Three Fictions
Colin Bassett


They sat in a cafe looking at tables and at cars passing in the street and then at cups of coffee. Later they walked outside together until it was night. At her apartment they stood in the kitchen while she peeled an avocado. They drank shots of vodka. She watched him look at her cat. He watched her rinse the dishes. In the hall she put his hands on her hips and they were close in a way that made it difficult for him to see her mouth and for her to see his eyes. Later he watched the texture of her skin as it changed with the motion of her body. In the morning they brewed tea she had ordered from Sweden.


Another hour they were at jobs and taking too many breaks and looking at their faces in bathroom mirrors. Another hour they were seeing each other and eating and not knowing the right things to say. Another hour they were standing next to each other at intersections, moving across streets to reach her apartment. They moved in a way that was an attempt at feeling natural but was not.


At her grandparents' house she became suddenly alone when everyone left for church. She ate toast and threw away the containers of old food in the refrigerator. She removed a blanket and stack of winter clothing from the exercise bike in the basement, then took her pants off and exercised in panties and a hooded sweatshirt for fifty minutes before lying on her back on the filthy basement carpet and staring at the hole in the ceiling where some animal had been letting itself in.