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Sin insurance. So I don’t have to worry about Hell or anything.
SIN INSURANCE BY MICHAEL P FERRARI 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 02
I leaned back into my seat, wondering how and when I was going to tell daddy the bad news.
THE RIDE BY TEDDY TOTIMEH 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 02

What’s the difference, I say. What would be an actual fortune?

FORTUNE BY AARON BURCH 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 02

These fortune cookies never have actual, real fortunes any more, she said.

What are you talking about?

On the weekends, we went out for Chinese. We tried to mix it up, find new places. We drove all over town, neighboring towns, like being on the run, or a scavenger hunt.

You know, she said. They are always predictions now. Weird sayings. Cliches. And they overload you with info—lucky numbers, how to say words in Chinese, the name of the restaurant.

What’s the difference, I say. What would be an actual fortune?

We always ordered lots of food, more than we could ever eat, took our time. Her husband worked late, long hours in a restaurant. We sampled, compared, prolonged the moment until the check and, the best part, the fortune cookies.

I don’t know, she said. I can’t think of an example. It just seems like they used to be different, like when we were kids or whatever.

I think I know what you mean, I said, thinking I might.

I swiped at my forehead. She smiled. I always ordered my food too spicy. She’d told me once that it was cute how the food made me sweat, cute how I dabbed my forehead with my napkin. A part of me wanted her to reach across the table, napkin my sweat away herself.

Why don’t you just order it less spicy, she’d asked a few times.

I held out my hand and she dropped in her fortune. What do you do with these, she said.

I just like to collect them, I guess, I said. I used to collect old Bazooka Joe comics. That kind of thing.

At home, I glue-sticked each one to my photo album. Reading them from beginning to end, I tried to make them make sense, make them into something coherent, a story. It would all come together, at some point, in due time.

 

34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 02 THE RIDE TEDDY TOTIMEH STOP LIGHT RUTH KNIPE 55X2 ROSEMARY MOSCO WARMING HOUSE JEFF ESTERHOLM TEACH ME HOW TO DANCE TO THE BLUES ROBERT LOUIS BARTLETT MEMORY CASH KIM KOLARICH ANYWAYS DOROTHEE LANG FOGCUTTER FRANK HABERLE GOING BACK TO YOU MATTHEW WARD CUPS OF COFFEE LEE KERN TELEPORTING THOUGHTS JOHN ARTHUR PEGG FORTUNES AARON BURCH WRONG WAY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD CALL NOTES TRACE SHERIDAN SPIDER ON THE WALL ROBERT K OMURA OPIUM CLOUDS ARASH FARZANEH INTO THE MARGINS JA TYLER THE REALITY OF EROTICA TOM GANT THIS WALTZ TIM KENNY SIN INSURANCE MICHAEL P FERRARI ROUTINE KEN RODGERS THE NUMBER 15 BUS NANCY GAUQUIER RAPTORS AND RAGE ASHLEY CALLENDER DO NOT ASK ROD STEWART THE FLIGHT BACK LESLIE JOSEPH CHANT UNDONE MITRA SOME PEOPLE JOSEPH GOOSEY POP MATTHEW ABUELO INVULNERABLE HEARTS SARAH TUTTLE MORNING OF RUE COREY MESLER MOMENTS OF REAL CLARITY CRAIG WESLEY KNOWLEDGE CATHY DELALEU REGRET IS A WOMAN’S FIELD LAURA LEHEW BLACK CROW DAVE MORRISON LAUNCH PAD: ROSEMARY MOSCO OF 55 WORDS 
INTERVIEWED BY TRACE SHERIDAN A JOURNEY INTO WORDS: DOROTHEE LANG OF BLUEPRINTREVIEW INTERVIEWED BY TRACE SHERIDAN SKIVE WRITING: MATTHEW WARD 
INTERVIEWED BY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD LIT MAG THAT’S RESTAURANT QUALITY: AARON BURCH OF HOBART INTERVIEWED BY TRACE SHERIDAN POP LIT: TRACE SHERIDAN AND MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD 
INTERVIEWED BY SEAN MERRIGAN MESLER’S MIX: COREY MESLER 
INTERVIEWED BY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD MUD LUSCIOUS: JA TYLER INTERVIEWED 
BY TRACE SHERIDAN SUBTERRANEAN HANG-OUT: TIM KENNY 
INTERVIEWED BY TRACE SHERIDAN
 THE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE BY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD 34THPARALLEL@GMAIL.COM