an acrobat able to twist into unusual positions
They juggle, not things but words. They dare to leap through the ring of fire that is TV news. They are
contortionists of ideas.
not qualified by reservations
The preacher says, “The pool at the palace is filled with
unconditional love. Your brothers and sisters will join you here and you can bathe together in His light.”
an impelling force or strength
She gets her magnifying glass. Through it she can see Gerald working so hard to walk, he stumbles. He moves his head for
something that has been in a family for generations
“It’s like, an
heirloom or something. I think it was a souvenir someone got down south. It’s a slave bell.”
a heavy metal pin used to fasten two pieces of metal
The Freak finds herself back in the tunnel she was in more than two weeks ago. Gray,
rivets, lit only where she stands, and the sound of someone writing.
restraint consisting of a rope or chain
Safety is a lie. I’m floating in space with no
disposed to act in accordance with someone's wishes
“No,” she says. “Maybe. I don’t know. They’re not all that bad. And this makes us look
small and of little importance
The only word on my lips is shoplifting but it seems so
cause to be interested or curious
intrigued by the kid.
lacking substance or significance
Marla’s grasp on the afterlife and Hinduism is
tenuous. “The Consciousness is all-inclusive,” I explain.
firm in purpose or belief
resolute in this idea.
From behind the door, there’s the sound of weeping. Loretta thinks the critics will give them a
rave review. Never has an act been so convincing.
a treatise advancing a point of view resulting from research
“That research paper. My
thesis statement was all over the place. All my sources were lame. I stopped caring.”
a line of people or vehicles waiting for something
This is when my brain runway does its best work. The plane is in the
queue, not taxiing yet.
(of colors) bright and striking
She’s pretty sure she’s in Ireland or Scotland or New Zealand or one of those places where the grass stays
vibrant green all year and the sheep speak English.
the delivery of goods for sale or disposal
She finally arrives at the place she needs to be—a small charity
consignment shop in the city.
direct the course of or determine the direction of traveling
He’s got two paint-soaked towels in his hands and is
maneuvering them into a black trash bag.
a sudden and complete disaster
Only when I take a few more deep breaths do I see that my knees are yellow from the paint and my hands are covered and I realize there is no way to hide the whole stupid
debacle from Marla when she comes in.
a performance given without planning or preparation
They replay it every night and the husband character is working on his
resembling a dream
There’s always a
surreal moment before dialing 911. A moment when you think you should do something else. A moment when you think it’s all a joke or a mistake or maybe you’re just not seeing things right.
a blanket knitted or crocheted in strips or squares
She puts it around her mother’s shoulders and grabs the new
afghan Loretta gave her for Christmas and puts it overtop.
having your attention fixated as though by a spell
She walks in front of the ambulance and they seem to be waiting for her, which is not an ambulance’s job, waiting. The driver is
mesmerized, though, as if Loretta were already wearing her red-sequined gown.
a fine fabric net used for veils, tutus, or gowns
There’s a rack of prom dresses in the back. Or dressy dresses. Formal things with
tulle and satin, a pair of matching bridesmaid dresses.
bend the knees in a gesture of respectful greeting
“Thank you,” Loretta says, and
curtsies once in each direction, bowing her head so she doesn’t get hit in the face with thrown roses.
She seems to be on the floor. There’s
gaudy jewelry all around her.
someone who insists on something
Marla and Gottfried were supposed to be home by now. It’s past dinnertime. Marla is a
stickler for dinnertime.
something that introduces what follows
If Jake knew how to use the word
prelude in a sentence, he’d describe this invitation as a
prelude to a gathering.
sorting and allocating aid on the basis of need
When Marla is called to be seen, Gottfried helps her walk to the
triage area and smiles at the teacher man and his sons.
affected with madness or insanity
They’d call me
demented and lock me up in a home.
a philosophy that assumes that people are entirely free
My superpower would be the
Existentialism—a ray I could shoot out of my hand that renders people powerless to face anything but their own personal pointlessness in an absurd world.
cause to become
My superpower would be the Existentialism—a ray I could shoot out of my hand that
renders people powerless to face anything but their own personal pointlessness in an absurd world.
a muscular partition in the chest used in respiration
diaphragm is crushed with the weight of knowing that if his father is dead, then he will be the only one left.
move by degrees in one direction only
She moves her arm—
ratchets it back and swings.
I can hear the pellet
hopper release another load into the stove.
He only needs to read the first two letters of the last name and he catches the frontrunner in his memory and wins his own race. And then the robins are there,
frolicking in the middle of the road in 1965, and he’s sadder than he’s ever been.
unable to be governed or controlled
Running from his five kids who were too loud and
unruly for him to handle because he was making money and needed to do that in a quiet place.
lacking orderly continuity
So close Jake can’t avoid him, and he brings the coffeepot down on whatever he can reach and the glass breaks over Bill’s back. More blood. More groans and
a medium that was once thought to fill all space
No one noticed because she was flickering between Borneo and Idaho, and she no longer has a device on which to receive email, so her parents’ ecard is lost in the
ether somewhere if they sent one.
go beyond the scope or limits of
The Freak has
The Freak only has room for Experiences.
a person afflicted with leprosy
She thinks Jesus probably lived and probably hung out with
lepers and prostitutes and cared for the poor.