Joe Shetina (they/he) is a fat gay writer and camp object currently based in Chicago. https://linktr.ee/jshetina
Potential Trouble Carrier
Clara was led through the open concept lobby. Populated by gold interiors and tan furniture, the whole facility looked more like an upscale dermatologist's office than a church. Or spiritual center. Laurie had asked her to call it a spiritual center.
Ian had gotten his master’s in museum studies and had worked his way through enough underpaid positions at museums around the city that he called himself a serial internist. The joke, if one could call it that, had a 34% chance of getting a laugh. Less than half of those laughs were genuine.
The board room at the West Fairbanks District 110 building was filled to capacity and then some. School Board President Randall Gardiner was sure it was the most attended school board meeting in his six years in that position. To Gardiner’s immediate left was Board Member Gerald Fallon and to his immediate right Board Member Carole Greenleaf
The Reminiscences of the Last Known Bear
Sleep did not come easy to the Hunter that first—and last—night. As he cozied up to his rifle, finger grazing the trigger guard for ease of access if he needed to shoot an intruding predator in the night, his thoughts turned casually toward suicide.
It’s kind of like this: You’re in a room full of machines. The hums and whirs of their metallic insides moving together, producing whatever they produce. There’s all these blips and bloops and clacking and cranking, all of it a movement in a symphony of human-made inhumanity, or something trite like that. And in that room, you can’t really hear yourself or the other people, but you talk anyway. And what we’re saying is so important, essential even. You know this, so you scream, and if you were the only one talking, you might be heard over the din. But you’re all shouting now. And the machines keep whirring and humming and cranking and clacking. It’s kind of like that. Then, the machines are done doing their job. Like tired hearts in a withered body, they power down, the surge of electricity running through the place begins a slow descent into silence. You expected it to be more sudden, but that’s not how it happens. The sudden part comes later. For now, you’re watching it all come to a slow, hopeless stop. No one says anything. There’s nothing left to say. It’ll be like this for a while.
Spooky Gay Aesthetic Extravaganza Playlist
Here's the thing. I did everything right. I planned this party a month in advance. I made all the orange-flavored Jello shots myself. I followed the recipe for orange-frosted THC cookies I found on Reddit. I curated the most boss-ass Autumn dance/mood/spooky/gay playlist I possibly could. I supplied the special Jack-(Daniels)-o-Lantern themed cocktails. I opened my isolated, three-story home with multiple windows and other points of entry to my nearest and dearest friends.
1. Frankenstein, noun: a soulless, monstrous creation. 2. A house has lungs. They start out white as porcelain—but stain easy. They yellow with age and nicotine, become thick with dead air. I’ve seen a house become sick. Walls thinning, bones creaking, body decaying. No soul between the floorboards and the insults. You can leave, but dead air clings. It takes more than a spin cycle to wash it away.
I Don't Know How You Do It
I said to my husband: I’m going to tell you how I got disinvited from my brunch group. We get together every Sunday and that has been the tradition for nearly four years. At this point, though, I really can’t remember how it started or how I even met all these women.
The Cattle Gas Strike of 2034
Angus the Bull entered the fifth week of his gas strike feeling hopeful if a little uncomfortable. The discomfort was worth it. There was a great purpose rolling over their pasture and it had taken the place of their plaguing, polluting farts.