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They were the strangers who buy you drinks at bars. The ones you don’t actually date.

 

WHAT COMES AFTER BY LINDSEY SILKEN 
34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 12 I never told Tanner how much of me went with him when things ended. We didn’t talk for weeks after, and when we did it was too late to say anything. I got used to sleeping in my own bed every night. Or in the studio on a futon when I didn’t have the energy to go home. I got used to the sad quiet that slept in my studio during the day after I awoke and the way ideas came from new directions in a different code. I dated other people, and figured that he did, too. I thought about him when a date got to the point of taking off our clothes. The men I went out with were incompetent, insecure despite the way they acted with their clothes on. I felt like everything I said was a script. I talked about galleries where I wanted my work sold, even though I was twenty-five and had no idea where I wanted to go. I went out with real estate agents, law students, computer programmers who were a few or sometimes, several years older. They were the strangers who buy you drinks at bars. The ones you don’t actually date. I ate at nice restaurants and was not allowed to pay the bill. I introduced one of them to my parents. His name was Steve. With Steve, I thought I was getting closer to my adult life. And then I realized that most of the time, he made me feel like a shirt that didn’t fit its owner. We fought, and one time, after we got the words out, he said, “I don’t hurt you, right?” I was confused, wiping tears. “Have I ever hit you, Sammy? Even yelled at you?” “Of course not.” “So what’s your problem?” he said.

34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 12

AT THE STATION

FAIG MAMED

TEN LIES

PAUL BUCHANAN

AFTER HIS GREATEST LOVE

ZDRAVKA EVTIMOVA

SEE TO BELIEVE

KIMBERLY SMEY

OCEAN’S EDGE

CHRISTINA OI YING NIP

THE VIEW FROM HERE

JACKIE DAVIS MARTIN

PARENTHESIS

MELISSA TANDIWE MYAMBO

A CLEAR PATH

SARAH MAY HÉNON

LEAVING YAKIMA

SOLLA CARROCK

WHITE OAKS

JULIE ZUCKERMAN

IN THE FRAMEWORK
OF AN EMPTY HOUSE

HELEN CAREY

IN PASSING

DAVID STALLINGS

RIVER ROCKS

PETER GORDON

CREATE OR DIE:
NATALIE D’AUVERGNE
INTERVIEWS DONNA GRANDIN

THE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE BY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD 34THPARALLEL@GMAIL.COM