Love at the Roller Rink

I can’t wait to get you on the floor and watch the wheels roll effortlessly, skipless, perfectly in sync with the music, beats that remind us of summertime in Jersey, the scent of sweat mingled with a popularity contest.  The wood shines. 

At the far side of the room, a gaggle of girls stands in a skewed circle, each of them laughing, looking to the girls on each side of them to see what their reactions might be.  One of them, in green, looks helplessly to the side in an effort to find something to talk about. 

I watch it happen.  A sidelong glance.  A click on the left side of his head, almost audible, telling him to turn around.  The nervousness emanating off of her as he turns, his one eye catches her, a rope appears from air and wraps itself around their waists, pulling them against one another like tragedy. 


How to Make a Million Dollars

Hire an accountant. 

Wear fitted suits.

Kiss ass.

Read books, lots of books about stocks and investments and faraway places and war. 

Don’t ever borrow money from anyone, not even if you’re so drunk the strippers look like wives and your wallet’s warm but dry. 

Wrap everything up in a bow with curly ribbons, paper and flair. 

Sit in a quiet room in a cliché place that smells like cedar and mold and actually think about thinking then practicing then doing then … folding the newspaper in a huff by the bus, smelling the roasting nuts on the corner, Christmas and desperation in a small, Plexiglas and metal box near Penn Station, wishing to hell you could go home.

Remember birthdays.

Follow the dollar down the hallway and into the elevator and up to the roof and high above everyone you know until you are looking down on them with small eyes, not really able to see what they’re doing, or the fact that their faces are frozen in fear.

Follow your wife down the car lane in the left lane near the other lane in front of the bowling lane in the back.

Eat noodles and baklava and pork.

Come up with an idea that no one can dispute, no one can heckle, no one can wonder why, no one can visualize, but that everyone needs more than companionship and air.


Hashtag Justice

Justice for him and for animals and for bugs that don’t fall into the sidewalk crack fast enough.  For slammed backdoors and hurt feelings.  For the way the phantom felt when you couldn’t see her.  For uneaten, homemade rhubarb pie.  For jealousy and tarnished, golden crowns.  Justice for the abstract, the untouchable, the hopeful invisibility that comes with emotion and fear. 

And for you, man, they’ll prescribe a serious cocktail of overwhelming guilt and public outrage.  The mob will knock over your Christmas reindeer.  But it’s too late for him.

It happened to ten people yesterday when we weren’t looking, when I had my nose in a book or my hands in my purse or my feet in the sand.  We didn’t see it because we were living.

It could all be simple like the answers of children.  He chose that jacket based on the weather.  You heard something that wasn’t there, imagined a world that exists only in places that don’t exist, imagined horns and hooves and bright, bright red skin.  Pop.

Sarah Ghoshal


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