Porochista Khakpour in Guernica, 2010

1982 Cadillac Cimarron, interior

Ran across this lovely Porochista Khakpour story in Guernica from 2010.

The story ticks off a couple literary mag boxes. 1) A man and woman are having domestic trouble, and 2) One of them teaches college classes. Of course, where it goes from there is what makes the story worth your reading. In a sense, it reminded me a bit of Kevin Canty’s “Story, With Bird” from The New Yorker, which opens:

Somewhere near the end, she decided that the drinking was the problem. So we stopped cold, both of us, in the middle of February. One of those winters where the sky looms over the town like a gray roof that never changes. Old ice and blackened snow in the gutters. It was maybe a mistake.

It was maybe a mistake, but she might have been right, too. I have since stopped drinking for reasons of my own. But back then it was a test—as everything was a test—of how much we would endure in order to stay together.

Anyway, that’s Canty. Here’s Khakpour’s story. Enjoy ->

The Deer-Vehicle Collision Survivors Support Group

We have nothing. Out here, we have only ourselves.

This is all new to us. Once upon a time, we were in the big city, and the population of our neighborhood—a small district in a large borough in one of the nation’s largest cities—the population of just our neighborhood was ten times bigger than the population of our entire city today. If you can call it a city. Everything here is called Village Something: the Village Laundromat, the Village Stationery, the Village Tavern, the Village Pizza, the Village Freez (an ice cream stand), the Village Idiot (a bar). It doesn’t pretend to be what it’s not.

It is not a lot. We left everything behind. I had nothing to do with it. I had nothing. It was Azita; Azita had it all. Keep reading at Guernica >>