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Excerpt from "Here Be Dragons ISO" by Adèle Barclay

Here Be Dragons ISO by Adèle Barclay

Excerpt

DRAGON UNCLE DOWN FOR PARK HANGS WITH CRAFT BEER AND HOARDING VARIOUS SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES AND BRONZE OBJECTS

When a man decides to sit next to Danny on an otherwise empty bus during her morning commute to work, she retreats into her phone. She pulls up the queer text-based dating app, indiscriminately anointing each post’s mad-libs quest for desire with a heart. She is free with her likes but never replies, mostly due to indifference rather than timidity. She used to want the sun and the moon. Now she wants something more earthly — warm wind, a river, worms in compost, fire cider, cedar, buckwheat. When she runs out of posts to grace with distant love, she expands her radius from the city to the entire Milky Way.

STONER MEDUSA: BRING YOUR OWN SHIELD & SWORD

At work at the university library, Danny retrieves reserved items from a special room behind the library counter. Anemic grad students request stacks of DVDs — Herzog’s Grizzly Man, Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty — for film theory seminars with a scholar renowned for his cruelty and partying with Lou Reed. PhD candidates try to haggle with her for more than two days with Lévinas’ Totality and Infinity because they cannot annotate the ethical face-to-face encounter with the other in 48-hours. Danny feels pity but barcodes and post-structuralist professors can’t be bargained with.

 

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