Kathy Fish

I let a stranger buy me a French toast breakfast. My train had been delayed and I was hungry and had an earache. I'd spent all my paycheck on the ticket. When we sat down he took off his hat and I asked him to please put it back on. Without the hat, the man resembled a toe. He drank coffee while I ate. What's in your locket, he asked. A memory, I said, trying to sound enigmatic and over eighteen. The locket was just empty. I'd found it earlier in the ladies room. I rubbed my ear with my knuckle, asked for more.


My aunt said she'd take me with her to Australia if I agreed to dress like a man. She got me a boy's suit from the Salvation Army. A couple of puffy jogging suits. A fedora, a baseball cap, and a haircut. I'm sorry but this is the world we live in, she said. I do not wish to be preyed upon. My aunt had orange hair and crookedly drawn eyebrows. She wore lots of jewels. Our first night in Sydney we went to a pub and a man punched me in the face.


In Spain, they let you stay for free in the nice resorts if you're willing to spend a few hours every day talking to businessmen who want to learn English. You do your time then you get to hang out in the spa or the pool. I broke the rules and let one of the men buy me a drink. Something like sangria with 7-Up. He said, how am I doing? What is inside your—necklace? Locket, I said. It's a locket. I leaned across the table and flicked it open.

         >>>NEXT STORY >>>

W i g l e a f               05-19-15                                [home]