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Keep It Down

Story by Harry Leeds (Read author interview) September 25, 2012

art by Paul Bilger

Anthony couldn’t keep anything down, so he had to eat through liquid IV. So he didn’t like to eat. It made him sick. Also, he didn’t like macho-laconic attitudes, especially when they seeped into the plastic arts. And he didn’t like pull-down menus. He didn’t like looking at people and he didn’t like people looking at him. After they looked at him he still felt like they were looking at him and he didn’t like it. He thought and thought so hard about what to like and what to think that he didn’t know what to think. He didn’t like nougat or cookie-center. They made him sick. He didn’t like wearing clothes, how they looked, or being naked, and he didn’t like his IV. He didn’t like the summer starscape but more he didn’t like people talking about the summer starscape or even more people talking about talking about the summer starscape and he always felt sick all the time and just wanted to eat like everyone else. He didn’t like the concept of adjusting because he didn’t. He really didn’t like the bass riff scene transitions in Seinfeld. He didn’t like when people used the word “closure” to describe something about not feeling like absolute garbage after someone dies, as though that ever happens. More, when people used “closure” in place of the word “vengeance.” He didn’t like dying or people or animals or astronomy or the Rare Earth Hypothesis or biomes or binomial nomenclature or people using binomial nomenclature in order to sound smart even when they were. He didn’t like anything, it seemed, which was a trait of someone who loved himself and he hated that.

About the Author

Harry Leeds has had work in The Black Warrior Review, NANO Fiction, Gargoyle and elsewhere. He doesn’t blog but he did write a novel and received an MFA from the University of Florida. He translates Russian poetry and is moving to Russia.

About the Artist

Paul Bilger’s photography has appeared at Qarrtsiluni, Brevity, and Kompresja. His work has also been featured on music releases by Dead Voices on Air and Autistici. When not taking pictures, he is a lecturer in philosophy and film theory at Chatham University. He is the art director at SmokeLong Quarterly. 

This story appeared in Issue Thirty-Seven of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Thirty-Seven
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