Remittance Girl

Things Better Left Unsaid

He has that look, you know, that perfect everything-in-the-right place look: the suit, the steel-rimmed glasses, the conservative tie, the neatly trimmed moustache, the gray, receding hairline and the slight paunch. Sitting next to him at the dentist's office, unable...

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The Baptism

1870, Annam, French Indochina The church of Dak Rede was a small wattle-and-plaster affair, perched inconveniently on the crest of a hill, just beyond the reach of the humid clutches of the jungle. Its placement, however, afforded the cool morning and evening breezes...

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The Changeling

One day, quite suddenly, you realize you are changing. For me, it began in the middle of a cappuccino, sitting at my regular cafe, in the morning, just before the day became too hot. I sat silently, peaceably at the same table as a stranger. He was staring out over...

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The Other Side

Before Lucrezia Borgia died, she made sure to have a priest at the ready. It was her eighth child and she was pretty sure she wasn't going to make it through this one. Having committed more sins than she could remember, including murder, incest and, well—too many to...

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Although it was thrilling to be a stranger in a strange land, there was a hollow disassociative feeling that accompanied it and grew as time went by. As much as I have loved Saigon, my first year there was not wholly a positive experience. I was horribly...

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River Mother

Her village was a poor one — poor and useless — like her. Her grandmother had told her that, once long ago, it had been prosperous. Then the war came and with it the soldiers, the planes, the powder that fell from the sky and the sickness that followed. Grandmother...

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Pleasures Apprentice

Above the venerable silver shop in the Burlington Arcade, he taught her the uses of pleasure. Not the nervous-handed, spring-loaded fumblings of teenaged lust, or the ego-abraded outcomes of young love. Mr. Pierce offered Rebecca schooling in something quite...

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I Waited for You by the River of Time

I waited for you by the river of time but you didn't come. Is it impolite to fuck someone because I'm sad and tired of being sad? I don't know. Perhaps it is. But the rain has started and it's a long way back to my hotel. His is closer and more expensive. He's middle...

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Fixed in Amber

Malaga, June 21, 1990 The marine bows with stiff formality and releases his armful of red carnations onto the cafe's stainless steel table. They blanket it, cascading over onto the pavement beneath. "Flores bonitas para una mujer bonita," he says in broken Spanish....

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The Central Registry

Due to the previous night's overindulgence I couldn't make a proper fist. That was why I was lowering my face over the coffee mug that sat steaming on the kitchen table, carefully attempting to make lip contact with the ceramic rim. Then the doorbell rang....

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