Diaspora of the Fantastic made TimeOut New York! Except I’m “others”. Alas.
Anyway, I’m going to be reading from “Non-Zero Probabilities”, a new (unpublished) short story that I just finished revising at 3 a.m. this morning when, in a fit of angst, I decided I could not could not COULD NOT read the piece I’d initially decided to read because I would’ve only been able to do a portion of it and I can’t tell you how annoying I find it when I go to a reading and I actually like the work being read and it isn’t finished and there’s no way to buy it for months and months. (This would’ve been either an excerpt of 100K, or of “Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints…” which isn’t being published until summer 2010 in a UK magazine. Not really something the crowd at Bluestockings would want to hear, I’m thinking.) I don’t find those “teasing”, I find them irritating. Anyway, my personal neuroses aside, here’s an excerpt of the story, which is set in modern-day Brooklyn, where for some reason “luck” has become real and the laws of probability have gone haywire.
In the mornings, Adele girds herself for the trip to work as a warrior for battle. First she prays, both to the Christian god of her Irish ancestors and to the orishas of her African ancestors — the latter she is less familiar with, but getting to know. Then she takes a bath with herbs, including dried chickory and allspice, from a mixture given to her by the woman at the local botanica. (She doesn’t know Spanish well, but she’s getting to know that too. Today’s word is suerte.) Then, smelling vaguely of coffee and pumpkin pie, she layers on armor: the Saint Christopher medal her mother sent her, for protection on journeys. The hair-clasp she was wearing when she broke up with Larry, which she regards as the best decision of her life. On especially dangerous days, she wears the panties in which she experienced her first self-induced orgasm post-Larry. They’re a bit ragged after too many commercial laundromat washings, but still more or less sound. (She washes them by hand now, with Woollite, and lays them flat to dry.)
So if you’re in NYC, come out and see us!