THE JUMP OFF: The Sam Lipsyte Players


THAT WAS ME HATING YOU, snowden wright

“Never let them see you sweat, countless bastards tell us, just to see us sweat.”

Drinking straws from McDonald’s have the best diameter. Trouble is having to go in a place full of people too similar to myself. My sister tells me it’s some kind of complex. I say I’m too simple for that.

Last week at Applebee’s, she and I went halvsies on a double date, taking turns mocking hers and mine. Chin Curtain did not get the joke, but Side Bangs caught on early. We’d met them in the Eckerd’s parking lot yesterday. Per our ritual.  I excused myself to the Little Girl’s Room right when the Nacho-Average-Nachos hit the table.

“You do enough of that stuff,” my sister yelled at me, “you put a hole in your nose.”

You can put a hole in your nose crossing the street. That’s my philosophy. I found an empty stall, wrangled through my pockets, and came alive again. The funk of smelling a key, the tang of tasting a key: Clarity has the aroma and flavor of doorknobs.

At the table I discovered my sister’s lips making music with Chin Curtain’s, Foley artists working on a scene with slippery fish. I asked the fuck’s going on.

She said, “Don’t be funny.”

“Is milk coming out your nose?” I said.

Never let them see you sweat, countless bastards tell us, just to see us sweat.  I was already forming pit stains as I watched my sister tongue this countful bastard.

Soon enough she left for the bathroom.  I grabbed her when she came out, a McDonald’s straw falling from her hand, scissored to quarter length.  She wasn’t above fast food.

My finger sank up to the hilt.  At first moan, gasping, I walked away from my sister, wiping her off on my jeans.

“What was that!” she said.  “What was that!”

“That was me hating you.”


Rozalia Jovanovic is a founding editor of Gigantic, a magazine of short prose and art. She is the Deputy Editor of Flavorpill and has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Columbia University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Unsaid, The Believer, Everyday Genius, Guernica, elimae, and She blogs at The Astonishing Egg and is The Rumpus New York Editor. More from this author →