been diagnosed with the dreaded white plague, three years after I'd been ordered to bed--as in "Go directly to jail; do not pass Go." The arrest of my disease was achieved in increments; I cannot pinpoint a specific moment when I knew I was well. Once improvement was confirmed in my x-ray, I was granted a half-hour up, enough to relieve me of the bedpan and the urinal. Additional time was granted in half-hour increments, assuming continued improvement, and eventually my progress was deemed sufficient to allow me three hours up and a move to one the large cottages, where I spent those changing seasons on the open-air porch. Patients reaching ten hours up were granted home leaves of approximately two days, a precursor to leaving the sanatorium. But tuberculosis is a treacherous thing, and I suffered a relapse after my escape to the world of the almost-healthy. What caused this setback? No one knew. Had I taken too long a walk, read an over-stimulating book, dwelled too long in a fantasy? Physicians treating tuberculosis may not have been in possession of a cure, but they had observed the importance of the mind's effect on the disease. The only certainty was that relapses frequently occurred, the only evidence a suspicious worsening of the x-ray. Eight long months were added to my recovery before I finally found myself on the homestretch. What allowed me to defeat TB while others died? The doctors told us only that some bodies healed faster or were more effective in throwing off the disease. The memories of those endless days in bed, surrounded by the coughing and the dying, are with me still, however softened by time. Life in the sanatorium had been a journey through a tunnel long enough to make me think it was the real world. People lived out part of their lives there, and sometimes, the rest of their lives. Although I would never have chosen it, through hindsight I see some advantage to meeting a voracious enemy and triumphing. I was, perhaps, better equipped to meet the parade of unforeseen challenges to come.

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Nicole Cooley

The Shangrila Hotel

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

On the first step the mosquito coil glows in the dark like a charm and I can go back to the afternoons in the other stairwells, other hotels where you and I kneel for our benediction: the body of Christ, the bread of heaven, the square of acid named windowpane. Your gift. I touch my tongue to the face of the girl on the paper. You drag your fingers up my back. In the dark my school uniform is the color of a bruise. I want to touch the lines on your wrist the knife etched. You are thirteen and you want to die. I want your burns marking my arm. I want to try it out, bad luck, your grief­ my fear of being an ordinary child. The ceiling of the stairwell approaches my eyes, the exit a slur of red. Listen. I don't know where you are now. The sheets of my childhood bed still hold the shape of your body. * * * In this country all of the women are unlucky. Outside our hotel window, the fast boat crawls over the Mekong to the sea, bringing bar girls from the provinces to the American men who pay

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to touch a body worn by the pressure of bodies. The girls wait beside the Museum of Crime, the old high school, where walls of photographs offer evidence of danger--the black shirt, the hair cut, the number each child holds against the neck. The electric bed lies empty in the cell, a cradle of notched wire. Children's bodies were broken here and the guidebook does not describe forgiveness or recovery or why all the prayers to the ancestors fail. Now the soldiers tie thread from the temple on each wrist, a blessing, and watch the girls wait for the future. I am thinking of your eyes as you lower the cigarette to your arm. When I go back I have nothing to tell you about suffering or faith. But I was your witness. * * * In the Shangrila Hotel, the windows are barred and the generator fails each afternoon. Under the mosquito net, our bed drifts in the darkness. I cannot keep the man beside me safe or take the blade from your hand. I cannot stop the boats or the children dragging baskets of rotting fruit to their families. This man and I could have our own child with her own desire to die, her own wish for punishment. What I want are the words that break from my throat and offer no hope of rescue. What I remember is your gift: You prepared my body for the future.

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Nicole Cooley

The Princess and the Pea

I. New Orleans, Royal Street Past midnight the men are women tourists pay to watch-- platinum wig, nipples glittered under the red dress, a lipstick kiss to no one--and I walk in your black suit, my long hair folded in your hat. In your clothes I am safe. In your clothes I tell myself that I can live without you. From the Paradise Club one of the queens whispers, close your eyes and the Princess floats through the window on a swing, plastic legs crossed and gleaming above the neon landscape, above the crowd, above the sheet stretched flat across the bed I won't sleep in without you. The Princess's glass eyes never close to light. Her unmarked body never knows the punishment. The men who call to her never know her voice or her embrace. In and out of our world she swings on her chain forever, legs arcing over the men who watch her, touching none of them, alone and free. Close your eyes, you'd tell me if you were here and we'd rise out of the house, over the trees, out of this city, to the other world where we are safe. I walk to leave the bed's cold rectangle of light where once I lay with you. I walk to force myself to leave our life behind. In your clothes I am safe. No one on this street can touch me, street of bottles exploded on the sidewalk, men in feather boas, street of scars marking the arm and the hope, unanswered, of the release from pain--

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No, you'd say, this street is not the underworld. II. Tuol Sleng Prison, Phnom Penh, Cambodia The underworld is the world you left me to find where guards kept the prisoners awake all night. You collect the documents, the stories, you translate the confessions: the nights when the flashlight drills on the floor and the prisoner, a number hung around her neck, is photographed, hair chopped off, eyes blank with terror. Write your life history, the soldier orders and chains her legs to the wall. It will be impossible to prove her innocence. She is the enemy. She is twelve years old. What are the names of your mother and father? The soldier ties her arms behind her back, covers her face with a black cloth, black as his uniform, black as the shoes cut from rubber tires, black as the chalkboard of prohibitions: It is forbidden to say anything out loud. Who is the enemy? Who speaks the truth the soldiers demand to hear? The confession will not save anyone. You know that seven men left this prison alive. You study the photographs of the broken bodies, bruised, dark with blood, and the lies the prisoners wrote, each in their own hand, carefully recorded for the future. In sleep, alone, for comfort, you force yourself back to the childhood story. You know what the rest of us never want to know.

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Nicole Cooley

III. Clean White Sheet When you come back, in bed each night I will ask you to repeat another story-- the princess waits in the doorway in a storm, white nightgown soaked with rain, and the man's punishment is thirty mattresses, thirty feather beds, a single pea that leaves her body bruised and aching. Her pain will prove she is a real princess. Before I met you the best I could hope for was to be absent from my body. I hoped to write my way out. I believed in escape. I believed the enemy was my own body: I want to be a clean, white sheet. All night, the girl swings, free and alone. The girl stands alone outside. The girl lies on the prison floor. The girl knows fear. Sleep, you will say, sleep and beside me your voice arcs over the bed, the street, your voice saves me again.

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Before I met you, all of the men I have ever known want a woman without a story. On the metal bed the girl cannot sleep. You are the one who can show me the world outside my body, white sheet on this bed where I lie with you, white sheet of paper on which I will write the history of the other women in the world.

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To Have and Not to Have

Under Berlin's cracked asphalt the train plunges to the tunnel and inside we sit hip to hip, our bodies as close as if we are alone in bed. Above, a camera, tiny, unblinking eye, surveys the scene. When we leave our seats, rise to the street where rain slants on the sidewalk, on the barricade, on the orange crane set to crack open the earth, the eye is with us. I lead us toward my old trick from home: transport, escape, relief from the pressure of the past. You want to see it: searchlights trained in the faces of the frightened men. * * No. Step forward, jerk awake, and walk with me to the Checkpoint Kino, basement theater where the floor hums like a body, the voice of the train is always there. When the house lights dim, you twist my wedding ring around my finger. I slide my leg through yours, and Lauren Bacall is dubbed in schoolgirl German, a woman whose story we can read in her face­ the stillness when the man slaps her, the expected flash of pain. I want the film because I want an unreal world: cigarette smoke, tissue roses, the Marquis hotel bar where music glitters in the air all night. False world, false wish, when I claimed I wanted nothing. I wanted you. I want you now on the cement floor where the rolls of film unwind like hair. * * * Stage-set of the city. Stage-set of the war. *

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We're in Martinique, 1940, Vichy has forced France to fall, and a cigarette is currency between a woman and a man. Anybody got a match? She poses in the doorway and smoke blooms like a rose. 1945 when the film was made, and the war is over, the resistance has already failed. "How Little We Know," she sings, her black dress shining in the heat. The resistance is simply local politics. The long shots were done with a bucket of water, a miniature boat. * * * What about a body stretched to the breaking point? What about the world outside the film where dead women's hair fills blue-ticked mattresses, and ashes are scattered in the soldiers' yards? Which one of us would trade a wedding ring for a sip of water after nine days in the shut car? These are your questions neither of us can answer. Board the train, I'll go with you now. The camera might pull back to watch us, hand in hand.

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* * * The wheels of the train might be stuck, spinning in place in history. A couple in love might be nothing but light flickering on a screen. A painted sky. Another world. Twist the ring along my finger. None of this belongs to us. Not the museum model of the camp, in a darkened room, glowing like a palace of ice. We study the underworld in miniature: pearled searchlight, barbed wire fence. The disinfection hut. When they arrived, the men and women were forced apart.

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T R AU M A

Here it is­the world reduced, the horror diminished, the tiny white dolls without eyes or faces. None of you will come out alive. The only way out is through the chimney. Return to the train as the tracks narrow to stop: Auschwitz station. This is the moment we want to understand, why one soldier did not refuse the orders. The only way out is through the chimney, above the pile of eyeglasses, blank and cracked and seeing nothing. Oh, beam of light, strike through the screen. Erase the voices. Make the train jump the tracks. Tell me the bodies are not blown to ash against the sky­

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Mounting of the Heroes at the Vietnam Wall (Photo by Joe Cantrell)

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In 1984, when I decided it was time to come home to the US from Asia, I came to Oregon, bought a 1977 Toyota, and drove in a big figure 8 around the country. I went to the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC, and happened to arrive the morning they were installing the statue of three soldiers. You can see The Wall in the background. I shot this with my Canon A1, 24mm f/1.4 lens, O11 filter, Tri-X film, and 1/125 at f/8. But a few minutes later, unaware that anything unusual was going on, I ran into a good friend from Manila and could not for the life of me remember ever having seen him before. I developed the negatives, printed several from down in the middle of the roll, but it was four years before I could comprehend this image and print it. During that time, I kept picking up the negative sleeve and looking, but I simply could not see this frame, though the feeling that it was there frequently regenerated the tears that had been in my eyes when I shot it. ­ Joe Cantrell

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Cathy Caruth

T R AU M A

Confronting Political Trauma

anniversary of the United States' withdrawal from Vietnam. This was perhaps the first war in United States history in which the veterans of the war demanded--through active political groups such as Vietnam Vets Against the War, among others--that the citizens of our country, as well as the politicians in our government, listen to the experiences of soldiers at war and begin to see the war from the soldiers' own unique perspective. As Robert Lifton has noted, the returning veterans from Vietnam were often, much like survivors of other catastrophes, compelled by a mission to reveal a truth, a "truth-mission" that, in Lifton's words, suggests a kind of "prophetic element" to much of these soldiers' words. To listen to the soldiers' voices and to see through their eyes is no simple task; however, the truth to which they have asked us to listen concerns both the horror of war--or, in particular, the horror of a war that has not been clearly justified--and also the horror of betrayal, the betrayal of the public and of the soldiers themselves by a government not willing to reveal either its own motives for entering and escalating the war, or its intentions for remaining there in a stalemate. It is in this context, I believe, that we should understand the insistence of the Vietnam veterans by formally recognizing their traumatic symptoms, a recognition that occurred in 1980 with the introduction of the term "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" into the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This category, which described the symptoms of flashbacks, numbing, and arousal after catastrophic events, reflects fairly directly the repeated return of images from the war and the shutting off of feeling in the minds of the soldiers who suffered them. But, while the notion of PTSD describes individual mental suffering, the context of its formal recognition did not only concern mental disorder, but, I would argue, the veterans' "truth mission" of making people listen to the experience and sight of war and of the forms of political betrayal behind it. PTSD thus emerged in the latter part of the twentieth century, as Judith Herman has noted, not only in a psychiatric but in a specifically political context. I would propose that, while much of American foreign policy and cultural production has been aimed at forgetting, erasing, or revising the history of Vietnam, the current flourishing of the notion of PTSD and of trauma in general in many fields (psychiatry, psychoanalysis, sociology, anth 1

This year marks the 25

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thropology, literature, cultural studies, and the popular media) points toward an unconscious meditation in America on the psychological, political, and cultural effects of a war we have not fully grasped. What these flashbacks ask us to see, that is, is not only the impact of war but of betrayal, and this command to see thus has political consequences that are yet to be understood. It is important to note in this context that one of the most significant acts of political resistance during the war, Daniel Ellsberg's public revelation in 1971 of the government's top secret history of the war that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers, was also framed not simply as a protest against war as such but as the "making visible" of what hadn't previously been seen about presidential policy concerning decision-making in the war, including the policy of deceiving the public. This decision-making process--a process which involved remaining in and escalating a war that, according to military advisors, was more or less unwinnable, at least with the methods that were chosen to fight it--was, in Ellsberg's terms, an "enigma," and the Pentagon Papers were intended, first of all, to reveal this enigma in its full peculiarity, and, secondly, to show how this enigma might be explained. The war, Ellsberg said, did not simply need to be resisted, but to be understood, and thus the revelation of the Pentagon Papers was, in his terms, "an act of resistance, but of a particular sort, aimed at a broader and ultimately better understanding of the war process." The form of political resistance, in this case, was thus to make us see, and, in particular, to make us see "an invisible War," a war whose decisionmaking process and actual carrying-out were hidden from the public. To see, in this case, thus means to see not only the war, "but the phenomenon of deception"--both deception of the public by the government and the deception of the government by itself, its eventual "loss of institutional memory" and the "internal toll of secrecy" that such a loss took on the decision-making process and on the government's self-understanding. The political act of resistance was thus to make us see, not only war, but blindness: to understand the war by understanding the blindness to the war and to its very creation. I would suggest that it is this seeing of blindness, of betrayal, that, to a certain extent, can be said to lie at the heart of the traumatic responses--the vivid, all-too-real seeing of the flashbacks and nightmares--that plague our veterans and that fascinate our culture as a topic of understanding. For the flashbacks and nightmares of war do not come so much as a kind of memory or knowledge, but, as all the psychiatric, psychoanalytic, and personal ac-

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Cathy Caruth

T R AU M A

counts repeatedly tell us, as a kind of persistent command to see, an unintegrated, not fully conscious insistence of sight against the will and consciousness of the survivor. It is a command from within the nightmare, to wake up to a truth that is not yet integrated­a truth that is not only surrounded by blindness but also, perhaps, about blindness itself. If such a traumatic command has, as Lifton says, a truth element to it, an element of "subversive truth" that "reveals hidden secrets," then this truth is not only moral (about the atrocities of war) but political (about the potential blindness and betrayal in the decision-making process surrounding war). This complex relation between seeing and blindness that is passed on to us by the traumatic symptom appears movingly in the dream of a Vietnam veteran who has been haunted by a child he had killed while on patrol of the perimeter of a camp, a child who had been armed and who the soldier thought should be killed to protect his fellow soldiers, but whose death he regretted as he watched, all night long, the child die before him. Forced to lie just three feet from the child, staring into his eyes while the dying child stared back at him, this man spent many years of his later life haunted by this child and by his guilt over the child's death. As the psychoanalyst Jacob Lindy reports after his work with this veteran (whom he calls "Abraham"), the vet had spent many years trying to ignore his memory of the child and had nearly ruined his life as a result, being unable to relate to his family and in particular to his own young son. But his work in psychoanalysis brought him back repeatedly to this scene, and soon he was being haunted by images of Vietnam. In one dream, we are told, "the Vietnamese boy tapped him gently on the shoulder, keeping Abraham awake when he wanted to go to sleep." What the veteran realizes is that the child is asking him to stay focused on his traumatic experiences, not to fall asleep to them. The child asks that Abraham keep looking him in the face, not to trap him in the scene of death so that he can learn something for his own life. This veteran's dream, I would suggest, tells us something about a task that we, as Americans, still have before us: to remain awake in the face of a memory around which we'd rather fall asleep, to see not only the meaning passed on by the eyes of the dying but the meaning of keeping our own eyes open. In the introduction to his Papers on the War, Ellsberg suggests that he wishes to help teach the government not only to learn about itself but also, in fact, to learn how to learn, something that its own self-deception had denied it. The lessons of PTSD and its centrality in our culture at this moment

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should return us, at least in part, to the political lessons of those who helped make it so central a diagnosis, to the veterans whose message is not only about war but about blindness, not only about atrocity but about the nature of decision-making in a crisis. Our subsequent involvements in international conflicts have not reflected a direct confrontation with these issues and these lessons, and it is my hope that the focus on trauma in our culture will lead us back to a sustained vigilance on our own blindness and to the meaning and impact--in the past and for the future--of what was both a moral and a political trauma in our history. Notes

This essay was first published in Japanese in Tokyo Shinbun (a Japanese newspaper published in Tokyo) in July 2000, and reprinted in Japan's Psiko Magazine for their Special Issue on Trauma in the fall of 2000. It has never been published in English.

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Works Cited

Ellsberg, Daniel. Papers on the War. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972. Herman, Judith. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York: Basic, 1992. Lifton, Robert Jay. Home from the War: Learning from Vietnam Veterans. New York: Simon, 1973. Lindy, Jacob. Vietnam: A Casebook. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1988.

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Lorien Crow

CSU Fiction Award

Cowboys and Indians

Jack Wheat is the preacher at my Grandma Ellen's funeral. The February

day feels like May, and the sand cliffs that rise in the distance radiate sunlight. This was the backdrop of my Grandmother's life: juniper and pinion, red rock and mesa, sand in so many colors there aren't enough crayons. Jack Wheat talks of original sin and is dressed like a Quaker. I keep my eyes occupied with one of the gravediggers, who stands off to the side, his head bowed. He is brown-skinned and fierce, definitely Navajo. I feel guilty for meeting his curious gaze while Jack Wheat croaks out a rusty version of "The Old Rugged Cross." On our way to the cemetery this morning, the cars traveling in the opposite direction moved aside to let us pass. Men and boys on the sidewalk removed baseball and cowboy hats to stand with heads bowed as we inched by. There seems to be an innate respect for death out here, one I've never experienced back East. Days like this you wouldn't mind if it rained. Gray would fit the mood better. Out here, you can't hide from the sun. It creeps into the cracks of dark rooms, garish, invasive. On a cloudy day you could blend in better, slink away to grieve unnoticed. My aunts and I remove roses from the casket's flower displays. We return to the house to serve coffee and store-bought pastry to a procession of blackclad mourners who linger like hungry crows, picking at remains, not wanting to be first or last to leave. I'm old enough that I'm expected to replace plastic utensils and thank people for attending, but I still feel like the teenager who needs to escape. I call my cousin David, who arrives in the late afternoon to rescue me. David is six-foot-six, owns four motorcycles, and works for one of the big oil companies: offshore drilling, somewhere in the seas that border South Africa, one month on, one month off. He lives in a trailer up in Chama, a tiny mountain town further north--more Colorado than New Mexico, and right on the border. David screams rebellion, always has. As a kid, he embodied to me all that was wild in the world. Today he has the Ducati. It's still too cold to go up to Navajo Lake, our usual getaway spot. David asks me what I'd like to do, with that Native

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American twinge that sounds Canadian to my pale, untrained ear. "Margaritas," I say. We take off. The air is dry and I'm breathing easier. There is something suffocating about my grandmother's house: the green shag carpet, my grandfather's corduroy chair. The relics of fifty-two years of life with another person, flanked by black and white photos of kids and grandkids who've joined the Army. My dad was one of those kids. So was David. He was one of the few soldiers to see ground combat during the Gulf War. I remember writing to him then, telling him about my fourteen-year-old life in Connecticut. He says this is why I'm his favorite cousin, because I never felt bad for him. "How about Applebee's?" David asks me. We have stopped at our first red light along the main strip, where teenagers still have drag races at twilight on Saturday nights. "Cousin," I say, "can't we go to a real bar?" "Cousin," says David, "you know what kinda people go to bars at 3:30 in the afternoon out here?" Not sure if it's a joke, I wait expectantly. The light turns green. When I was little, my Uncle Dwayne took all of us cousins camping in the mountains of southern Colorado. He wanted us to bond, being that we hailed from so many different parts of the country, and so barely knew one another. The first night, David told my younger cousin Edie and me a story about a crazed Indian trapped in the body of a bear. The bear ate only little girls, and could transform back and forth between bear and human at will. I believed that story with my whole heart because David was adopted. He was wild and foreign, and I knew that if such a child-eating Indian bear existed, David would know him. At the next red light, David says "Shit cousin, even I don't much go to the `real' bars out here. I don't wanna have to kick some ass the day of my grandma's funeral. You know it's still cowboys and Indians out here, right?" He cranes his neck around. I stare at him resolutely. He grins and runs the red light. On the northwest outskirts of town the gaping silhouette of Shiprock becomes visible, ominous and prehistoric. David steers the motorcycle through the back streets, quaint suburban houses giving way to ramshackle trailer parks where laundry sways against red rocks in the distance. We pass the Apache Queen Laundry with its fading façade of spearmint and seashell pink. Powerful modern structures occasionally jut upward, dwarfing the crumbling

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Lorien Crow

adobe ones next to them. People used to run successful businesses out of trailers with hand-painted signs out front. Now the monsters of progression permanently divide the oil field town from its vanishing past. The rich new settlers have built upward as well, claiming the high walls of the canyon to the east. The outsides of the mansions look like adobe but are actually made from more durable materials. Natural looking porches with built-in electric fireplaces gaze out past the trailer parks, where the desert recedes onto the Navajo Rez. Don't get stuck out on the Rez at night, my uncles tell me. They make their own laws out there. Scientists think that millions of years ago this land was at the bottom of an ocean. It's easy to picture that now, gliding past jagged rock formations, buttes and mesas looming on the horizon. The landscape is strange and barren compared to New England. I know why cowboys felt like cowboys out here. One of them shakes a chubby brown finger at us. "The Navajo women say this wind, it brings devil spirits with it." Her eyes twinkle. "This wind, it came with you! You devil spirits? Huh?" Still the sun penetrates everything. The Aztec cultures that thrived here worshipped the sun's relentless omnipresence. It makes even the fiercest rocks look warm and inviting, like they will always retain warmth, even in winter; it tricks the eye, transforming sharp points into curving shoulders. We pull off the road in front of Dean's Shiprock Tavern. A faded sign swings in the arid breeze. The brown paint is peeling. Three out of the four cars in the parking lot are pickup trucks. At any moment I expect outlaws on horseback to ride up, tie their horses out front and draw guns. David always says he has outlaw blood running in him; that's why he was given away as a baby. Part outlaw, part Indian, he jokes; never had a chance. Now he's trying not to smile, wondering if I will ask him to take us somewhere else. He's daring me to back out, but knows I won't. We are the black sheep of the family, and we understand this about each other. Our grandfather, the patriarch of the family, despised us both. Our grandmother tried failingly to make up for it. Now they're both dead, and we're not really sure where that leaves us. The bar is dark and smoky, most of its windows boarded up. I'm the

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only female in the place. Any eyes momentarily raised are quickly lowered when they encounter David. He makes an imposing impression on people. We step up to the bar. David wears a shit-eating grin on his face. Just loud enough for the whole bar to hear, he says "So cuz, still craving on a margarita?" This is supposed to make me look frilly, dare me to be tougher. Bars like this don't serve dainty pitchers of frothy drinks. The bartender smirks. "Not if you're buyin'," I say. "Two shots of Patron Silver." The bartender is not as impressed as I hoped he'd be, but he stops smirking and pours. David raises his eyebrows. "I taught you well," he says. The bartender hands us our liquor with limes and salt, which I accept and David does not. "To Grandma," we toast. After two more shots and a beer, I don't care that David drives too fast. We decide to do the sunset up on the bluffs. The sunset here is an event, a time of day to which plans are assigned. If you have the afternoon free, you drive to as remote a place as your vehicle can take you to and watch the sun go down. The bluffs are to the north, toward Colorado and Highway 666. Highway 666 has a bad reputation. Curvy narrow roads wind through craggy outcroppings of rock, steep inclines alternating with flat desert. That highway is the badlands personified, my Uncle Troy once told me. Two years ago a Navajo woman was murdered out there. She was split open from throat to sternum with a machete. Local legends hold that her ghost haunts the road, luring truckers over the cliffs like some wicked desert mermaid. We stake out our spot on a southern-most bluff. The rocks feel sturdy and hot beneath my fingernails as we scale the sides. The day is still warm. David lights a joint and we sink down onto the blazing rock. I should be worrying about rattlesnakes, but when I'm with David I forget about worldly dangers. "I didn't see her enough," David says. "You live across the country and you saw her more than I did. Grandpa's been dead for twelve years. I should have gone to see her more." I realize I am supposed to offer some sort of comfort, but I can't. He's right. He should have gone to see her more. I exhale. "It's different for me though," I say. "I'm a woman. It's a different level of respect, especially now that I'm older. . ." As I'm saying it, I know he's already tuned me out. I say it anyway. It

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Lorien Crow

needs to be said. I want to go on, but the divide is too great. I can't express to him how full Grandma's life seemed to me. She bore seven kids and raised the five that lived. For half of her life she cooked and cleaned without electricity. She sewed quilts, spit-shined shoes, stroked her children's hair, cleaned rich people's houses when she needed money, made perfect biscuits and apricot jam, wrote me birthday cards every year and died with her cross in her hands. I am frustrated with my inability to express the importance of these things to David. He would never think of them as accomplishments; he would never be expected to perform any of them, or even to try. It's expectation that's so crushing sometimes, I think. I say this out loud as the sun begins to sink more than shine. We are bathed in sherbet colors. David stares at me for a long time after I speak. I stretch out flat on my back, trying to melt into the rock like ice cream, trying to mold myself into something that retains warmth. I study my hands, which seem too soft, not callused enough. No needle pricks or cast-iron burns, just ink spots and some fading nail polish. David finally kicks back, stretching out beside me. He is all muscle and brawn and gruffness. "I've seen the world," he starts, "but I just can't seem to get the fuck out of here." Then we both just start laughing, laughing so loud it's not even sound anymore. Maybe we couldn't quite feel the sadness deep enough, but the laughter is resonant. It comes from the right place. The last maroons and purples are lingering over the valley. Only the highest cliffs still hold the tint of sunlight. Farmington is all dusk, the lights slowly blinking on. In the dark it will look like a neon sea. We're both starving. We decide on green chicken chili and sopapillas from the little takeout stand over on Bloomfield Highway. The wind has picked up and it's chilly on the bike now. I hunker down behind David as we speed back toward civilization, the excitement of the town's small rush hour becoming palpable. We are the only customers. Dust floats up from the bike as we saunter over to the dingy window and place our order. Despite the impending darkness and the chill in the air, two abuelitas are sitting in fraying lawn chairs next to the stand, wrapped in Apache blankets. They study us expectantly, smiles not on their mouths, but in the beautiful wrinkles at the corners of

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their eyes. "Wind's pickin' up," David says to them. One of them shakes a chubby brown finger at us. "The Navajo women say this wind, it brings devil spirits with it." Her eyes twinkle. "This wind, it came with you! You devil spirits? Huh?" The other abuelita giggles with delight. David shifts uncomfortably. I try to smile with my eyes as I say "No Ma'am," but it's a trick I haven't mastered yet, and the question hangs there, and I don't think she believes me. We lean against the peeling red picnic table only long enough to spoon down the chili, balancing the piquant spice with pillowy soft sopapillas drizzled with honey. We share a Coke, but our cheeks are flushed and our mouths still burn as we get back on the bike, pulling our helmets on. "Don't let those devil spirits catch you!" waves the grandmother, as her silent friend dissolves into hysterics. David guns the engine and peels out of the parking lot. "See what I mean?" He asks. I don't reply. I can't figure out why he is so spooked--they were just having fun with us. Then I consider what the words might have meant if I'd been considered an outlaw my whole life. "Cowboys and Indians cuz, I told you." David says. "Just the way it is out here." It's dark when we get back to grandma's. Cars are still parked outside. David, as usual, says he can't deal with coming inside. I kiss him on the cheek and say I understand--what else is there to say? He winks, morphing back into Wild Charming boy, and I back into Wise Ass East Coast Girl. "Hope you make it back out this summer cuz, we can take the boat up to Navajo." I nod and tell him to get the hell gone before the relatives stumble out like zombies to claim him. I turn from the Ducati's dust to the well-lit house. Why is it that I can do this, switch gears, when David cannot? I will recount my own memories of my grandmother to drunken mourners, throw out paper plates, and clean coffee cups, while David rides through the desert with devil spirits at his boot heels. Walking to the front door, all I can think is: It's not just here. It's like this everywhere. Cowboys and Indians; that's how it is.

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Meryl DePasquale

CSU Essay Award

Butt-Antlers & Ignorant Suburban Trash

I have a tattoo. A tattoo that begins on my right hand, winds up my arm

and onto my right shoulder blade, stretches diagonally down my back, and curls to a halt on my left hip. It's big. And it is impossible to cover up entirely. The tattoo is the product of countless drawing sessions with my fiancé, Shawn, an illustrator and tattoo artist. We plotted out its colors, shape, and placement on my body. I wanted it to look organic, like a vine, but also light, like a thin stream of smoke. We finally settled on pale green, with subtle yellow highlights and jagged edges. The tattooing itself took almost a year to complete, done in two or three hour sittings about once a month. I would never sit for longer than three hours because it hurt, and I am a baby. But the pain was worthwhile; the finished tattoo is beautiful and a living representation of something we shaped together. Afterwards, however, the tattoo began shaping me. Getting this tattoo seemed to throw me into a different category of humanity­the heavily tattooed. From my experience, to have an obvious tattoo is to be always approachable: in the waiting room of the gynecologist's office, at my grandfather's wake, wherever I go, whatever I am doing. Naturally, people are curious, but they often act as if I don't have boundaries. Many who express an interest in the tattoo will expect me to pull back my clothing so they can get a better look at it. This is where we run into difficulties; I am very reluctant to lift up my shirt in order to satisfy a stranger's curiosity. Rolling back a long sleeve, no problem. Of course, even doing this much seems to invite that stranger to trace the movement of the tattoo with his fingertips, an opportunity men in particular will seize. My sister Casey has a delicate black and gray back piece. In the tattoo community, hers is called a `fine art piece,' because it is a reproduction of a classic work of art, transferred into the medium of tattooing. Casey's is the Nike or "winged victory" statue, which she saw in the Louvre on a trip to Paris. The wings reach across her shoulders, and depending on the neckline of her shirt, a little of it is usually visible. When she goes to a bar, it frequently happens that a guy will walk up behind her and pull open her shirt to peek down her back. That's an introduction. And every person in the place has a ready-made conversation topic with which to approach her­the tattoo. I try

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not to go to bars. Last year my stepsister Kendra was home for the holidays. We rarely get to see each other and were, as usual, pressed for time, running various errands while we talk and catch up. We went to the corporate grocery store to gather a few vital ingredients for the festivities, forgotten in my two previous trips. I loathe the corporate grocery store. I hate its bright lights and glaring tile, but mostly the experience is odious to me because of the other shoppers­whom I have begun calling `ignorant suburban trash.' They point, they stare, they pull their children closer when I walk by, they whisper, or what's worse, many times they don't bother to whisper at all. Oh my God, Jessie! Did you see that girl?! Usually I cope by tuning them out, concentrating on what I need to buy, and planning the most expedient way to extract myself from the environment. Hey look, this check out lane's open. This day I don't need to do these things because I have Kendra at my elbow, and we are arguing passionately about politics. She is trying to push my buttons, and it is a miracle that I manage to put one foot in front of the other, never mind notice what's going on around me. People clear the aisles, moving out of our way. I am forming an ironclad argument to counter her ridiculous assertions. Is that a snake? When I realize that we must have passed the baking aisle. Is that a snake? No wait, not all of the nuts are kept in the baking aisle. Kendra nudges me­I suddenly comprehend that about thirty feet away, from behind the register at the doughnut counter, a woman has been shouting to get my attention. "Hey!" she calls again, "is that a snake?" "Er­no, it's a vine." My tattoo is commonly mistaken for a snake. I think people have a hard time fitting it into their conception of what a tattoo is supposed to be. The most frequent question I hear is Is that real? I'm not exactly sure what the implied alternative here is. I doubt there is one; instead Is that real? functions simply as an opening to more questions, such as What is it? I usually tell people it's a vine, although this is not really true. To try to explain to them that it is art, adornment, a design, but not any one identifiable thing is time consuming and tiresome. Another common question is What does it mean? Here I am even more in the red. The prevalence of memoriam and commemoration tattoos for pets, relatives, and celebrities, combined with the popularity of astrological symbols, kanji, and religious and patriotic icons seems to lead people to believe that all tattoos should mean or represent something. The one popular question that I can always answer is Did

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that hurt? Yes. Yes. Yes. Many people have asked what I expected when I got the tattoo in the first place. I answer that I anticipated the attention, but I couldn't really. I'm rarely surprised by anything anyone has to say; I expected these kinds of questions and scenarios. But I had no real idea what it would be like for me day after day, week after week, as they repeat themselves. A few months before I got the tattoo I was working as a nanny for a woman in Glastonbury. She was in her forties and had young children from her second marriage. Her hair, I think, would naturally be a light brown, maybe even with some touches of gray. But she had wavy blond highlights that bounced around her face. She went to a special salon that could dye her eyelashes black so she wouldn't have to bother with mascara. I doubt she's ever seen a painting or read a book that made her catch her breath. One day we sat on the patio while her youngest played with his action figures. I was telling her about my plans for the tattoo and she cut me off. Something along the lines of­I just can't understand why a pretty girl like you would want to go and ruin it all and get some big, ugly tattoo. I smiled, but I knew then that I didn't really want her to think of me as a pretty girl. Our aesthetics held a lot of weight. We were on different sides of the fence; it seemed better for both of us if our outer appearances more accurately reflected our inner lives. My decision to get the tattoo was a conscious lifestyle change. Of course it will be visible when I wear my wedding dress, and I wouldn't want anyone to be in attendance at the ceremony who would find this disconcerting. People who are that close-minded have not been a part of my life for a long time now. Of course it will be visible at every job interview I ever have; I don't want a job that is incompatible with it. My tattoo is not separate from who I am. It is not my little secret wild card that I pull out when it suits my purposes and cover when it doesn't. And this means dealing with the invasiveness of the general public every day. Because I do believe that it's rude to treat other people as if they exist for your own entertainment, whether you are pointing them out and sniggering or pulling them aside to answer your questions. I have things of my own to do. Often I'll be waiting for the train and some beefy guy will begin a conversation with me about my tattoo. The purpose of his questions is to get to a point where he can show me his; he is falling over himself to do it. Here it comes, it is on his shoulder, or maybe his calf. It is tiny and generic, picked off the wall in some seedy tattoo shop while he was drunk and out with

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his buddies. He wants to be part of the club; after all we both have tattoos, right? Not exactly. Among my friends we call these tattoos Butt-Smears, but only among friends. Or maybe I'm in line at the bank and somebody's mom or somebody's aunt is dying to tell me about her daughter, her niece, who recently got one of those cute lower-back ornamental tattoos. Butt-Antlers. At first the family was skeptical, but it really is quite pretty. I infer that, being tattooed myself, I am supposed to find this interesting. I nod. Not any one situation itself is unreasonable; it is the combined weight of them all, happening relentlessly and redundantly again and again that grinds my soul into the gravel. I have begun to think that it is a luxury to consider all people to be different, unique. It is a luxury enjoyed by those who do not have to endure the same conversations over and over. I need to find a better way to deal with this onslaught, but one has yet to present itself. Casey cuts the problem at the head. When asked Is that real? she snorts contemptuously and says No, it's a lick-and-stick. An old friend of mine would stare right into the eyes of Did that hurt? and reply Just my feelings, every time someone asks. But these clever retorts rarely produce the desired effect. A look of confusion will sweep the offender's face. So wait, did it hurt? Open derision is not my style, and it won't prevent the next person from asking the same thing tomorrow. A couple weeks ago Shawn and I went to the aquarium. In line at the ticket booth we stood behind an adorable nuclear family. Their girl is the youngest, about six. I walk off to the soda machine, and on my way back I watch the little girl ogling Shawn's tattoos. Her eyes are round and blue; she has turned all the way around in the line and is blatantly staring. Shawn doesn't notice, and neither do her parents, so she keeps looking for the length of time it takes me to reach them again, trying to engrave the spectacle in her memory. It is more amazing to her than all the fish in the sea. When we pass through the entranceway we are smacked with smooth, white beluga whales swimming in an enormous tank. I am blown away. Shawn and I approach the glass alongside an older couple, tanned and short. I bet they travel a lot, following the sun. The man shoots us a smoldering look and steers his wife to another window. Clearly I must be a thug, here to steal whales; I am a whale-stealer. Is it any wonder that I find myself wearing combat boots and a scowl more often than it is in my nature to do? I have become the kind of person who makes up nasty names for whole groups of people. I have become the kind of person who feels sympathy for celebrities when they complain about

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Meryl DePasquale

not being able to go out in public, being constantly plagued with requests for their autographs. I know that you're on vacation, but this is my life, do you understand? I try to do most of my grocery shopping late at night; I avoid crowds when I can. I bristle when I sense someone getting ready to speak to me, hoping to deter her. Shawn and I are reluctant about travel, anticipating that all of these problems will be magnified outside of our insular community. I wrack my brain to try to understand what motivates people to abandon cultural standards of decency in regard to me. Perhaps strange men think they can touch me because of old stereotypes about tattooed women. We're all exhibitionists, right? Rock and roll. The only earthly reason I would have gotten this artwork is to get attention. Or maybe it's because I've abandoned social norms to some extent, and therefore the same rules or protections don't apply to me. Then, perhaps because people with hidden, coverable tattoos seem so eager to show them (but if they weren't, how would we know?) I get lumped into the same category. It is likely that the truth lies in a combination of all of these, and some others that I haven't thought of. Some tattoo artists have referred to being heavily tattooed as an "ethnicity," and I think this is an interesting concept. In new, unfamiliar situations I loosen my shoulders if I see another tattooed person in the room. In this way, the presence of another member of my "ethnicity" insures that the others in the group won't single me out. And perhaps I'd even be more likely to sit near the tattooed person, or talk to her, guessing that we'd have a little more in common, and knowing at least that I won't have to answer the same questions again. However, I think we need to be careful about framing the social issues that surround tattooing in this context. It seems problematic to declare yourself part of an ethnicity on the basis of something you chose to do. Choice, that's the pivotal difference. I am lost in my thoughts as I climb the stairs to class. The stairwell is packed with bodies, entering, exiting; there are people on all sides of me. In such situations I stick to my policy of focusing on the day ahead. I have two assignments that I absolutely must get done tonight, and it would be good if I started my reading for tomorrow's class. If I pick up lettuce on my way home I can make a salad with dinner. We have plenty of cucumbers and tomatoes in the fridge. Two fingers press my forearm. Startled, I spin around to face a skinny freshman. He looks embarrassed; he might be a sophomore. "Hey," he says, "is that real?" "Yeah." I am winding up the stairwell away from him. He must have

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Meryl DePasquale

class on the floor below me. "Wow. That's crazy." I get this a lot; is it a compliment? Usually I don't think so; I take it to mean­I've never seen anything like that before and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I smile. "Thanks."

CSU Art Award

Rolandas Kiaulevicius

Art for me starts with perception. I look for new forms, interesting textures, objects and patterns. In my art, I try to show what I hear, what I smell, what I see, what I touch, what I taste­transformed by feelings and experiences and translated into the artistic media to become something new, which touches and moves others. In the process of creating art, I am transformed. Art refines my perception and thinking; art helps me work on the questions in my life, of the knowable and the unknowable, of the profound as well as the trivial. I started to draw when I was three and one-half. Since then, it has not mattered where I was or with whom; I draw all the time. I think that I got this drive from my mother who draws very well. In fact, my whole family is filled with artists; I have four uncles, six aunts and five cousins who are all artists. My entire life, I have been surrounded by love and art. I think I started to feel like a true artist when I finished art school at seventeen years old. I worked with fashion designs, did some illustrations for children's books, and I did some sculptures, drawing, printing, and painting in my native country. Unfortunately, Lithuania is economically depressed so it is almost impossible to make a living as an artist. I traveled to America from Lithuania in order to find new opportunities for myself as an artist and to explore and to embrace a new culture, new models, new patterns, and new approaches to art. In the United States, I worked with wonderful American artists like Robert Reynolds and Peter Nuhn. I have also worked with the Russian artist Alex Golubchik. These artists are role models for me. They help me to find a new way,

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and a new attitude, to transform myself into a better artist. They helped me to understand the traditions and culture of American artists and art. I have worked for more then two years with Robert Reynolds, and it is a pleasure to work with him. His humor and the warmth of his art have surrounded me all these years and have pushed me in good directions. He has not only guided my thinking a great deal, he has also let me use his studio, enabling me to work on larger pieces. I have done some prints, some paintings and have worked a lot on a sculpture. From Robert, I learned how to use computer programs like Corel Painter 8, Adobe Photoshop 7.0, and other programs as new artistic tools. I have come to see that art is everywhere, and one artist's work is very different from another. Art is always finding new power in new techniques, new material, new shapes. All new artists must find their own way to creativity. I cannot say that I am working just with one material such as charcoal or pencil. I try to experiment with all different materials and styles to see which is best. Even as I listen for my own artistic voice, my work is quite varied: abstract, surrealist, caricature. I particularly enjoy ornamental motifs and patterns. You can see such decorative ornaments almost everywhere: on buildings, in parks, on the street, on clothes. I employ these a lot because they give my drawings mood and energy. Art for me is a powerful and mysterious companion. Art changes my life. Without art, I can only imagine what my life would be: black, chaotic, empty. Art changes my thinking, my understanding, my communication, my teaching, even my expressions of love. Once you start thinking about art, you cannot stop. It fills you up and consumes like a love affair or a sickness. Yet, I feel lucky to have this beneficial sickness. My understanding of life, about people and the things surrounding me, is forever changed by art. Art is my companion. I work with art; art works with me. I feel my art is like music: mysterious, powerful at times, coming from places deep inside my soul, structured, yet unbounded, permeated with my love, with a sense of awe. Art is total freedom, like a game, where I make the rules. With art, I can express myself and communicate my vision. I dance to the music of life in my art. Rolandas Kiaulevicius' winning art piece, The Dream, can be found on page 103.

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Valerie B. McKee

Lee Connellan Prize

Heirloom

I never thought my grandmother's hands were ugly­I just knew they didn't look like any others I'd ever seen: pale and knotted, knuckles like cauliflower rooted to her bones, sprouting at every joint. Yellowed fingernails had ridges deep as the Smoky Mountains surrounding her house and I wondered what beneath would make them crack down to the surface. Her wedding band hung at the base of her ring finger, placed there on her wedding day and never removed­ stuck sliding back and forth like the ball on an abacus. When she died, they had to cut it off for me. I twist her ring, watch it dangle on my bony digit, run my finger tip across the patched slit in its back, remembering my hand resting under hers on the church pew, kneading dough for bread, dealing cards for gin rummy, brushing hair into pigtails, scratching the soft spot behind Winston's ears­never see my hands as my own again.

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Chris Farrell

Leslie Leeds Prize

Cuatras Miradas (Four Looks)

My brother-in-law's eyebrows raise, Lips part just slightly, Tongue caught by politeness, Aching to tell my grandmother "No entiendo." Mi cuñado, his brows furrow for a moment, Wrinkling his forehead, Before relaxing As he lets my aunt­ So white she's clear­ Try to tell him "Buenos noches." A light smile plays at his lips, Previously chained tongue firing palabras a mi porque yo puedo comprender. He relaxes into a casual conversation with me, Who understands. His eyes dance over her face And they share gentle whispers­ But it's beyond language When he is with my sister­ His always girl, he called her. Su mujer para siempre.

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Charlotte Crowe

IMPAC-CSU Young Writers Awards - Prose

Korean Laundry

For my grandfather, a marine during the Korean War

It's warm, almost stifling, and it's only early morning. The sun is just

rising and we're preparing for the day. I close my eyes and allow myself thirty more seconds to wish for more sleep, to think fleetingly of home. Home. My body aches. Quickly I push self-pity away. We haven't endured much fighting. We have a pretty stable camp set up. We're staying in barracks, in a camp surrounded by a fence. We're more or less safe. I splash water on my face. My stomach's moaning for breakfast. I pull a shirt from the pile of clean laundry beside me. It smells distinctly of river. We have few clothes. I bring my soiled underwear and fatigues down to the fence. The women from the local village greet us there in the morning. They collect our dirty clothes and deliver the ones they've washed for us, folded into neat bundles. You can see them by the river, bending, white cloth fanning out in the water around them. They scrub and beat, and lay our clothes out to dry. I take a deep breath and step out into the sun. It's bright already, the troops awake, and the men are already walking down to the fence. I can see my woman, the woman who always washes my clothes. She's hard to miss; she's large with child. She's bigger by the day, her belly swelling out, out, out. She kneels in the muddy water, scrubs methodically at the shirt resting on her bulging belly. She has the most beautiful hair. It's fine and dark, knotted at the back of her neck. She waits by the fence with my laundry, a miraculous white, folded neatly. She smiles weakly as I approach, hands me the bundle through the fence, pushes it between the slats. And I push my dirty laundry towards her. Now the space, the moment of silence before I turn and hurry back to breakfast. It's an uncomfortable gap between us, this woman who washes my sweat and blood into the river everyday and me. She wouldn't understand my thank you. So I nod, and push the guilt I feel deeper. She looks so tired, so burdened. I smile and turn back towards the men. Earth crumbles as I ascend. I press my hands against my spine and wonder what it feels like to carry a child folded inside me. The breakfast bell sounds and her image is gone. She's forgotten until tomorrow.

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The sky is gray, the horizon smolders with the sunrise about to happen. The other men are barely stirring. I won't find sleep again. My eyes ache. My skin is heavy. I smell of sweat. Quickly I roll out and let my clothes slip off my lean body and onto the dirt floor. I take the clean laundry, the clean Korean laundry that smells like river, and I dress myself. I can picture my shirt, my trousers, pressed up against her stomach, her pink flesh showing through the white cotton now resting on my shoulders. I want today's new laundry. I want this day to begin. The gray sky is weighing me. The war is weighing me down. The other men have begun to wake, and I step outside. Some have even started towards the fence. I follow with my few soiled garments. I look for her, squint against the rising sun. I see no round woman, no bulging woman. I blink. Where is she? I near the fence, my neck twisting for a glimpse of her. Then I see an arm coming through the slats, a perfect bundle of bleached white, in my direction. I take a few steps. There she is, her hair shining and eyes dark. They remind me of wet stones. But, she's not the same. There's no swelling, no bulge. She's flat, slim, a river reed gesturing to me with cotton folds. I'm breathless. "Baby?" My hands form a belly with round hands motions. "Baby?" I rock an imaginary new born in my arms, cradling, back and forth, back and forth. She smiles, nods. "Baby," she repeats, rocking her own invisible baby. I take my laundry from her hands. It's spotless, flat, and neatly folded. I wonder how this woman gave new life and still managed to clean my muddy pants. I try not to think about all the blood that she washed out of her sheets, washed beside my laundry into the river. I don't give her my dirty clothes. A day off from one man's laundry is the largest gift I have to give.

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Jessica Roth

IMPAC-CSU Young Writers Awards - Poetry

Growing Citrus

I. there is a tumor tucked beneath my mother's stomach a lemon she keeps as a reminder that sweet indulgences turn sour and produce seeds, smooth, but bitter­ sort of an organic inspiration, a neat and tidy saint inside her to keep things in order, or disorder turning long seasons into a single creeping october; leaves peeling themselves off of pale trees one by one

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II. there is a lemon just outside of my mother's belly kept warm by the friction of body movements, biological swaddling cloth, growing safe where i imagine a figurative me might once have been. this lemon is an ambitious citrus­ dream of being orange, grapefruit, dream of being florida. generations of tart women in my family have been warned do not grow too big for your britches; peels. i worry about seams splitting and would not dare to let my mother catch me with sticky fingers and a soft, bruised tangerine behind my back.

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III. a lime is self-contained pulp wrapped in white pith

Jessica Roth

insulation borrowed from the sun and from a fibrous green earth. i remember thinking as a child if only my skin were as dimpled no one would dare sink their teeth in me looking for sugar.

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Contributors' Notes

Jim Barnes is a professor of English at Brigham Young University, the

founding editor of the Chariton Review Press, and editor of The Chariton Review. He is also a contributing editor to the Pushcart Prize. He has published over 500 poems in more than 100 journals. His new book of poetry is Visiting Picasso (University of Illinois Press, 2006).

Jack Bedell, poetry judge, teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University

where he serves as editor of Louisiana Literature. His first book, At the Bonehouse, won the 1997 Texas Review Prize, and his chapbook, What Passes for Love, was the winner of the 2000 Texas Review Chapbook Competition. His new book of poetry is Come Rain, Come Shine (Texas Review Press, 2006).

J. Karl Bell spent three of his teenage years confined to a public tuberculosis sanatorium in the 1940s. Since retiring as a vice president at NBC, he has completed a comic novel set in the 1950s and is currently working on a book based on his time at the "san."

Cathy Caruth is Emory University's Winship Distinguished Research

Professor of Comparative Literature, and chair of Comparative Literature. She is author of Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions: Locke, Wordsworth, Kant, Freud and of Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History. She has also co-edited, with Deborah Esch, Critical Encounters: Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing and has edited and introduced Trauma: Explorations in Memory.

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Peter J. Caulfield is a professor of literature and language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He has recently completed his second novel, an historical work set in the 1920s in England and America.

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Grace Cavalieri is the author of 14 books of poetry and 20 staged plays.

She produces "The Poet and the Poem at the Library of Congress" on National Public Radio, which is entering its 29th year on air. She holds the Allen Ginsberg Award for Poetry, the Pen-Syndicated Fiction Award, a Paterson Prize, the Bordighera Award, and the Silver Medal from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Stephanie Cherolis received her master's degree in English from Central

Connecticut State University in fall 2005. Her research interests include Victorian literature and criminality, contemporary American literature, psychoanalysis, trauma, and metaphors of illness. She recently published an article on Philip Roth and hopes to begin a PhD program in fall 2006.

Robert Collins has appeared in Cimarron Review, Connecticut Review, Southern Poetry Review and Prairie Schooner. His chapbooks include The Glass Blower (Pudding House) and Lives We Have Chosen (Poems & Plays), winner of the Tennessee Chapbook Award. He teaches at University of Alabama where he edits the Birmingham Poetry Review.

Nicole Cooley's books of poetry include Resurrection (winner of the 1995

Walt Whitman Award) and The Afflicted Girls, both published by LSU Press. Her novel Judy Garland, Ginger Love was published by Harper Collins in 1998. She is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Queens College-The City University of New York.

Lorien Crow is the winner of the 2006 CSU fiction prize and a junior

of non-traditional age at Western Connecticut State University. She majors in English literature with a minor in anthropology. Lorien plans to pursue a career in travel writing. This story was written in memory of her paternal grandmother, Ellen Crow.

Charlotte Crowe, winner of the 2006 IMPAC­CSU Young Writer's

Competition in prose, is a junior at Canton High School. She attended the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts as a creative writer her freshman and sophomore years and plans on returning this September. Charlotte wrote Korean Laundry in the spring of her freshman year and is grateful to Pit Pinegar who guided the revision of the piece.

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Rusten Currie served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq. In January

of 2006, he returned home to his family, his tour of duty completed. The blog he kept while serving in Iraq, in addition to many photographs he took while there, can be viewed at: http://currierd.typepad.com/centurion/.

Meryl DePasquale is the winner of the 2006 CSU essay prize and a

recent graduate of Central Connecticut State University. She majored in English and minored in creative writing. In the fall she hopes to pursue graduate study in fiction or poetry. Meryl and her fiancé, Shawn, an illustrator and tattoo artist, will be married this May.

Katrina Emery translated Luna de miel as a project for her graduate degree

at Rutgers University. She received her master's of Spanish in Translation and Interpretation in October 2004. Currently, Katrina works as a Spanish teacher for Cranford Public School District in Cranford, NJ.

Elizabeth England received a 1998 New York Foundation of the Arts Fiction Fellowship, and her stories have appeared in the Nebraska Review, North Atlantic Review and Berkshire Review. She won Inkwell Magazine's short fiction competition, and the winning story was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Settling Matters is dedicated to Fran Breuer.

Chris Farrell, winner of the Leslie Leeds Poetry Prize, attended the Gunnery prepatory school in Washington, CT, where, upon graduation, he won an award for excellence in Spanish, the Michael Post Award for Excellence in English, Cum Laude Society honors, and graduated as Top Scholar. He currently attends Western Connecticut State University, where he majors in both English­creative writing and philosophy.

CONNECTICUT REVIEW

Natalie J. Friedman teaches writing at Vassar College, where she also

directs the writing center. Born and raised in New York City, she received her PhD in American literature from New York University in 2001.

David Lee Garrison chairs the department of modern languages at

Wright State University. His co-edited anthology, O Taste and See: Food Poems, won the American Poetry Anthology Prize for 2004. He acknowledges the help of Dr. Xenia Bonch-Bruevich with his Voznesensky translation.

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John Kane, art and photography judge, has been published in Cosmopolitan, Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appetit, House & Garden, Natural History Magazine, and many more. His books include Twisted Yoga, Colors in Fashion and the Human Alphabet. John has produced advertising for many Fortune 500 companies and some of the largest catalog companies.

Rolandas Kiaulevicius, winner of the CSU art award, was born in a

small village in Lithuania. He studied fine art and wood working at the Siauliai Pedagogical Institute and came to America after earning his BA, without knowing any English. He attended Gateway Community College and Yale University to learn English, then was accepted at Paier Art College. He will graduate in May 2006 from Western Connecticut State University with an MFA in illustration. He is currently working on the mural for Chapel Haven in New Haven, CT.

Zoltan Krompecher has spent the last twenty years as both a Green Beret

and intelligence officer in the United States Army. In September of 2005, his close friend Dave was killed instantly when his vehicle intercepted a suicide bomber's car. Zoltan had the honor of escorting Dave home for his funeral. He wrote this poem while waiting in an airport terminal for him to arrive. His poetry is forthcoming in Operation Homecoming, to be published in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Pamela Leck received her doctorate in clinical psychology from

Duquesne University. She currently works as a psychologist in the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City, where she works primarily with disaster workers.

David Leeson is known for covering major conflicts throughout the

world. He has been a senior staff photographer at The Dallas Morning News since 1984, and his assignments have taken him to more than 60 countries and 11 conflict zones in 20 years. Leeson won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his coverage of the invasion of Iraq and has won two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for Outstanding Coverage of the Problems of the Disadvantaged.

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Valerie B. McKee, the 2006 winner of the Leo Connellan Poetry Prize,

is a graduate student at Southern Connecticut State University and a New Haven public school teacher. She is a native Tennessean, but considers herself an adopted child of New York City. Valerie is the 2005-2006 Southern Connecticut State University Graduate Poet. Her work has recently appeared in Caduceus and is forthcoming in Folio and Louisiana Literature.

Yolanda Pallín (b. 1965) is among Spain's most prominent contemporary

playwrights. Luna de miel, written in 2002, is one of her most recent works that reveals real life concerns in modern day relationships. Pallín currently resides in Madrid where she continues to write plays that are a reflection of present society.

Robert Philen is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University

of West Florida. His research interests include the process and structure of ethnographic narrative, gender, ethnicity and race, and socioeconomic class and development.

Aimee L. Pozorski is an assistant professor of English at Central Connecticut State University, where she teaches twentieth-century American literature and theories of trauma and ethics. She has published essays on Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, and Mina Loy. She is a regular contributor to Cold Mountain Review, where she has reviewed the poetry of Eavan Boland, Maxine Kumin, and Kathryn Kirkpatrick.

Daniel Asa Rose, fiction and essay judge, is a memoirist, novelist, story

writer, and essayist. An NEA Literary Fellow for 2006, he is currently the editor of the international literary magazine The Reading Room and a regular book reviewer for The New York Observer and New York Magazine.

CONNECTICUT REVIEW

Jessica Roth, winner of the 2005 IMPAC-CSU Young Writer's Award in

poetry, is a poet and artist living in Granby, CT. Her travels have brought her to a number of countries, most recently Chile, where she has found a second home. She studied at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

Martha Serpas is a native of Galliano, LA. Her first collection, Côte

Blanche, was published by New Issues in spring 2002. Recent poems appear in The New Yorker, Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, and Passages North. She teaches writing and religion and literature at the University of Tampa.

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Irene Sherlock is associate director of publications and design at Western

Connecticut State University and an adjunct lecturer in the English department. She holds an MA in English, an MFA in creative writing, and an MS in marriage and family therapy. Her screenplay, "Fox's Hardware," was op-

tioned by Hearst Entertainment. Her poems and essays have been published in Amaranth, Calyx, Cream City Review, Connecticut Review, The Fairfield Review, Poem-memoir-story, Poetry Motel, Roux, Runes, Slipstream, Tar Wolf Review, The New York Times, White Pelican Review and in several anthologies, including "Single Woman of a Certain Age" from Inner Ocean Publishing. Her essays can be heard on WSHU National Public Radio.

Nicole Simek is an assistant professor of French at Whitman College.

Specializing in French Caribbean literature, Simek is currently working on the concept of literary commitment in the novels of Guadeloupean writer Maryse Condé. She has also published articles on Baudelaire's figuration of the reader, female friendship in French literature, Caribbean women's autobiography, and history after globalization in Maryse Condé's work.

R. Clifton Spargo is an associate professor of English at Marquette

University, formerly the Pearl Resnick Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, and the author of The Ethics of Mourning (Johns Hopkins UP, 2004) and Vigilant Memory: Emmanuel Levinas, the Holocaust, and the Unjust Death (Johns Hopkins UP, 2006). His short stories have appeared in journals such as Glimmer Train, Fiction, SOMA, Green Mountains Review, and North Atlantic Review.

Jennifer J. Thompson received her PhD in comparative literature from

the University of California at Irvine. She is currently assistant professor of humanities at Embry-Riddle University, where she teaches creative writing, Holocaust studies, and world literature.

Andrei Voznesensky is Russia's foremost poet. He is known as an avantgarde writer who constantly experiments with new rhythms, images, and sounds, and who finds inspiration in commonplace things. "The Nose" is from his book Antiworlds (Basic Books, 1996).

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Katharine Weber is the author of the novels Triangle (2006), The Little

Women (2003), The Music Lesson (1999), and Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear (1995). Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Southwest Review, Story, Redbook, and elsewhere. She has taught fiction writing at Yale and the Paris Writers Workshop, and she is the Kratz Writer in Residence at Goucher College for spring 2006.

Submitting Work to Connecticut Review

Connecticut Review is a semi-annual journal published since 1967 under the auspices of the Board of Trustees for the Connecticut State University. Connecticut Review invites submission of poetry, literary plays, short fiction, translations, creative nonfiction, essays, interviews, academic articles of general interest, artwork, and photography. Editorial Policy: All work is read by our editors. Work may be additionally read by students and assistants as part of the journal's educational function. Most of the work published in the journal is unsolicited. Any work solicited by one of our editors or submitted through the acquaintance of one of our editors will be submitted by the other editors on the board for a decision. Submission Guidelines: · Work should be 2,000 to 4,000 words. · Submit two copies of each piece. · The first page of each poem, story, essay or other should include the name, address, phone number, and e-mail address in the upper left corner. · Poets should submit no more than five poems. · Translated work must be accompanied by appropriate written permis sions from author or publisher. · Typed manuscripts should be on 8.5 x 11 paper in MLA style when appropriate. · Photography and artwork should be submitted as slides or transparencies. The title, date of composition, size of original, medium, and name and address of the artist should be indicated. Black and white photography and artwork should be labeled in the same way. Work with vertical orientation is preferred, and orientation should be indicated. · Each submission must be accompanied by a brief autobiographical statement. · Send SASE for reply only. Manuscripts will be recycled. Mail without a return address on the outside envelope will not be opened. · Connecticut Review will return any work postmarked between May 15 and September 1. Send all submissions labeled by genre to: John Briggs, Senior Editor Connecticut Review, Connecticut State University System 39 Woodland Street Hartford, CT 06105-2337

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