Coming Soon! A collection of nonfiction works by Stephanie Harrison: Men from a Broken Country

Dropped

She has always had too many friends, except for now, when she has left her old life behind for a Holy Grail of sorts--she looks grail up in the dictionary and finds that it is only a cup, and Holy Grail is only a legend, and she sighs and looks out the window of her waterfront condo-and now that she has this Holy Grail in the form of a man, she has far too few friends and the tradeoff, she knows, is nowhere near equal; still, she is lucky, when she returns for the holidays her oldest friend plans a party around her visit, invites dozens of other old friends and acquaintances, and she is flattered and dresses carefully in a black silk pantsuit, but because she is nervous, she and the Holy Grail have a drink in the hotel lobby bar, and then another and another, and she arrives at her party alone and two hours late, and kisses her hostess on the cheek while avoiding her eyes, then kisses her hostess' husband, and then much later, after several more drinks, the husband, who has been out of work for over a year and looks like a frightened poodle, hands her a resume and asks her to give it to the Holy Grail and she says, Of course, but ten days later, back in their waterfront condo, she drops it in the wastebasket-she doesn't know the husband well, cannot, after all, gauge his qualifications--and forgets about it until her emails to her oldest friend go unanswered.

©Stephanie Harrison, first published in Northwest Review

Selected Works

You crossed the line, my friend Ann tells me. Iím visiting her in California. Weíve borrowed a trailer perched on a small mountain so that we can have a quiet place to write. Now Iím trying to explain why I canít focus, why my nerves are so jangly. Why I can only take short, shallow breaths ...
He reads Ragtime while being poisoned by a nurse with a woodpecker tattooed on her ankle, and afterwards he describes this to Lily over hamburgers and beer--he is ravenous (go figure)--and she chuckles...
Effortless, like floating in the Great Salt Lake. Forty years ago, as a boy, Zach McKenna did this while on vacation in Utah, and he's never forgotten the sensation of lying still on the surface of the water, arms and legs spread wide, perfectly buoyant. Lately he's been thinking that in the span of a lifetime, these moments are too...
This is how I remember it: I'm ten or eleven, lounging with my cousins and Aunt Corinne on her sun porch. She's wearing a pink Chanel-style dress, like Jackie Kennedy, and she's sipping iced tea from a hot-pink metal tumbler. She's just discovered, she tells usthat someone is living in her house while she and my uncle are at work. Her crossed legs are bare and one of them jiggles up and down while she talks. As she grows more excited--telling us about her strange feeling, the little things she couldn't put her finger on...