Weanie Tender, PO

By Jennifer Christman

Like the dry, hot winds of Santa Ana itself, the sound came in waves. Pop-pop- pop-pop-pop. Weanie Tender didn’t know from where. Weanie Tender didn’t know from what. Staccato bursts of varying lengths and speed, then brief re- spites. Now, however, is a different story. There’s a constant vibrato. Take any moment—take this moment—Weanie can hear it, by God. Pop-pop-pop-pop- pop. He can feel it. He need only focus his mind to detect what’s on the order of a cosmic palpitation. Pop-pop-pop-pop-pop. Weanie is a low-level PO. He wants to be a detective someday.

“Force’s under attack,” says his partner, Dom, wolfing Chick-n-Minis from his own private 20-tray, steaming up the cruiser. Bag-of-bones Weanie is crum- pled in the passenger seat.

“You hear it now?” says Weanie, drawing in a sharp, short breath.

He and Dom are on break outside the Chick-fil-A on Bristol. Weanie can’t sit still lately. He jiggles his legs and wrings his hands, listening, deeply, to what he’s now thinking must be an engine running—that’s it, an engine running rough, like an outboard motor, and snappy, pop-pop-pop-pop-pop. But that would require a boat, and water. And the city, the entire county, is landlocked. And the seismic index is low. Weanie checks daily.

Dom washes down the last mini with an epic draw on his Diet Coke and looks at Weanie while stifling belches. “You know?”

“You don’t hear it?” Weanie says. His taut face tilts upward, he unfurls his bony pointer from a clenched fist to emphasize up, or out there. “That,” he says, and turns his face forward again, herky-jerky. He is 6’4″ but looks 5’4″in fetal crouch.

Dom says, “The anti-cop sentiment. The uptick in ambushes. And how about Dallas, remember Dallas? Five souls in blue. Cold blood.” He burps. “Gotta pee.”

Dom gets out and crosses the street to Taco Bell, where he likes to make mischief because the manager there stopped giving police discounts. A polite sign explains that the new policy will last “until such time as we reflect on   the fear and distrust we have of our fellow humans and get our heads right.” Weanie was impressed by the careful penmanship. The words rang true, too, but he would never tell that to Dom, who thinks Weanie is starting to lose    his grip. But Weanie started losing his grip at his swearing in—same day as San Bernardino. Or he never had a grip. Whatever, this pop-pop business is sending him over the edge. He wants to transfer to Ventura or up the coast from there, Monterey maybe. Where he’ll be zenned out by mountains and  the ocean. Ocean = white noise. Mountains ≠ pop-pop-pop-pop-pop. Ocean + Mountains = shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

The sound is louder and it’s everywhere. He hears it all the time. Pondering urinals. Retching in the janitor’s sink at HQ. Kneading his intestines on the john. Scanning aisles at Von’s for cut-rate briefs—he goes through several a day. And today, right here on patrol. He looks up through the windshield. No heli- copters. The city is calm. No storms on the horizon. It’s 75 degrees and sunny. To counteract the infernal pop-pop, Weanie whistles a happy tune—liter- ally, that song from The King and I. The one Anna sings to little fraidy-cat whatsisname on the boat to Siam. Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect, And whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect I’m afraid. Weanie’s a terrible whistler. His lips are razor thin and he needs to suck in air to make music. He gets tight-jawed and breathless. He steps out of the car to stretch his beanstalks, which crack and wobble, stiff as boards. He couldn’t run down a lame Crip if

his life depended on it.

Dom bumbles back to the car, sucking down a packet of Diablo sauce—always takes free stuff—eyes beet-colored and watering. He does this to test his mascu- linity or something. “Friggin’ ISIS, that guy, I’m telling you, Tender. His name’s Israel. I pissed in the sink. Wish I dropped a deuce.” His gut is a flour sack.

Weanie is a stick figure, a human tuning fork, whose mind snaps back to the essential thing: “You don’t hear that? Like throbbing and pounding.”

Dom’s eyes narrow. “Throbbing and pounding, Tender?”

“Like an engine riding rough,” Weanie says.

Dom shakes his head. “You know what I think? I think you’re going soft, Tender. I think you’re losing your mind right in front of me and I don’t want to bear witness to that awful end. Now plant your ass.” Dom gets in and starts the engine.

Weanie recoils into his seat, chin tucked, back curled, shoulders hunched forward. He burrows his elbows into his side, hands locate his crotch—habit, comfort—then he reaches for his bag of Muscle Milk, unscrews the cap and sips. It’s warm and sweet and leaves chalky deposits at the crevices of his lips.

Avoiding solid food—chronic runs—but he needs to bulk up big. To get pro- moted. To get transferred. The car peels out.

Dom asks, “What’s that crap?”

He will head to rough territory so he can look menacing. But Weanie’s trying not to think about that now. And anyway he’s back to listening. Hears it plainly. It’s more a string of aspirated p sounds, puh-puh-puh-puh-puh, rapid-fire.

Dom again: “That crap Kaopectate?”

How long has it been? Months. For months now, Weanie’s heard this sound, tried to identify it. Sometimes he envisions Harleys tearing down the 405 near Costa Mesa—renegade geezers, guys who could rip Weanie’s liver out with their teeth. Other times he wonders if it’s in his head—echoes from nights glued to Manhunt, GTA San Andreas, Call of Duty. He cut out those games. He just wants to know what the pop-pop-pop-pop-pop is, why it is. This morning he thought it might be his bedroom fan, the grill gummed up with dust and hairs that blow straight like party horns or roadside inflatables.

Last night he dreamed he was an inflatable, a tube guy, one of a pair—air dancers they’re called—hawking cheap tires and oil changes at Vroom over on McFadden. Weanie was royal blue. His wild, wavy female counterpart was bright red. She had thick red lips outlined in black, and long bold lashes. Maybe they were supposed to be a married couple, not clear, but in this dream Weanie wasn’t hired to do a job. He wasn’t a struggling SoCal actor in tube man garb. He was of the species homo tubulus, an entirely different being. He sported a mustache and might have been Chicano. His cheesy roadside avatar felt free and contained at the same time. Air coursing through him gave him vitality and expansiveness; the taut, tough exterior provided comfort and confinement.

Side by side, Weanie and his tube girl jiggled and thrashed—from time to time, their extra-long arms grazed each other—while air spewed from their tops, causing their goofy plastic hair to fly in all directions. The girl seemed to be eyeing Weanie as she convulsed and wiggled—shimmying in his direc- tion. Weanie shimmied back. He made eyes. Then the wind came hard and fast and knocked them sideways. Weanie was sufficiently horizontal to rub up against her. Squeaking and whistling was coming from inside her—the force of air severely hampered by the bend in her lower half—and he felt her smooth nylon against his, the friction between them growing, balloon animals rubbing together, static heaven. There they were in this dream, elongated simple souls—protozoans, pulsating away,  going nowhere, living their truth.  Weanie  was aroused like he’d never been before and was rubbing up against tube girl while her hair flitted and whipped his face. Her body shuddered and her back arched—in response to his touch, Weanie was sure—so he grabbed her neck and held tight. That made her face and hair collapse and he had nothing to smooch but his own plastic forearms, but no matter because she was making a new sound, guttural, from deep within—and her moan was louder and then deafening and he realized—this was all still in the dream—that she was erupting, she was about to explode from the innermost hollow of her being. He woke in his dingy two-bit studio in Tustin to the fffffffffrrrrrrrrrr of the sputtering fan.

If he could just get to Malibu or Carmel or somewhere in between, Pismo Beach. A vanilla desk job with white noise. Hell, he’d take California Highway Patrol at this point. That’s some white noise there. Forget the ocean. Weanie covers his ears with his sweaty paws. Maybe it’s his very own eardrum on over- ride. Maybe he should listen to its beat and march the hell out of Santa Ana.

Dom turns onto Highland, Lopers turf, his latest playground. “Let’s fuck with some bangers.” Weanie’s not up for this today—pop-pop-pop-pop-pop kept him up half the night. Dom smiles his jumbo fries smile. “Look what have we here.” They’re halfway to the dead-end and already see seven or eight GMs. A few disperse but five coalesce and move from the middle of the street to the curb.

“Cucarachas.” Dom drives slowly. Their car passes four males who hold their right hands high in L-shapes. Standing between her compadres, a female gives Dom and Weanie the finger while silently mouthing po-po in slo- mo. There’s symmetry and, dare Weanie think, elegance to this formation. He’s breathing shallow but looking straight ahead. Looking strong, Weans, looking solid, just driving, just doing your job.

Dom presses the brake, stares down the gangbangers and mutters, “Friggin’ Lopers. Sí, sí. Caliente. Arriba!” He opens Weanie’s window and leans over, crushing Weanie and yelling out the window. “Buenos días, Dopers! Arróz y pollo! Y drogas! Dónde está el heroin, assholays? Hashtag this, assholays: you suck.” He falls back into his seat, not without leaving an impression in Weanie’s sternum with his elbow. “Like that one, Tender? That was a good one.”

Idling, Dom looks at the bangers. Weanie sees their wonderful tableau dis- aggregated. Sweat drips from his forehead making him blink like a newborn. He is too nervous to make eye contact but senses the GMs are riveted on him.

They’re just a few feet from his open window and Dom is conveniently out of view in the driver’s seat. Weanie glances furtively to the right and notices aggressive stances: bulging chests and necks, crossed arms, hands on hips, taut obliques. He can practically smell the testosterone. There’s flowery per- fume, too. The girl Loper. He notes intricate tattoos on her well-defined biceps.

“Oye, Loperos,” Dom says. The group takes a step closer to the vehicle. The smallest of the group steps forward. Weanie feels the heat of the kid’s torso. Every fiber of every soft tissue in Weanie’s body is contracted. He’s looking purposefully at the glove compartment. Dom shapes his right hand into a gun and points it at the kid’s abdomen. Pow-Pow-Pow-Pow-Pow. The kid turns to the side and looks back at the group. Dom takes aim straight at the girl. “Bang- bang, puta!”

If Weanie had arm hair it’d be sticking straight up. And his mouth is dry as the Mojave. He grabs his milk bag and unscrews the cap, tipping the liquid to his lips—nonchalant, todo normal. He swills the tepid drink and swallows. Bad idea, Banana Crème. Should have gone with Chocolate, his mainstay. Rumbling guts ensue.

“Dom, I need a bathroom,” he says.

“You need to take a leak?” Dom says. “We’re in a standoff with GMs.” “Not a leak, Dom.”

“You’re telling me you need to take a dump?” “Can’t hold it,” Weanie says.

The Lopers have congregated near the window of the squad car. “No bathroom break. This is a 4-1-5 with a probable 4-1-7.”

“Pendejo,” says the tallest of the group. “Your friend wants to go to the bathroom. He can come to my house!” The others laugh.

“Bruto,” says another. “You don’t let your little man make a wee-wee?”

Laughter.

Make a wee-wee. That takes Weanie back. In his youth, he would ask dear Ma—his grandmum—to accompany him to the bathroom. Ever doting and agreeable, Ma would come along to offer encouragement: “Weanie make a wee-wee.” Weanie would oblige and add this sound effect: pshhhhhhhhhhhhh. But this is no time to reminisce. Peristalsis has begun.

“Dom, I gotta go.” Weanie opens his door.

“What the—Tender?”

Weanie hustles past the group, toward the dead-end. The girl looks at him but he must concentrate. Squeeze the cheeks, block the trickle. He has no extra cheapies today. Once past the crew, he scampers like a rangy dog, holding his pants up by the utility belt.

Dom is out of the car, stage-whispering as Weanie moves down the street:

“Tender, don’t walk away. Tender, this is textbook unknown risk.”

The male Lopers stare and fall down laughing.

Dom yells: “What the hell, Tender!”

Near the dead end, Weanie cuts to the right, finding an alley between a squat brick apartment building and a tiny single-story house. If there were time to notice, he would think it awfully cute, a dollhouse for real people. The alley is empty but for garbage bins and a feral cat, which arches its back and hisses.

Weanie looks around for a place to crouch. Stroke of luck in the form of a metal dining chair—missing its seat and a leg—in one of the bins. He undoes his util- ity belt and regular belt. The trousers fall. He balances his bony hind section on the cold seat frame. The structure is wobbly but with his long legs he can keep the thing stable. It feels good to discharge even though his hands are clammy and his breath is god-awful—chin buried in chest at the moment—and the smell bouncing from the concrete to his nostrils is evil. More amber liquid. Hasn’t seen solid in weeks.

“You can use my tía’s bathroom.” The Loper girl has followed him. “Right here.” She points to a side door of the building.

Does the girl feel some affinity? Weanie could use some affinity. He hoists his pants and follows her inside to a small kitchen, redolent with adobo and grease—saffron, too, a smell he generally finds pungent, even suffocating, but in this moment does not.

“That way,” she gestures. Weanie shuffles down a hallway. He wants to say something but can’t open his mouth. Parched shut or something. Dried glue or something. So tired all of a sudden. Every ounce of moisture has been expelled from his corpus.

Surely the windowless room is meant for a toddler because Weanie’s a giant next to the toilet and sink, his forehead competing for space with the ceiling fixture.

Outside the door the girl is saying. “Tía Lola! Hay un po-po aquí.”  Another voice answers. Inaudible. From elsewhere in the house. Another fe-male. Presumably the afore-referenced tía.

The girl continues. “Sí, poli, Tía. Tiene chorros. Está en el baño.”

Weanie needs to clean himself but there’s no room to maneuver. He lets his pants fall to the floor and sits on the pot to yank them off. They get entangled with his shoes. His right knee smacks his cheekbone.

The tía is saying, “Poli? Ya vengo.”

Weanie hears footsteps. They come closer. They come near the bathroom.

They stop. He hears fingernails on the door, tick-tick-tick-tick-tick.

“Se puede ayudar?” Tía Lola’s voice is deep, mellow. Former smoker sin duda.

“She’s saying ‘do you need help?’” the girl translates.

Weanie wants to say no, thank you, ma’am, but still can’t vocalize. He can’t even swallow.

There’s whispering between the women. Then a lengthy silence.

“Se desmayó?” The girl is wondering if Weanie has fainted.

“Inconsciente?” her tía gasps.

Her voice is soothing to Weanie. He tries to speak again but only squeaks.

More whispering. More silence.

Then—his heart almost stops—the door opens—more than a little mortifying for the Wean-man, large as Lincoln scrunched on the tiny toilet, naked from the waist down. Tía Lola peers in. They are eye to eye. She is petite and younger than he would have imagined—fifty, sixty tops, with flawless olive skin, large brown eyes, long lashes. Like his tube woman. And she’s wearing red—a wrap dress. Her sandals show her dainty toes and slender calves. She has a barrel-like upper body. And she’s buxom. Mighty buxom.

Her sturdy shape and proportions call to mind rock markers—cement cylin- ders with orange warning symbols—perched on spindly poles, bobbing in the waters of Lake Arrowhead, where Weanie attended scout camp. During paddle- outs, he worried that the stern Cubmaster would lead him and the other lads toward the boulders and envisioned their red canoes splintering on impact, each pair of stoic oarsmen descending into the murk. But Tía Lola doesn’t conjure prepubescent disaster fantasies. No. There is something comforting about her.

Yes. Something known in the midst of so much that is not. Something reliable. Something steady. Something a person can hold—

But hold on. For Lola, too, could be there’s something about Weanie. Something she sees. He’s in a weakened state, defenseless, actually, a desiccated twig ready to snap. Yet she seems to want to help him.

To the girl, Lola says, “Merced, tráeme esa toalla,” while motioning to Weanie with her delicate hands to remain, stay seated. Not that he could or would get up under the circumstances. She takes a few steps back from the door, leaving it ajar and Weanie exposed. She directs the girl: “Ésa—al lado del sofá.”

Merced—evidently the girl Loper’s name—brings her aunt a towel. She turns away and holds her nose.

Tía Lola snatches it and squeezes herself into the bathroom, where she runs warm water in the sink. “Y tráeme la bata de Ernesto en mi closet. Muévete. Ahora mismo!” Seems Lola runs a tight ship. She motions for Weanie to stand—he does, shakily.

The top of her head only reaches his nipples but she is strong. She grabs his hips and turns him so that his bottom is toward the sink. She delivers swift karate chops behind his knees so they unlock, causing him to hinge over the edge to soak in the water. Fearful, he turns to look at her. But she is like a grandma. Like a nana. Like Ma. She pats him with the towel. They emerge from the bathroom and she marches him to the living room couch, where she swaddles him in a plush velour robe that is voluminous around his waist but quite short, barely reaches his mid-thigh.

Later he will learn that the robe belonged to Lola’s deceased husband Ernesto.

That she met him when she was seventeen and impressionable and Ernesto was forty. That in spite of his short stature and nonexistent neck he was charismatic, a leader in their town. That his moniker was jefe chiquitito—itty bitty boss man—and that she fell in love. And that when they migrated north, she bought his clothes in the Husky Boys department at JCPenney. That they never had chil- dren. “Quién sabe el amor?” Lola will say to Weanie. He will shrug because he does not understand much Spanish.

But just now two lackluster pops ring out. Dom’s Glock. He likes to fire warning shots even though they are against the rules. Risk to bystanders and so on. Dom does it to assert authority most likely. Or make some kind of statement.

Weanie’s eyes are shut tight and muscles twitch throughout his arms and legs and in the small of his back. These are benign fasciculations and nothing to worry about from a medical standpoint. A car trunk opens and closes. The megaphone will be next, sure as the day is long.

It is, and he screams into the thing—always overkill with Dom—his voice pierces and reverberates all along Highland: “Police Officer Weanie Tender! Weanie Tender, PO! This is your partner. Check in with me. I need to know you’re okay.”

Nada from Weanie.

“Weanie Tender, PO? If you are okay, this is not by the book.” Silencio.

“Do you copy, Partner?”

Somewhere a Loper answers, “He met someone else.” Cheeky.

“Tender, you really hiding? That would be against protocol.” After a minute, Dom’s horn emits a last gasp of feedback and shuts off.

Lola closes the window shade. Standing over Weanie, she places her thumb and ring finger above his eyes, encouraging him to close them, too. But he seizes up again when he hears knocking at the metal door in the back, the one leading to the alley. Dom again.

“Weanie Tender, are you in this building? Answer me. You slip into a daze?”

Yes, a daze, in effect.

“Fine, Tender, if you want it this way.”

Weanie hears Dom start the cruiser and drive away.

Lola brings a glass of sweet tea and a bowl of buttery yellow rice with a spoon. Sweet. Salt. Satisfying.

Weanie finally speaks. “I wanted to be a detective.”

Lola’s eyes light up. She turns on her go-to cable channel: Seventies gumshoes all day and night. Mannix is on. Weanie enjoys the program. Seamy, seedy noir L.A. Weanie admires Joe Mannix’s soft-heart tough-guy persona. He notices that Lola looks like Peggy, Mannix’s helper, and tells her so. Lola is pleased.

Weanie can tell because she lowers her lids like she is having a sweet daydream. After sundown, sirens race to Highland in a last-ditch effort to draw out Weanie, now believed to have abandoned his post. Impressive show of force—squad cars, Special Ops, SWAT—in front of Lola’s building. A fan of law enforcement, she keeps a police scanner crackling quietly in her bedroom and has already taken the precaution of hiding Weanie, lest anyone try to remove him forcibly from her home. A lot of that happening lately.

“Come with me,” she had said, leading him first to her room, where she removed the robe and gave him a sheet to cover himself. Weanie asked no ques- tions. Lola took him outside through the alley and into the cottage—which she owns by dint of an inheritance. Once inside, she brought him to the basement and then to a dirt crawlspace, the access to Ernesto’s hideout.

“In there,” she said, putting the sheet over Weanie like a hooded cloak, taking his hand, making him clutch the shroud under his chin and get on all fours.

He was extremely grateful but could not think of what to say. “I like your house” was what came out.

Lola nodded and shoved him through the opening. As he crawled into the dark recess, she explained that she also liked the house but abandoned it after learning Ernesto entertained mistresses there.

Weanie tried vainly to say something to Lola in Spanish. “Where es Ernesto?”

“He died in the slammer,” she said. “Keep going,” she instructed. “To the hole. Get in.”

Weanie found it and wriggled and wiggled and inchwormed his body deep inside.

Now in the earthen cocoon, he pretends to be Saddam Hussein in the days and hours before Operation Red Dawn—Weanie was thirteen when that played on TV, a rumpled, blinky-eyed graybeard emerging from a hole in the ground.

Wearing dirty duds. Weanie is calm, though, strangely so, even as he hears footsteps overhead. His bones are cradled in the soil, the smell of which he has always loved—so much so that he let the boys in his neighborhood bury him frequently. In the corner of the playground, in Ma’s garden—he especially liked being packed in peat moss—and at the beach, too. He is calm even as he hears guys from the department. Even as he hears Dom say, “Tender was never gonna make it. Too soft. Guy’s a vagina.” Dom’s voice, every voice, blissfully muffled.

During the hullaballoo, Central calls for a full-scale violence suppression.

Code Purple on the other side of town. The officers mobilize, the rat-tat-tat-tat- tat of weaponfire issues forth from their radios. Images of AR-15s and AK-47s float through Weanie’s head. A hailstorm of bullets, unending streams from bottomless clips, clips with wellsprings of ammo that reach down, beneath his shallow bed, beyond bedrock, down to the fireball core of the planet. That’s where Dom and the boys are heading, and the sounds of destruction fade as they depart the alley and Highland.

Weanie hasn’t heard pop-pop-pop-pop-pop since he was shizzing on Lola’s busted chair in the alley. He strains to hear it now. Maybe the narrow space has stifled that sound, too. The temporary burial has been a gift, an escape from what’s been plaguing him—plaguing the city, county, country. Here his guts  are relaxed. His eyes do not twitch. His hands do not sweat. And his heart— Weanie’s own ticker—no longer sounds like the Kentucky Derby.

His mind goes to Ma. She enjoyed the races and routinely brought him along with her to the OTB. Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub, she would say as they listened to pounding hooves, her hand on his chest. Ma taught Weanie everything he knows about his body. Almost everything.

Lola comes to fetch him. Brings him to her bathroom. She hoses him down in the shower with the handheld sprayer. She uses a stepstool for his head, neck and shoulders. Soil cascades down his body and into the drain. She soaps him with a washcloth but lets him do his private area. She averts her gaze. Like Mannix’s Peggy, Lola is very professional. She gives him pajamas to wear. They belonged to Moíses, a nephew,  also deceased. He was stout, so the bottoms  fit like clam diggers but Weanie doesn’t care because they’re silky and tickle  his thighs. Lola points to her high spongy, queen bed. He lies down, pressing the back of his head into the pillows. She brings more rice. Binding. And tea. Quieting.

Later, Lola climbs in with Officer Tender. She places rosary beads between their pillows and they lie like mother and child, in cushy splendor. Weanie sleeps thickly for a full twelve and has no recollection of dreams when he wakes to birdies chirping. And huevos rancheros con chorizo—not too spicy, por su estómago, Lola says to Weanie. For your stomach. Y crepas de maíz. Fat corn cakes with cinnamon and syrup. More tea.

Days pass thusly.

Nights they watch Lola’s shows, eating their dinner on TV tables. Weanie becomes a fan of CHiPs. His favorite episode is one where Jon executes a dar- ing rescue to save the lives of schoolchildren on a runaway bus. All the while, Weanie marvels at Lola’s take-charge nature. In Weanie, it is possible Lola sees a man she can influence. There’s no changing her brothers, cousins, Merced— they’re all Lopers. And there was no swaying her husband, ese maldito chocho puta madre Ernesto. Weanie, on the other hand—she can feed him and fatten him and very possibly engender in him something she’s never seen in a man. Until now. It’s more than the desire to be cared for and it’s more than loyalty. It’s a willingness to be guided. Yes, Weanie wants to be guided.

He will paint and repair the tiny house, keeping the hole in the crawlspace just in case. With its living room, bay window, double vanity bathroom and quaint porch—on the non-alley side, perfect for a café table and folding chairs—the house is a cheerful abode. Eventually he and Lola will abandon the apartment altogether. In time, he will write a short note to the SAPD—“I, Weanie Tender, hereby tender my resignation.”

But before that happens—each morning from this day forward, in fact—he will sit at the metal and formica table in Lola’s kitchen. He will thank her for her many kindnesses. She will pet his head and say lo que siembra es lo que cosecha, which, he assumes, is some homily or other. It is. It means you reap what you sow. Following this exchange, Lola will embrace Weanie. He will lean into her breasts and nuzzle his face between them as deep as he can and feel her heart beating. He will no longer wish to move north. He will cease to hanker for ocean + mountains. He will stop thinking about white noise. Because Weanie will hear, at last, the blessed sound he’s been waiting for. It goes like shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


Jennifer Christman is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Warren Wilson College. Her short fiction can also be found in Willow Springs Magazine. She lives in New York City.

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