Fiction / Issue 3

Fiction by Sharon Yablon

The Caller

The 1920s apartment building on the corner of Geary and Hyde was abandoned. San Francisco had forgotten about it. This oversight allowed for a small group of runaway kids to squat there.

Takeout menus littered the front steps. Hidden somewhere in the small yard was a plaster-of-paris gnome with a shamrock hat. A network of ivy wove itself along the back fence, where rats and opossums lived. One of the squatters tried cooking an opossum once on a spit he fashioned.

The lobby had a boarded-up fireplace with tile around it, and a velvet love seat darkened by dirt. A small bar was in the corner, and a glass top with a green light under it could light up drinks with a ghostly glamour, but no one currently in the building knew this because the electricity had been turned off. A main stairway went up the seven floors, where it could be dizzying to look down and see the pattern of railings repeat.

The apartments all had Murphy beds, which the kids shared. Nine boys and six girls lived there, but that could change at any time—one girl’s father had tracked her down and taken her home; a boy just never came back one night.

Everyone knew about the apartment with blood on its walls. The kids made up stories about where it came from: a woman knifed by her lover; a murdered grandma.

In one apartment, someone left a phone. One of the kids started calling a woman he didn’t know. The woman got to liking it—the caller’s voice on the other end, the ritual of the nocturnal phone call. The woman’s name was Theresa, and the caller was Chris. He was twelve.

Chris didn’t like basements. When he was seven his father had been electrocuted in one while changing a lightbulb during a storm. His mother met another man and thought she found happiness. It was true, Les was a provider and didn’t have a temper. And he had a romantic side; sometimes he lit candles when he took Chris to the basement. He was a gentle molester.

Chris never told his mother; he didn’t want to ruin her new life. He hitchhiked from Portland to San Francisco when he was eleven and lived on the streets, but it wasn’t long before he heard about the abandoned building in the Tenderloin.

One night Chris was awakened by squawks echoing in the building. Another bird was trapped in the apartment at the end of the hall. Sometimes they would fly in through the broken window and flap around, afraid and brain-damaged.

Chris sat up in bed. He’d had another one of those dreams. He was on a street, and his father passed him. Chris called after him, but he didn’t turn around. He missed his father, or the idea of him— a man in a suit, big hands, a scent of hand sanitizer and cigarettes. He couldn’t conjure the face so well anymore.

The pigeon’s black eyes glistened with fear. One wing flapped, and he carefully picked the bird up and threw it out the hole. It dipped dangerously down in the night sky. Chris didn’t want to look anymore. He went to the apartment with the telephone and dialed his phone number.

“Hello?” He listened to the waiting, the echo of his mother’s word, her breath. It was coming from another place, of soft mothers and houses, somewhere he didn’t belong anymore. He hung up. He started dialing numbers he made up. Some rang, some didn’t. And then a woman answered. She continued to ask if anybody was there. Finally he said, “I’m here.” That’s how it started.

Theresa took Ambien, but sometimes it didn’t put her to sleep, so she would look people up on the Internet who weren’t in her life anymore. This always made her feel bad, and she would turn on the TV and watch a show whose only time slot was 3 a.m., like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Channel 13 ran old horror films late at night with Boris Karloff, who she found lusty and scary, and Vincent Price, who she had always thought of as a goof until she saw him in Laura.

An only child, Theresa’s father was in a home, his mind lost in a place without memory. Her mother was a narcissist who still complained about how difficult her pregnancy had been carrying Theresa, and what she had given up.

Up until her forties there were friends, and she went with them to films at the Castro and dinners in cute restaurants in Noe Valley. For a few years after all her friends had gotten married, Theresa received phone calls complaining about the horrors of motherhood or alienation from working husbands. She went to children’s birthday parties, but then the invitations stopped. She had the guilty thought of hoping some of them would get divorces so they would be available again for movies and nights out, but that didn’t happen. She celebrated her 50th birthday at the Fog City Diner alone with macaroni and cheese, a sundae, and a glass of Russian River Valley cabernet.

Theresa was a proofreader at an accounting firm in the Financial District. She got a pin and a raise for her ten-year anniversary with the firm, but it depressed her, how time progressed, and how much of it she had spent in this office. When she had started with the firm, she did her best to look her prettiest but was invisible as a sexual creature to the men, all of whom were more interested in young secretaries. Sundays she would plan her menu for the week, and every day she brought her lunch, which rotated between a salad and something microwaveable.

After a year of employment she planned a happy hour outing for the other proofreaders and secretaries, but the conversation didn’t rise above the sharing of office gossip. She continued to organize things occasionally, even though she was perceptive enough to know that there was no connection between her and the younger women. Once a week she took a jazz dance class, which she enjoyed. She always had gals she would pal around with in high school and college, but she couldn’t seem to make a friend now. She blamed it on age and people’s schedules revolving around their new families. But she could never fully get rid of the suspicion that maybe it was her.

Two evenings a week she cuddled babies with AIDS at UCSF Medical Center. She held the babies close, their prognoses spooling out into dark roads. She felt the warmth of their tiny bodies, how they reached out to her with love. And she loved them back. There would never be one of her own.

Out in the world she smiled at strangers and tried to stay positive, but sometimes she would catch herself fantasizing about her funeral. She would see staring at her coffin all the people who were ever in her life, regret chiseled into their faces that they had not kept up contact.

“I always thought I would get married, but I could never picture it. Do you know what I mean?”

Theresa had talked to him twice. She couldn’t believe she had told the caller about the disappointment of her last relationship. She told him that she had a sister who died at birth, and she couldn’t wait to meet her in the white light someday. She waited for him to speak.

“You still haven’t told me your name,” Theresa said.

She glanced at the clock; it was 1 a.m.

“Is it okay if I just call you Jerry, then? That was the name of someone I used to know. Well Jerry, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you before. It’s never happened to me. I don’t usually talk to strangers on the telephone. Do you?”

After the third time he called, she wanted to know if he was calling other people.

“It’s okay, but are you doing this with anyone else?”

The caller hung up, and Theresa was mad at herself. Why did she always make people to feel trapped with just a simple question? But it felt so good to just talk, let thoughts out. And he was listening on the other end, she was sure of it. He would tell her things, in his own time.

She noticed it when she woke up in the morning. The anxious dread that had started in her forties had been replaced with something else—was it happiness? She sang Phoebe Snow in the shower. “You bashful boy, you’re hiding something sweet. Oh, talk to me some more, you don’t have to go. You’re the Poetry Man.”

She took the cellophane off “Cherries in the Snow,” a lipstick she had bought years ago, and put it on. As she rode the bus to her job, the caller crept into her thoughts. She started to picture what he looked like, what he was doing at that moment. She knew he was young, but he had reached out to her through the urban mesh of the city, through trash and wires and concrete; fog, people, and pigeons.

A woman with fish barrettes sat on the seat next to her. There was a sour smell of body odor. Theresa wanted to open the window next to her seat but didn’t want to appear obvious, so she focused on Cole Valley’s charming Victorian houses—their embroidered curtains and rooftop spires—as they passed by the bus windows. That was still a goal of hers: to live in one someday.

Then the scenery changed; things got grimier. Buildings looked older, and there were bums on the street. The bus passed Dottie’s, a coffee shop that was a transvestite hangout, and she saw two of them talking heatedly out front in dresses and big hair. She thought about what fantastical creatures they were, that she would never really comprehend. The woman next to her started mumbling. Theresa continued to look out the window, but she felt uncomfortable—what if she was one of those crazy people who started yelling and embarrassing you on your bus route? She felt eyes and knew the woman was looking at her. Theresa turned and smiled, but the woman didn’t seem to know she was there. When the bus got to Market Street, Theresa and the woman both got off. The San Francisco air was brisk, and Theresa adjusted her scarf. The woman turned down a side street and Theresa had a thought to follow her. Would she be OK? But instead Theresa went to work.

What do you think when you see a person talking to themselves?”

Theresa lay back on the bed in her sweats and Electric Light Orchestra t-shirt. It was big on her in her twenties; now her stomach bulged against it

“That’s got to be the scariest thing, voices in your head. Have you seen Sybil? I suppose it could just feel normal for them. We are so quick to judge.”

She hoped nothing untoward had happened to the woman with fish barrettes on the side street.

“I don’t even know what’s down that street. I walk by it every day on my way to work. I live in this city and I never go anywhere. I loved writing. I thought I would do that. Time goes by so fast . . . I’ve never been to Mount Rushmore. Or Graceland, or the Grand Canyon. Humbert Humbert took Lolita there. I just don’t know what I’m putting it all off for anymore. I have the money because I never spend it. I could go to all those places. But I don’t do anything. And. I hate my mother. I’ve never told anyone that. She’s always hated me.” She felt her heart beat faster now, and emotions emerged that she had been trying not to feel for years.

“I like how you listen without judgment, Jerry.”

Her voice broke a bit.

“I guess seeing that woman today, not all there in the head, going down a little street. I don’t want to end up like that . . . well. I do look forward to these calls. I so look forward to them.”

She could see the Bay Bridge twinkling in the distance from her bedroom window.

“I’m sorry I’m such a gabber! I can listen, too. Maybe you can tell me something? Where you live, or something you like to do, or a favorite movie? I love movies.”

She waited.

“I went to Mount Rushmore,” Chris said.

Theresa sat up.

“Thank you for telling me that, Jerry.”

There were sounds of yelling coming from down the hall. Chris was concerned. He hung up.

The kids were all gathered in the room where another goddamn pigeon was trapped. Carla stood next to the open door and gestured for him to come in. Carla was about fourteen, and she was kidnapped in Baltimore but escaped in Arizona and hitched the rest of the way here. But you never knew whose stories were true and whose weren’t; the only true thing was that they were all terrible stories.

One of the girls liked to feed the wild cats, so they roamed around the building. Someone had grabbed one and stuck it in the room with the bird. Chris quickly assessed the situation. The kids yelled at the cat to eat the bird. This particular cat, with a triangular piece missing from his ear, was only too glad to do so. They had made a circle around the bird and cat. Eyes stared with wonder and excitement. It took longer than Chris hoped it would, but he knew he had to stay in the room. He didn’t want them to know he saved birds. Finally the pigeon’s neck was broken and its eyes stared blankly at the ceiling while the cat bit at its throat. Stupid fucking birds. Why do you keep doing this?

Theresa fell asleep with the television on. She dreamt she was walking along the ruined Sutro Baths at the edge of the Sunset District. Something shiny in the water caught her eye. When she reached down to pick it up, she saw the blood on her dress.

“I was having a scary dream,” Theresa said after the ringing phone woke her up.

“It’s okay,” Chris told her. His mom had nightmares; they started in childhood when her father would get drunk and disappear. She would wake up shaking, and Chris would stay with her. He could tell this lady was alone, like his mom had been.

“I’m glad you called back. I hope you don’t stop. There, I said it!”

“My favorite movie is Star Wars,” Chris said.

“I like learning about you, Jerry.”

“I wish . . .”

“What do you wish?”

“The cantina with all the aliens was real.”

“I wish you were here. You know, I’ve wanted to ask, did you write down my number the first time, or did you memorize it?”

“I remembered it.”

“Because . . . you liked my voice?”

Chris didn’t answer.

“Well, you’re good with memory! I’m terrible. Especially now, with menopause.”

“What’s that?”

“Oh, it’s just something bad that happens to women when they get older.”

“Are you going to die?” Chris felt his stomach drop a little. He wondered if his mom had this yet.

“Oh, no, not from menopause! I mean, sometimes I’d like to because the symptoms are so bad! It’s gotten me fatter, and I have no sex drive! I’ll probably die from cancer, or a slow, degenerative disease. But for now, I’m just a middle aged woman who’s incredibly gassy!”

Chris laughed.

“I like your laugh,” Theresa said.

“When did the meno-whatever start?”

“Well Jerry, you may be the first and only guy who has asked me about menopause!”

“I just wanted to know. For my mom, I guess.”

“Oh, your mom?”

Even though Chris regretted mentioning her, it felt good to not have her be a secret anymore. He hadn’t spoken about her or Les to anybody in the building; he told them all that he had run away from the circus. He didn’t care if they believed it or not.

“Where is she?” Theresa asked.

Maybe she would have another kid. Chris hoped she didn’t worry about him.

Theresa sensed he didn’t want to talk about it, but she wanted to know.

“Do you feel sad about her?”

Chris moved the phone to the floor near the window. He climbed onto the sill. Somehow he thought moving his body would do something to the pain inside him, but it didn’t.

“I’ll always be sad that I never became a mother,” Theresa said.

“Some people made a cat eat a bird. It was . . . it didn’t get it on its own. It wasn’t even hungry.”

“What people?”

Chris looked out at the skyline of the Financial District.

“It’s awful that you saw that. Jerry. If you ran away from home. I’m not going to tell anyone. I care about you.”

A bum lay down in front of the building across the street. He held himself, the way a person does without a blanket.

“My dad died.”

“I’m sorry, Jerry.”

“And my mom. She was all alone. I mean, lonely.”

“I understand. Did she bring men home? Did you hear them in her bedroom?”

“She got married.”

“And you didn’t like the man?”

Chris remembered the spot on the wall he used to stare at while he rubbed Les’s penis, and how it would move and swirl, turn into other shapes, like his spirograph. He let go, stopped fighting the images of those afternoons in the basement while his mother was at her office job and Les was home, building his eBay business. Maybe he wouldn’t be afraid anymore if he brought them out of the darkness of his mind.

“The man touched you. Didn’t he?” Years ago, a friend’s brother had touched her too, and he wouldn’t stop.

“I can hear you.”

Chris had tried, but his crying made a sound.

“Who are you calling, your mommy?” Carla laughed. She was standing in the open rectangle where a door would be.

Chris dropped the phone. How long had she been there?

“I wish I could take your pain away, take it away . . .” Theresa’s voice traveled through the phone line, into the abandoned building.

Carla picked up the fallen phone. “Suck my ass,” she said into it. Chris noticed a dimple in her cheek when she spoke.

Theresa listened on the other end, trying to gauge the appearance of this new person, her relationship to her friend.

The kids, there were eight of them now, went further into the room. Carla hung up.

“I’ve seen him on the phone a lot,” Carla said. Chris got off the windowsill and faced her. She was taller, and he looked up at her.

“Who are you talking to? You’re too much of a pussy to have a girlfriend.” Carla laughed. She turned around, hoping the other kids appreciated what she had said.

“This friend better not fuck things up here for you,” TJ said. He was a blond kid with allergies who seemed to garner the most sympathy of passersby for change.

“You’re going to invite her over,” Carla said. “We just want to see if she’s cool. Right?” Carla turned around to everyone again.

“If you don’t . . .” Her warm breath smelled like cheap hot sauce. She took a pocket knife out of her pants and opened it. Chris saw some rust stains on it. “I’m gonna enjoy fucking you up.”

“When?” Chris asked. He could feel himself start to tremble, but he held his gaze on her.

“When what?” Carla said.

“When should I tell her to come over?”

Carla smiled at him. She put the knife away.

“We can get her to take us to an ATM,” somebody said.

Chris hoped the fascination with the person on the other end of the phone would die down for the others, but it didn’t. After a few nights, they woke him up and dragged him down the hall into the room with the phone. An exposed nail cut his back, but nobody cared. He said it was too late to call. Someone kicked him in the stomach. The next day they started to keep food from him. He walked around looking for change but didn’t find any. He was able to make a salad from the trash but it tasted like rot and piss. He had only lived on the street by himself for a few weeks. He was a terrible pickpocket, so he hustled. All he had to do was stand on Polk Street. He missed those fancy meals and restaurants that the occasional rich john would take him to, but he didn’t miss the company— the sad, older man with thin hair and eyeliner, his hand on Chris’s knee, sitting too close to him in the booth, breathing champagne and sadness on him. And then later, in their beds . . . he would rather die than be there again.

“I can see the Twin Peaks tower from my window. What can you see?” Theresa asked.

“I don’t know how much longer this phone will work,” Chris said.

“It’s a magic phone,” Theresa answered.

“I think we should meet,” Chris said.

“Oh Jerry, I’ve wanted to meet you! There’s a lovely crepe place in the Richmond! Unless you’re one of those who cares about carbs?”

“We can go from here,” Chris said.

“That’s a great idea! I’d love to see where you live. Do you have plants?”

The next day Theresa was happy as she sat at her desk recalculating the numbers on a tax. She was so excited to meet her new friend! He would see that he needed her. But then she panicked; what was she doing, how old was he? She didn’t want to think about how long it had been since she had sex, but she knew it was years. Five, ten? There was a profile up at Match.com that continued to languish. But why was she thinking about sex, when Jerry was clearly younger? She scrutinized herself in the office bathroom mirror anyway; she could use a stylish haircut, and she was a little chunky, certainly not obese. But she was kind. Couldn’t things change for her, like they did for others? Down syndrome folk find someone to love them. People with wooden legs get married.

When Chris told them Theresa was coming over, they all circled him, patting him on the back, grabbing him roughly and laughing. Then they went up to the roof and had a bonfire. They gave him food. They were his family. The woman was just a voice on a telephone.

Theresa wore a taupe skirt and a royal-blue satin top. She applied her Cherries in the Snow lipstick, in case he was a young man, in his twenties. After all, boyish men did exist; why, there was one in her office, a fey and slight file clerk named Dan who was kind of cute.

She decided to take a cab instead of Muni. When it drove down a hill, she looked out on the twinkling city, which seemed to glow with possibility for the first time since she moved here years ago.

The cab left her in front of the brown building. She could see a light on somewhere inside, but what a ghostly quality it had; was it from a fire? There were owl gargoyles perched on the building’s sides, and the moon hung above it, obscured by fog. When she knocked, the door slid open.

A musty wave of smoke and mold floated toward her. A votive candle flickered on the bar in the lobby. She was touched; Jerry must have done it, but what apartment did he live in? He hadn’t told her.

She looked around— it was a strange gem, but in such a state of neglect! She stood on a wall-to-wall rug with a pattern of a goddess driving a chariot. Above her hung a dusty chandelier with crystals jutting out from its center, like a star. Her senile grandmother had lived in a building like this in Hollywood. It used to scare her when her father took her to visit; her grandmother wore decrepit, low-cut gowns that her wrinkled breasts drooped out of. She had too much makeup on and thought Fred Astaire was in the next room. Madness traveling through the blood. Theresa had always been afraid this would be her fate.

Perhaps Jerry was getting drinks or snacks. She wanted to believe that.

Theresa sat in a Queen Anne chair. Her hand traveled up and patted her chignon to make sure it was all in place. The kids watched her from their hiding spots.

“Jerry?”

She saw a pile of sticks in a corner. Theresa shuddered. She knew that Jerry didn’t live in an apartment here. Nobody did.

A teenage girl popped up from behind the bar, startling Theresa.

“Did I scare you?” The girl asked.

“I wasn’t expecting a person to be back there.” Theresa stood and forced a smile at the girl. But the girl didn’t smile back.

“Hi.” A voice was to the right of her now, thankfully one she recognized. She turned, and a kid came out of the shadows. He had stringy hair and wore jeans and a T-shirt. He had tucked it in, perhaps trying to spruce up his appearance, but it was very wrinkled.

“Jerry?”

“Yeah,” Chris said. He stood before her.

She couldn’t keep from smiling, even though he looked at her with uncertain eyes. Up close she could see that his skin was translucent from a lack of nutrients. She reached out and put her arms around him. His shoulder blades felt like paper wings. She wanted to shelter him, give him love.

Chris let himself be hugged. He wanted to disappear into it, into this woman’s body, but he broke away.

“Do you really live here?” Theresa asked.

“Yeah,” Chris answered.

“But. Isn’t it condemned?”

“I guess,” Chris said.

Theresa felt a hand on her back, and then her arm. Someone grabbed her purse. She was pushed hard and fell backwards. The sharp point of her tailbone hit the floor.

She tried to get up, but her skirt was caught on something. A boy with a Mickey Mouse T-shirt was stepping on it.

A girl was going through her purse now. She tossed a pack of Kleenex onto the floor, along with a bottle of chewable aspirin. Theresa couldn’t swallow pills. She pulled out a yellow rabbit’s foot and smiled. Wispy hair fell across her face like spider silk. She put the rabbit’s foot in her pocket and found Theresa’s wallet. She took the cash and cards from it and threw the purse to the floor. The girl walked over to her. She pointed a small knife at her.

“How much money is there?”

“What?”

“In your bank!”

“I don’t know, a few hundred dollars I think.”

“That’s bullshit.”

“Most of it is invested. When my father was getting sick. I promised him I would do that.”

Theresa was shaking. She tried to breathe. A temp studying meditation had told her about this once, to breathe. These are kids. They’re not going to kill me.

“Where’s the bank?” the girl asked.

“It’s on Sutter Street. But it’s closed. I don’t have much in there, really I don’t.”

The girl smiled down at her. Her dimples are like Shirley Temple’s, Theresa thought.

“Are you some kind of pervert lady?”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“You want him to fuck you?” She gestured to Chris.

“He’s a kid,” Theresa said

“You’d like that,” Carla said.

“It’s just nice to talk on the phone. Tell them, Jerry.” She looked at Chris. He looked away.

Carla bent down and looked at Theresa.

“You are a loser, lady.”

“I know.”

“He’s no one. Didn’t you know that?” Carla stood back up.

“Get up.”

Theresa’s limbs felt like logs filled with water. She placed her hands on the floor and pushed. She heard the back of her skirt rip as she stood. The room spun a little. Stomach acid bubbled in her throat. She swallowed a bit of vomit.

“I ran away from home once, too.”

The girl’s stare was cold.

“But I just went across the street.” Theresa smiled, but there was no connection with the girl.

“You think you know anything about me?!” the girl yelled. She darted at her with the knife. It cut through her blouse, into the lower left part of Theresa’s abdomen. It quickly seared with pain. She couldn’t control the trembling now. Warm fluid ran from her bladder; what was happening to her? Theresa felt relaxed, woozy. She didn’t feel the fear so present in her.

“She’s pissing her pants!” The girl with the knife said. “Get her a diaper!”

Laughter in the room. Something sniffed the puddle of urine at her feet; was it a cat? Jerry’s face flickered in the candlelight. He was looking at her now, and she walked to him. The insides of her thighs were slightly sticky, like old scotch tape.

Chris gently pulled the blouse out of her skirt where it was tucked in.

“I guess I made a mess,” Theresa looked away, like she did when she got a blood test during a checkup.

Chris saw the wound, it was about a half inch slit, just to the left of her belly button. It scared him, and he wished she would go away.

“I’m an innie,” Theresa said, smiling at him.

The blood had pooled on the top of her skirt.

“We’re done here now.” Carla stood behind Chris.

She turned toward the kids and they started to walk away.

Chris looked at Theresa. “It’s just a bad dream,” he said, softly. Then he followed the group.

“But it’s not safe here. Where will you all go?!” Theresa said.

Carla turned back to her. Her bangs didn’t meet in the middle due to a cowlick. “I’m not a bad person.”

“Oh, I know!” Theresa said.

Carla and the kids went toward the stairs.

“Jerry. There’s Chinese food, from real immigrants, and a bookstore, and even a sundae shoppe! Where I live.” Theresa could feel the beat of her pulse in her torso. The words hurt, coming out.

Chris turned around to her. “Go home, lady. I’m not going with you.”

“My name is Theresa. You know my name.”

Chris stared back at her.

“I’m sorry, Jerry.“

Somebody laughed in the background.

“I didn’t mean—”

“Stop calling me that!” Chris yelled.

But wasn’t there a flicker in his eyes? I mean something to him, I know I do, Theresa thought.

Chris joined the group, and they went upstairs.

Theresa stood in the empty room. She noticed the fading wallpaper had repeated patterns of a colonial girl and suitor. This building must have hosted some gatherings in its day.

She remembered a vacation she had taken years ago with a man named Jerry, the only man who had wanted to marry her. He was a kind man; he had helped make flyers for a lost cat, which one had that been? They were in Hawaii, strolling the beach late one night after making love. She was skinny then, her hair long. She had graduated college, and assumed a literary career stretched out before her. The air was fragrant with the sweetness of plumeria. It was the last night of their trip and although she loved him she had rejected his proposal. It seemed like there was so much time for better men, wonderful things in store for her.

There are nights that mark the end of things but you don’t know it yet. There are nights when nothing happens, and nights in which you alone are awake, and a telephone rings.

Theresa left her coat and purse and walked outside. She appreciated the fresh air. It was cold. Through the fog, she could just make out the lines of the cables suspending the Golden Gate Bridge. A lone figure sat against a fence across the street, wrapped in a blanket. Up ahead a stray dog sniffed around a trashcan. It left one and went to another. It sniffed the air and held its nose up to the sky. It trotted down the street, seeming to have a purpose, to be going somewhere. She followed it, into the night city.

dingbatsmaller

Sharon Yablon is an award winning playwright who has been writing, sound designing, and directing her plays in Los Angeles for about twenty years. She is the founder of Sharon’s Farm, which has presented site-specific plays in old hotels, pools, parks, houses, garages, and other spaces. She is a co-editor of a 2014 anthology of underground theater in LA in which three of her plays are published. Other publishing credits this year include her play Around and Around in The Wax Paper, and her first short story from a collection set in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the journal Tayo. She is very excited to have her second story from this collection published in the James Franco Review. Her work can next be seen onstage in May in the Echo Playwright Lab Readings (Hello Stranger) and Fresh Produce’d (Hello Stranger), at Library Girl in June (Your Husband’s Friend), and in the Padua Playwrights One Act Festival in the Fall (Highway of Tears).Selected by Eric Boyd.

Image ©Robb North via Creative Commons

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