Glen Pourciau

Bad day, and I'm in no mood to be around people, but a guy approaches me in front of the grocery store and asks if I want his religious brochure. I tell him I don't and he asks why not, sticking his brochure in my path.

"Get away from me," I yell at him and keep going.

"That kind of anger is bad for your heart," he says, a tone of getting even in his voice.

I step toward him. "What's inside my chest has got nothing to do with you."

He moves away, I follow, and seeing me follow him he stops. He stands his ground but leans back.

"Let me see one of those things."

He puts a brochure in my hand, and I look it over, flipping past the man on the front extending his open arms. I give the brochure back and stare at him, a young man with a face that doesn't look lived in, white shirt, thin black tie.

"Do you have any idea what's inside people?" I ask. "Who are you anyway?"

He wants to get inside me, why shouldn't I find out who's making the attempt? Maybe he was beaten and abandoned as a child. If he does know what's inside people, I'm listening. But his face shows no sign of a story and apparently no words have any plan of coming out of his mouth.

I wave him down the sidewalk, and he starts off, clutching his brochures and glancing back. What does he see when he looks at me? I follow his steps with my eyes.

Glen Pourciau's collection of stories, Invite, won the 2008 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was published by the University of Iowa Press.

To link to this story directly:

Detail of art on main page courtesy of Narcoze.

w i g · l e a F               08-28-10                                [home]