Boyfriends: PAUL


PAUL WAS A SYSTEMS analyst who sat next to me at work. He was a heavy boy and smoked cheap cigarillos in the janitor’s closet on his breaks. His hair was a downy blonde and curled up his neck like little angel wings. After lunch, he’d run his chubby knuckles through his goatee and stare at me as I calculated risk losses and annuitization options.

Our first date was in the back of his orange El Camino. We drove to the power lines and lay flat listening to the hum of electricity. I pictured the police finding us in the morning, our bodies limp and soles blackened. Paul put his large head on a garbage bag filled with old pine needles and Christmas ornaments and unhooked my bra while he did whippits with a Dairy Maid cream can.

Breaking point: His love for Arlo Guthrie and sweaty ballet toe shoes.

STORIES: Shelagh Power Chopra’s work appears in FRIGG, failbetter, The Good Men Project, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere. She runs the website, a fictitious account of a relationship gone wrong. She lives on Cape Cod and is working on a novel. DRAWINGS: Kara Jansson's iPhone & iPad drawings have been published in online publications including The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, WNYC, The Outlet and Used Furniture Review. Her work was recently included in the exhibition "Stylectrical" at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg. She is a founding board member of the International Association of Mobile Digital Artists and Co-Director of the art collective, Coalfather Industries. More from this author →