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Real Issues


These endless shootings that happen near and far, the continuous cycle of photos showing the now deceased, the loud wailings of grief and promised prayers that dissipate like oil in lakes, while we carry on planting flower seeds, gathering with friends at breweries, searching through our memories for a time you felt a person’s hand gently touch yours while watching a movie at a theater, a time when you now wonder if you overreacted about this young anthropologist’s personal website filled with information about birds and turtles, once again remembering the touch of his hands, and then the Real Doll website listed at the bottom of his page filled with links to anthropological websites, Far Side cartoons, his personal website that you shared with your friend after announcing you’d like to invite him to her birthday dinner, and she peered over your shoulder as she scrolled through his website, muttering about how often you have ruined their dinners with your bad choice of dates, and then she saw the Real Dolls website, proof again of your carelessness, and she said, how do you hang out with this man when you have a young daughter, and you tried to clear things up with the anthropologist by asking about the Real Dolls included on his personal page, and he said that he wouldn’t remove it from his website just because there are people like my friend and I who read it and make the sexist assumption that a man’s interest in a sex site means he’s dangerous and prurient, before wrapping up his defensive tirade by saying I should go out with my friend for her birthday (which he wasn’t invited) and he’d see me another day, if I still wanted to see him, which was his polite way of saying good riddance, and now I wonder if potential suitors carry guns, waste energy needlessly, and how one ethically, ecologically disposes of an old, useless Real Doll.

Diane's most recent publications include Cutleaf Journal, Your Impossible Voice, Miracle Monacle, Hairstreak Butterfly, Table Feast Literary Magazine, Invisible City,  Miramichi Flash  Best of Microfiction 2022, ,Spry Literary Magazine,  Persimmon, Another Chicago Magazine, Whale Road Review, Fourth River, Tiny Spoon, Bending Genres, Book of Matches, Watershed Review, Superstition Review, Windmill Review, Lunch Ticket, Split Lip Review, The Offing, Elk, and McNeese Review.  More can be found here:

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