The less popular candy bars

My story Mohawk was published last month at the wonderful LitroNY.


I’m tempted to let those tags speak for themselves, but since you might want to know a tiny bit more: it’s a story about a girl and the guy she likes and his cool older punk rock friend. Much in the vein of my chapbook, it’s fiction that was fueled in part by details from my teenage ’80s Berkeley past.

I felt a little jealous about how much Mark liked hanging out with Denny. I worried that I’d get shut out. But to my relief, Mark kept inviting me along. And Denny always treated me like one of the gang, never acting like I didn’t belong there too, even remembering that mushroom was my favorite when he snuck us free slices at work. It felt natural to joke around with him, like he was the cool big brother I never had. I didn’t find him particularly attractive, though I could see how some girls would, with his lanky body, piercing eyes, and goofy lopsided smile. And being in a band never hurt, even one like his where the songs all sounded the same. But we never saw him with anyone.

Then one day in April we showed up at Denny’s and there was a girl in the chair. “Guys, this is Sara,” he said. She looked gorgeous and hard, like a dark princess, with long auburn hair, pale skin, and smudgy eyeliner. Her dusty black dress was either high-fashion or homemade, with weird drapes and ragged edges. She was taller than me. Older. Curvier. More of everything.

This story went through a lot of drafts, with a lot of help from early readers, and I’m so thrilled to see it published. I hope you will check it out!