All Stories, General Fiction

Generative/ Iterative/Evaluative by J. Bradley Minnick 

These are the last days and unfinished pages of a dissertation on Pragmatics and Features of Sex, 1998—Beth says—expected by her committee members in two weeks, or at-most, a month. Her defense is in three weeks, but she doesn’t think she’ll finish. She says she’d happily quit and work in a bank or in a mall selling perfume behind shiny counters—spritzing the stuff on eligible men who will buy it from her with hopes of getting laid. She says even if she quits, she will continue her work, untethered and uncriticized and make her own study of the language of love, its features through natural conversations, speech acts, implicatures, while managing the flow of reference and the theories of the mind. Then, Beth pauses. But it’s still too big, she says. It’s always too big.

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