1.) John called on the phone. There was the sound of screaming in the background. His voice was muffled.
"What's going on?" she shouted directly at her telephone's microphonic pinholes. "Where are you?" she almost cried.
Her name was Stephanie, I guess. It was hard to hear what with the bad connection and a third party breaking in on an overlapping bandwidth or whatever.
John shouted with an index finger in his earhole. It was his finger, still connected to his hand, thank the lord or no one.
"Steph!" he said. The way he said it sounded like "stuff."
He was calling from the middle of a video arcade. What was he doing there? Trying to break up with Stephanie.
"I don't think I want to love you anymore!" he screamed, the tubes inside his neck tumescing.
2.) Stephanie was late or early or on time for work, putting on her clothes starting with something. She had a finger inside the straps of some expensive pumps which curved from her hand like pristine prosthetics.
She finally slipped them on her feet in the cab, the driver's eyes sliding up her bare legs to some upper part of her legs, which was still leg, almost.
The driver's name was Natasha and she spoke cyrillically into the space which was angled and expectant between them: "Where to?"
Stephanie said the name of the college where she was adjuncting. It was not Columbia or NYU or Berkeley. It was CCNY and she taught creative writing.
She wrote a story about having sex with the cabdriver while she rode the elevator. It started with them looking at each other through the rear-view mirror. Maybe it was a metaphor, she could say; but it wasn't. It wasn't anything.
3.) Stephanie watched 48 individual eyes look at her like some kind of overocular monster. If she had a stick she might have popped them.
There was a window open and wind was blowing in through it. Her hair flapped at the base of her neck like a cape.
At the end of the period, she ran out of there, drinking water at the fountain and then sliding down the fire pole to the first floor where she flagged down a pick-up truck and hopped in its bed.
There were bags of seed back there and she cut one open, spreading it over herself lasciviously.
The seeds planted themselves in her body.
"Every story should have a --" she had been saying as the bell rang. It seemed as true as anything else.
There was a dog in her apartment. She thought she'd go home and stab it in the heart and eat it. She didn't think that.
Everything was coming to a standstill, including the truck at an intersection. She jumped out and ran through the clogged street. Car horns honked. It was what they were invented to do.
She danced through them and stole a pretzel from a vendor.
It all made sense to her, suddenly, like a tumor.