Homo Sacer and Her Lover by Ewa Mazierska

When Sarah woke up, Thomas was already making coffee and smoking a cigarette. He couldn’t live without fags. He seemed to be anxious to even go to sleep, because this would deprive him of his favourite object of consumption, and he smoked straight after they had sex, like a character in films about prostitutes and their clients. But Sarah did not mind it, even liked it, because cigarettes suited him and after sex she wanted to be left alone. Thomas also liked to eat, and his eyes were always on the best risotto or cherry pie in the city. In the past one would call such a man a bon vivant, but these days this term had an archaic inflection, so in her diary she named him ‘Agent Cooper’. Despite not paying much attention to his health, in his late forties he still looked good. Probably he even looked better in his forties than in his twenties. For her he looked best when he was naked. Most men look ridiculous without their clothes and they try to hide their shrinking muscles, dicks and balls or try to puff them up by this or that means. Instead, he simply liked to spread himself on the bed, as if unaware of the space he occupied or offered his body as a vessel into which she could escape into a different reality.

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The Long Way Home by Jason A. Feingold

Robert got up as he did every school day morning to his six-fifty alarm. Liz, his wife, was still asleep. She didn’t get up until seven. He woke his son Jonathan to begin the process of supervising him for getting ready for school. As the boy reluctantly dressed, Robert went to the kitchen and took his blood sugar. It was high, so he cursed under his breath and thought about all the bad things he’d eaten the night before.

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Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan

When she was wheeled into the day room, attended by her IV drip, Jack thought she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She seemed absolutely pure, evacuated of all evil, honed to perfection. Her head was an imported melon covered by the finest filo pastry, stretched and rolled thin. Her cheeks were eggshells. Concave. The hair on her head was shredded coconut. The hair on her body was dark and fuzzy, like the mold on Gorgonzola. Her skin was the color of Dijon mustard – that wonderful brownish tinge that comes from lost vitamins and minerals. She was everything gourmet Jack had denied himself.

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The Drag Queen and The Dozen Dicks by David Henson

I met Libby through an online dating site after I graduated college. Our “In Tune” rating was exceptionally high. I tended to get nervous and tongue-tied around women, but it was different with Libby. We had so much in common we finished each other’s sentences half the time. I was so taken with Libby, I found myself growing more and more concerned about her spending time with anyone else.

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