Posted by Tobias Carroll

For the last month of 2011, we’ll be looking back at the year in Sunday Stories: providing excerpts from, and links to, some of the stories and essays featured on Vol.1 this year. This week: flawed interactions, unnoticed flirtations, vanished loves, and more. If you’d like to view the complete list or submit a story or essay for consideration, please do so.

“This one audition that I went on, right before things spun out of control, I left school at about noon and caught a train to the city.  I got off the train in Manhattan and walked toward the address my agent had left on my voicemail until I was in front of a an office building in the thirties on Park Ave.  I walked inside and looked for the casting company’s name on the building directory.  Inside the elevator I pressed four, concentrating the whole ride on my breathing, and making sure I had a pleasant song stuck in my head.”
Jon Reiss, “Chocolate Milk”
(February 20, 2011)

“My dead wife’s voice resounds from Terminal B of Logan International Airport in all of its lively candor, from Terminal A, Terminal C, and Terminal E.  I wonder if it’s syncopated, the voice activation – whether the doo-hickey, or program, or whatever they use to trigger the voice – is hooked up to a certain schedule, or if they let it reign with a certain sense of chaos.”
J.E. Reich, “I Will Be There But I Will Not” (August 7, 2011)

“That night they met, Tim and Janie talked about Hesse while Brendan smoked and now, in a back room somewhere, Tim sinks into a easy chair while Janie slumps to the ground, back against the wall. He studies her, deciding that she is different from the other girls he’s known – she smokes Benson and Hedges 100s, speaks fluent German, wears riding boots and sport coats when it isn’t hot out, and wears short shorts and tube tops when it is – but he doesn’t know how to think of her, how dangerous she might be. He has no idea how long the memory of her might last.”
Bryant Musgrove, “Everyone You Know Is Gone” (July 31, 2011)

“All day, you feel resentful of your husband for being reproachless. If he’d done something wrong in the past, if he’d treated you poorly, if he was anything but good natured and supportive of your dreams and your career, you could re-structure the future: transmit an innuendo, tell Ian you were game. But you’re not that kind of woman, and there are other, single writers on the hill. The pinnacle of your flirtation has already been reached.”
Courtney Maum, “Implementation” (September 25, 2o11)

“Next day I felt like there were ants in my brain but I didn’t call Max. Maybe I’d never gone out with anybody because I was saving up, because this would be perfect. Maybe because I’d only ever thought about guys. But I didn’t know how dates worked, I didn’t know how to kiss anyone who wasn’t family. I stopped at the grocery store, brought a box of strawberry coconut ice cream bars for her.”
Mairead Case, “Summertime” (February 6, 2011)

“She knew which building was his because he had told her it was next to a place he would get coffee sometimes. She knew that place and she would get coffee there sometimes too, but now she might get coffee there more than she usually would. So on Thursday she got coffee there and sat in the window seat. She watched every person walking by and after twenty minutes she left and got home thirty-three minutes later than she normally would. On Friday she walked down his block twice, making a 180 at the corner, flourished by a “I forgot something” gesture to no one in particular, then she went home to her apartment, washed one dish, looked in the mirror for twelve consecutive minutes, and met a friend for a drink two hours later.”
Deenah Vollmer, “Every Time”
(January 23, 2011)

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