BOYFRIENDS: Fern Brothers

I peeled potatoes and sold quaaludes to the kids with safety pins in their necks…


The Fern brothers worked in the diner with me on Columbia Pike. On weekdays, it was filled with working types, babyfaced businessmen looking for quick bites. On Saturday nights the punks rolled in and Reg came in to sweep the floors while his brother worked the line in the kitchen. I peeled potatoes and sold quaaludes to the kids with safety pins in their necks. Near midnight Reg would wander out back and we’d go into the walk-in, eat bowls of custard, joke around and he’d try and nibble my ear as Bern banged on the door. Bern was slippery, a snake in the mud I couldn’t catch and every time we worked the grill together I felt sick with want. I figured my time with Reg would run its course, and it did, he left for Tallahassee and stayed put for the winter. After that Bern ignored me until one evening he cornered me near a pot of steaming king crab legs and whispered: Closing time.

Breaking Point: His pores the size of Minnesota from all the grease and steam.



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 →