This is a collection of fiction published by the Saranac Review.
All summer and into the fall, my father tried to sell his bottles of edible algae at the farmer's market like some kind of gourmet treat. Dad thought he still had it, the salesman's magic that had once made him rich selling tropical fish...
It starts when Jinete Camacho decides to get his beloved Paso Fino Mamey stuffed after she's totally wrecked by an '85 Suzuki Swift near KM 12, just outside of Yauco. A freak accident next to a stand selling American-style donuts that leaves the road closed, but not un-taken, since traffic never stops for anyone on the island, not even a flipped hatchback and a half-dismantled horse.
It is the first cool autumn day in Amman when you hear that your ex-boyfriend is missing. You are standing in the frosted air of the produce department of Cozmo supermarket, arguing with your four-year-old over asparagus. While you hate to thwart enthusiasm for a vegetable, one small bunch costs $20. Nothing is cheap here, except dates. You eat a lot of dates. As you pry the stalks from Lily’s warm fingers, your phone rings. You glance down. International call. That couldn’t be good.
“Stop,” I kept saying, and snapping my phone off. Would they just shut up already? Who wanted to hear the world’s millions of complaints? The world was mad, as in disappointed, humiliated, hurt, lost, and everyone had their personal solutions to this, most of which were inadvisable. They were human, most solutions were inadvisable.