Leering at Careful

Is there a trick to leering at careful? She practiced on the airporter bus, but her mouth just went into a frown. That won’t do, she said in a low but audible voice. I mustn’t arrive for my fling with my mind in safe mode. She imagined those free women with long hair like Venus on the shell, the ones who assumed, rightly so, that they would fancy a man who wanted to make love and children with them. She could taste the air they exhaled, smell the water that made up so much of their bodies, and tried to mold her face into an appropriate look of oyster confidence, one that leashed and lingered. Nope, she just looked like a clown, a quick peek in the window told her. She was flying seven hours to meet a man who was proudest, perhaps, of his hot tub. She hoped he was not tender with her, took her to cheap restaurants, promised her things he could not deliver. The thought of eating breakfast in a diner surrounded by cops and construction workers finally brought her facial features into the proper configuration: She had learned the trick for leering at careful and now just needed to pound it into granite.

For more, see our interview with Frances Lefkowitz and read her story Lemons. Or explore more of her writing at www.franceslefkowitz.net and Paper In My Shoe.

Frances Lefkowitz’s flash fiction has been published in Tin House, Blip, New World Writing, Superstition Review, and Memoir Journal. Her book To Have Not was named one of five “Best Memoirs of 2010” by SheKnows.com. Honors include the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Literary Fellowship and special mentions for the Pushcart Prize (twice) and Best American Essays.

Photo Credit: Zachary Ziegler

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