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Jeannie Vanasco



The weatherman predicted bird feathers. The newscaster announced all musicians were on strike: “Only the page turners will be performing.” I rang my stalker and explained I wouldn’t be attending this evening’s concert. He said he understood. “If I change my mind, I’ll call,” I offered but he already had hung up. I returned to the television. BREAKING NEWS flashed across the screen. The newscaster reported that a woman’s hair was spontaneously catching fire on Fairhope Drive. I hurried to my window. My neighbor Sheila wore a yellow headscarf as she calmly watered her perfect lawn. A news crew gathered around her. I looked back at the television and Sheila had beautiful hair again, all of it burning. I cried remembering its length. I called my stalker for support but the weatherman answered. Too embarrassed to ask for my stalker, I pleaded with the weatherman: “Tell me something true. When will the bird feathers come? When will Sheila’s hair return? Can cancer predictions be less accurate than weather predictions?” I could hear my stalker’s voice: “I’m not here,” he whispered. “Tell her you can take a message.”



Jeannie Vanasco lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her writing has appeared in the Believer, Coffin Factory, Tin House, and elsewhere.

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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