I prefer to think of it as a sign that more people are discovering their self-worth.Fiona: I don't think that friendship really exists.
By now most short story writers and readers who follow these things online know that yesterday it was announced that his story "Miss Lora" was awarded the Sunday Times Short Story of the Award for 2012 which comes with 30,000 Pounds, the richest short story prize. Once he conned an ex-girlfriend into driving him to California, but outside of Camden he started having convulsions and she called you in a panic. In those last weeks, when he finally became too feeble to run away, he refused to talk to you or your mother. You would wake up biting your own tongue in terror, the blood dribbling down your chin. It’s not like you ever spent much time together or had sex or anything. You’d still have me, you tried to reassure her, but Paloma looked at you like the apocalypse would be preferable. Better still, she had read “Alas, Babylon” and had seen part of “The Day After,” and both had scared her monga. There were a lot of these middle-aged single types in the neighborhood, shipwrecked by every kind of catastrophe, but she was one of the few who didn’t have children, who lived alone, who was still kinda young. del Orbe, whom your brother had fucked silly until her husband found out and moved the whole family away. She had her eyes, sure, but what she was most famous for in the neighborhood was her muscles. I could curl you, you say to her, flexing your arm. He’d be caught trying to hail a cab outside Beth Israel or walking down some Newark street in his greens. She loved him and prayed over him and talked to him like he was still O. In your dreams the bombs were always going off, evaporating you while you walked, while you ate a chicken wing, while you rode the bus to school, while you fucked Paloma. She didn’t want to hear about mutual assured destruction, “The Late Great Planet Earth,” II, “The Day After,” “Threads,” “Red Dawn,” “War Games,” Gamma World—any of it. She lived in a one-bedroom apartment with four younger siblings and a disabled mom, and she was taking care of all of them. She didn’t have time for and mostly stayed with you, you suspected, because she felt bad about what had happened with your brother. You can’t survive an air burst by ducking under a dashboard. Of course you knew her; she lived in the building behind, taught over at Sayreville H. But it was only in the past months that she’d snapped into focus. There were about a thousand viejas in the neighborhood who were way hotter, like Mrs. No breasts, either, no ass, even her hair failed to make the grade. You don’t know why you’re so furious all of a sudden. A Harper Collins self-help author and communications expert, Cain has been seen on such shows as The View and Rachael Ray. You will see how good and kind woman I am who can create cozy atmoshpere at home , to cook delicious food for my lovely man and be his second half and supporter in everything! You were at the age where you could fall in love with a girl over an expression, a gesture. You were sixteen years old and you were messed up and alone like a motherfucker. Most of the time it didn’t bother you, the way girls and sometimes guys felt you up. You must have had a mutant gene somewhere in the DNA, because all the lifting had turned you into a goddam circus freak. Years later, you would wonder if it hadn’t been for your brother would you have done it? Was it some atavistic impulse to die alone, out of sight? Only Puerto Rican girl on the earth who wouldn’t give up the ass for any reason. I can’t make , she would be stuck in that family of hers forever. So you talked about the coming apocalypse to whoever would listen—to your history teacher, who claimed he was building a survival cabin in the Poconos, to your boy who was stationed in Panama (in those days you still wrote letters), to your around-the-corner neighbor, Miss Lora. Something must have happened, your mother speculated. Not that she had huge ones like you—chick was just wiry like a motherfucker, every single fibre standing out in outlandish definition. You’d remember how all the other guys had hated on her—how skinny she was, no culo, no titties, como un palito, but your brother didn’t care. Or was he just trying to fulfill something that had always been inside him? In her mind, a woman with no child could be explained only by vast untrammelled calamity. Bitch made Iggy Pop look chub, and every summer she caused a serious commotion at the pool. “You can use baking soda on your body, your house, your car – I like to keep my fans guessin’ what I’ll come up with next!” Miss Lora’s alter ego is actor, writer, stand up comedian and voiceover artist Lora Cain who fakes a California accent on such TV shows as Jimmy Kimmel Live, CNN Heroes, Wheel of Fortune, Caught in the Act and Platinum Weddings, films and video games such as Fallout: New Vegas, commercials for Subaru and Mc Donalds, documentaries for HGTV and Disney, news promos for CNN and MSNBC.