LARB Lit: Woman Causes Avalanche

By Mona AwadMarch 26, 2017

LARB Lit: Woman Causes Avalanche
This story appears in the LARB Quarterly Journal, No. 13

IN THE END it is really about the universe. What the universe wants. What it wants for Girly. What it whispers, of an evening, into the highly-attuned whorl of her well-studded ear. If the wings of your heart are open, spread wide as Girly’s heart’s wings are tonight, every night, to the signs, to the wondrous wonders, then the message is clear: drive to the mountains of Park City. Wander into an antler-studded bar somewhere on Main Street. There, a mountain man who does not fear your intensity, your whimsy, your eclecticism, will approach you and mount you as God intended. Not like the man you met on Match who resembled a large baby. Not like the man from Tinder who collected spoons. Go to the mountains equals get fucked properly. Give yourself this gift.

Girly, hearing this call from the universe, sets down her large lipped glass of Zinfandel, which sloshes and spills onto her white wicker end table, her fanned out goddess cards. Looks through the window at the smoggy intermountain west sky. She is wearing grays and lavenders today because this morning when she closed her eyes and opened her heart, the universe whispered, Grays, Lavenders. Yes, she nods now at the dense yellow-bellied clouds that, up until this moment, looked to her like a sign of the end of days. The mountains are where I must go.

“I’m going to the mountains for sex,” Girly announces to her friends, her girls, the girlies, after her sixth or so glass of cava. Cava Thursday at the Copper Onion. Girly’s night out with the girlies, who, like her, are in various stages of divorce. They sit around a large slab of wood in their shiniest clothes, their fake lashes dangling from their actual lashes like caterpillars from precarious twigs, their Nordstrom Rack costume jewelry blinding passing bus boys, drinking cava and sucking the small, too-salty black olives that come in a tiny blue bowl. They have all been married to the same ilk of shithead — this is what binds them. The girlies are in fact the ex-wives of friends of Girly’s ex-husband, who is from another country, one of those little tumultuous ones full of hot women and dangerous politics and monster lore, whose name most people in this country don’t have the mouths to pronounce. The girlies are also from this country.

“Just for sex?” one of the girlies says.

“As a Gift to myself,” Girly says. She hadn’t planned to tell the girlies her plans. This was meant to be a secret tryst between herself and the universe. Also, the girlies are hotter than Girly and if they decide they want to come along, they will threaten her sex. It is unfortunate that when Girly drinks, she becomes all-inclusive, like a Carnival cruise or a Cook’s Tour. The bonhomie begins to flow out of her like so much bile.

She even explains her cosmic sex plans in their language, which she can speak, thanks to her ex and the foreign soap operas she watched to be able to communicate with him. Girly speaks her day time television version of the girlies’ language now, using her hands for emphasis, a pair of elk antlers jutting out above her head on the wall behind her, for even though this is a tapas place, the décor is decidedly intermountain west.

 No men in valley! Mountains must go for sex.

Mainly it is how she uses her hands when she speaks that communicates her meaning. This and the elk antlers above her, which give her oration an odd but resounding sense of authority. The girlies nod at the antlers as Girly speaks her soap opera words.

“Yes,” they say, their dark hair shining down their backs. “What a great idea. We should go too.”

“Yes, why not? We should all get laid in the mountains.”

“All get laid?” Girly says. “Great, great.” But inside her there is screaming: No! Me. Me me me me me me. Me get laid.

“Yes, we’ll all get laid,” says another Girly. “Oh and we could split a room, how fun. Make a night out of it. A girl’s night out. A Girlies’ night.”

“And we should look hot,” the hottest of the girlies says. “Really hot.”

“Yes, hot,” the other, less hot girly repeats.

“Hot,” Girly says. The girlies know how to look hot in a way that Girly does not. In a way that it involves Eastern Europe and a straight iron. She reminds herself of her cosmic fashion sense. Her ability to tie a scarf around her neck nine different ways, all chic as shit. Her purity of spirit which her mother used to say shone through her every pore. And you know what? Still does. She just staggered to the ladies room to double-check in the mirror and there it was, gleaming under her alcohol-addled skin like a moon through fog. So there. So there, my friends. There is also her telepathic connection to certain animals. In this way, she is like what’s-her-face. That fairy tale Girly who was friends with mice. If the mouse living in Girly’s kitchen could talk, she is certain it would tell her, You’re hot. I’d fuck you if I was a human man.

“When were you thinking of going, Girly?” The hottest girly asks Girly now with her very large shining eyes all over Girly’s face.

“I don’t know,” Girly spits. “Soon-ish.”

“How about next week?”

“Next week,” Girly says, pretending to think. “Next week. Hmm.”

“Next week it is! Oh this will be so fun.”

“So fun,” Girly repeats. “So so so so so so so so so fun.”

“Great idea, Girly.”

“Yes, Girly, great idea.”

Girly is a word I taught you. I, thinks Girly.

Girly is what they call each other even though they are all old.


The night arrives and Girly has done what she will refer to all evening as All the footwork here. She has had all of her body hair pulled out by the root with wax-smeared popsicle sticks. She has gone to Nailed and had her toe and fingernails painted with a formaldehyde-rich varnish the color of porn pussies. Bought some new bangles and hoops from The Rack. Not to mention. Not to mention she booked the hotel room and filled her Ford Escape with gas. Checked the oil. Brakes. But I did all the footwork here, she will scream, several hours from now, stomping her cowboy boot deep into the vomit-streaked snow while under a cold black sky, the girlies drunkenly sway back and forth on their ice pick heels like about-to-tip-over bowling pins. But that’s later. Now? Now Girly is brushing her teeth in her mirror naked whilst listening to an audiobook of The Power of Now en Français, a language she is learning because it is the language of romance oui oui. Oui non oui enchanté, Girly murmurs to the mirror. She has forced her eyes open with little bits of tape in order to make peace with the fact of herself with no clothes. Because if she can’t look, how is Lars going to look? How is Hud going to look?

These are the potential names of the men that she will meet in the mountains according to the Ouija board she consulted the other night after consuming two thirds of a bottle of half-the-calories Chardonnay.

What are their names? she whispered over the board with eyes closed like clenched fists, the Chardonnay bottle sweating between her knees.

Just fucking tell me their fucking names, she hissed over the warped thin plank of wood purchased at a gift shop in Salem. And lo and behold, the little wandy indicator thing began to move about in figure 8s.

Oh, it was going to happen, it was definitely going to happen, according to the board and according, too, to the woman with the painted-on cheek mole who squinted into Girly’s palm earlier this week.

Well, well, this woman began, your heart line is

Am I going to get fucked or not just tell me that? Is that in there? Girly asked, pushing her palm closer to the woman’s face.

They were seated at a little fold-out table on a busy sidewalk and Girly had screamed out her question in her already naturally very loud voice. People who had just been walking by slowed down to watch Girly, all six-feet-five inches of her flesh bent over the tiny card table draped with a blue cloth patterned with suns and moons and stars.

The woman with the painted-on mole looked from the people watching to Girly’s large outstretched palm. She peered and peered at the faint little lines dipping and crossing each other out on that damp, trembling monster hand like she was actually reading something.


Now The Power of Now audiobook is saying something like You are asleep you have been asleep but soon you will awake. You are awake!, shouting it from Girly’s speakers like a preacher.

Vous etes reveillez!” Girly repeats, through her vigorous teeth brushing, her wild, wide open eyes addressing specifically her sex parts. She is especially trying to make peace with her sex parts, covered now with small, fresh red bumps from the hot wax. She looks hard at these parts — focus! — until her eyes begin to tear and burn from looking and she repeats a few words that are taped to her mirror on small rose-colored pieces of paper. They are kind sentences about herself that the HR woman at her work told her to write down and repeat as often as necessary.

Kind sentences? Girly repeated. She was seated in a hard chair staring at the frondy plant life that filled the HR woman’s office, the angelfish blinking in their burbling aquarium, a motivational poster thumbtacked to a corkboard of a wet, pissed cat dangling from a rope.

About yourself, the HR woman said, smiling at Girly. But you have to believe them.

Girly looked at this woman who seemed to have very thinning hair.

My hair grows, Girly told this woman, who nodded encouragingly.

Good, this woman said. Write that down. What else?

My tits are okay-shaped.

The HR woman nodded slowly, her face looked concerned. What else?

I’m a giver, Girly said, lip jerking hideously to one side. I give.

The HR woman handed Girly a tissue from a box patterned with little floating puff balls. She averted her eyes as Girly blew into it hard.

This is all good stuff, she said.


Girly repeats these rose-colored paper words to herself now while polishing off the Chardonnay dregs from the night before. The bottle, sweating on the toilet, has a label featuring a cartoon woman wearing a red strapless dress, her black hair in a high swishy ponytail. The cartoon woman looks a lot like the two women, her dear friends, the girlies, with whom she is about to venture into the mountains. As we speak, the girlies are likely bathing in tubs of foreign perfume, their well-shaped skulls smug behind face masks of avocado and whale fat, their long black hair full of magic mayonnaise. Their sex clothes, dark and slinky, glinty as movie guns, slung over the bathroom door, waiting to be slipped into.

Girly’s mountain sex clothes are also slung over the bathroom door, color co-ordinated and glittering — she bought them earlier today after a hushed consultation with the Universe in the mall food court — glittering so she will be highly visible to the mountain men even from a great distance, even in the dingiest of bars. A gold and orange toga from Tall Girl that shows fucktons of shoulder, her best sex asset according to the goat she met in the mountain caves of her mind during a recent guided meditation — your shoulders are hotter than tits, the goat told her, told her in Goat, which Girly, it turns out, can speak. Gold-orange so you will be a walking sun in the dark.

Now, in this outfit, she walks toward her bearded dragon, who has witnessed her endure these severely sexless months — January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, etc. — through the overly-polished glass of his tank. Months that, toward the end there, prompted Girly one night, to reach her hand into his tank and fish him out, lay him on her pimpled chest and watch him scurry up and down her sternum in a panicked fashion.

I’m going to the mountains like we talked about, she tells him now, her overly drawn coral lips very close to the glass.

When I come back, you’ll have a whole new Mother.


To drive to the mountains, you must drive through them, down the icy road which winds like a reptilian tail. This is what the Girlies are doing now. Packed in Girly’s Ford Escape. My Anal Escape, Girly jokes to people, her lip doing that jerk to one side so that no one laughs when she says it, ever. Her friends are dressed in their whore clothes as predicted, clutching small shiny bags shaped like animals, war painted faces looking pointedly out the car windows even though at this hour, the fucking hour, there is nothing to see out there but black. It’s steely silent in the car because already there has already been a falling out among the three of them. One is still audibly sniffling. Girly is pretending not to hear it. Because it’s fucking ridiculous that’s why. What does she mean she can’t do it?

I just can’t, this Girly called out from the backseat earlier. Crying into her bangled hands. Bouffanted hair frozen into position as if by cryogenics.

Can’t do what? our Girly said, pulling over onto the thin shoulder, and turning round in her seat to give the crying girly the whole of her face.

Sleep with some random guy, this girly said quietly. I thought I’d be okay but I’m just not built like that I guess, she sniffed, clutching her purse to her violently pushed-up-and-together breasts.

Girly considers this girly, the midway hot one, outfit-wise. Girly didn’t even know they made skirts that short, boots that high. Probably they don’t in this part of the country. Probably this girly brought them back with her from overseas, from her own country. A place where there are primeval forests and they still play Billy Idol in the dance bars.

But you guys go ahead though, continued this girly. Please. I’d hate to ruin things.

Oh we will, Girly said.

I will sit in the hotel lobby, this girly continued. I’m happy to sit there. I brought this, the girly said, holding up a dog-eared copy of The Sorcerer’s Stone. Because I can read it even when I’m drunk.

You do that, Girly said.

Now she’s sitting there in the back seat still sniffling and the other girly is comforting her in their language — using words that Girly doesn’t recognize from day time television, because they are words of comfort, of subtle kindness. So Girly turns up the top 40 until they are so deep into the mountains that Lady GaGa crackles into silence and then Girly switches the station to country but that crackles away too and then there is nothing but fire and brimstone on the radio or staticky nothing at all and so she puts on the Power of Now en Francais and cranks it, and stares, stares harder than she has to at the dark road ahead, like it’s a sex part she needs to believe in.


The mountain town sits on a steep hill. It consists of one street, Main Street, that is lined with bars and clubs and restaurants, many of them featuring antlers in their decor. There are stores too where you can buy mountain themed clothes and necklaces with snowflake pendants and art that is vaguely Inuit.

They park the Escape at the base of the hill and walk up the one bar lined street. Because of the delay caused by one of the girly’s breaking down, they’re already deep into the fucking hour. Blood alcohol levels are high. Girly and the girlies make their way up the street, a narrow sidewalk so Girly walks sometimes ahead, sometimes behind the other two, who always walk side by side, practically in unison it seems to her, with the same measured steps, the same heel-toe cadence, slinging braceleted arms with each other like they’re committed faux lesbians. Girly has no friend like this, with whom to swing arms, with whom to walk in step. Forget about this for now. Men, where are the men? Where are the mountain men? There are plenty of men on the street but they don’t look like they’re from the mountains. Even on their tractioned boots they seem to slip on the downward sloping sidewalks. They whistle out to the two girlies ahead of Girly who pretend to be oblivious.

You’re a giver. Your hair grows, Girly thinks.

And somewhere up the hill Lars or Hud is waiting. He’s got a beard like Paul Bunyan. His nose is right in the middle of his face. And he’ll be as hairy as the baby man she met on Match was bald. As thin as her ex-husband was fat. His fingers will lie flat and large and unfurled against his dark denim thighs. And when he opens his mouth, he will speak a grunty English.

Oh and he’ll just fucking reach for her, not like this asshole. What’s his name again? Dirk? Dork?


“Derek,” says the man standing beside her in the bar. A sweaty specimen in snow pants with a banged up nose covered with gauze and tape who comes up to about clavicle level on Girly. Snowboarding accident, Dirk says, seeing her eye the black blue swirls surrounding his nose bandage, and indeed he looks to Girly as though he would never be at ease in the mountains, that probably he comes from the plains.

“Good to meet you,” Dirk says, extending his small puffy hand.

But it isn’t good to meet Dirk at all. Girly would like to close her eyes to the fact of Dirk, as she would to the fact of her own naked body shapes in the mirror. But she forces them open. Open on Dirk, open to Dirk. It’s difficult with no tape.

She turns to watch the bad white-people-band playing Redemption Song on the sawdusty stage, people in fake cowboy hats cheering them on. She sees the backs of her two friends standing by the bar. Observes the curves of their legs, the smooth stretch of thigh flesh between their boots and their skirt hems. They are surrounded by a group of men who are buying them drinks, which they drink and drink, teetering backward a little on their spiked heels.

Fall over, fucking fall over, thinks Girly, observing their long black hair shining even in the dark, shining brighter even than Girly’s reflective sex toga. Every time she looks over at them, Girly makes a hissing noise through her teeth. Why does she even try to include them in her vision? Because I’m a giver, she whispers, her lip doing the sideways jerk.

“You okay?” Dirk says.

“You were saying, Dirk?” And she tries to make each of these words a pair of wide open legs, freshly waxed.

Dirk is saying how he is actually from Chicago, but comes here once a year to snowboard.

“You come here because you’re horny, Dirk.”

Dirk fake laughs and takes a sip of his beer, then stares at his snowpanted knees. “Sorry?” He says, even though Girly knows he totally heard her. She closes the legs in her voice.

“Where’s Lars, Dirk? Do you know a Lars?”

“Lars? Who is L—”

“I’ll tell you why it’s so hard for women to get fucked these days, Dirk. I have a theory about it. Would you like to hear my theory? Men are afraid of female desire. Real female desire. It’s Freudian. La Mer, Dirk? It’s all a vag. I’ve had mine waxed, Dirk, but the bumps are fading.”

Dirk nods and laughs and pretends he understands what Girly is saying like Girly did for the two weeks she vacationed in Scotland. It was a Cook’s tour of the highlands which Girly booked after she saw Highlander. For two weeks, Girly nodded no matter what people told her. They might have been telling her that they had just slaughtered their own babies. She just kept nodding. Yeah. Uh-huh. Oh for sure. Right, right.

Or maybe Dirk can’t speak English. Or maybe she can’t? That’s frightening. Maybe she should try using her hands. Charades with Dirk.

She holds up her drink and waggles the glass that’s still half-full, because if she drinks more alcohol at this point, she’ll be poisoned.

“I’m getting a drink, Dirk.”

“I’ll get it for you.”

“No, I’ll get it for me.”

At the bar, her friends float, they float in a sea of spiky male heads and shiny shirts, which appears to be the uniform of the fucking man whether you are in the mountains or in the valley. The girlies wave at Girly, who is teetering at the far end of the bar waiting, waiting for service, drumming her porn pussy fingernails on the bar to no end it seems. No bartender sees her even though her clothes glow in the dark like a pylon cone.

Fuck you, Girly whispers hotly to all the faces, but she waves back at her girlies, her fingers wiggling like the panicked legs of an insect turned onto its back.

One of the girlies walks over to Girly. The less hot one, the one that had the momentary moral crisis in the car on the way over. Now her slinky dark dress is falling off her sharp shoulder, she is rocking on her heels like she is on a violently swaying boat not a concrete floor. She smells palpably of pre-vomit. Her skin is sweating Oakridge Chardonnay.

“I think these gentlemen want to take us back to their Chalet,” this girly informs Girly with excruciating slowness, gesturing at the rolling sea of men behind her. Girly looks at the men who have surrounded the hottest girly and are attempting to guess her ethnicity. She is so exotic looking! Where is she from? Is it Belarus? Is it Turkey? Wait. Macedonia? Girly observes a Boy Scout enthusiasm about these men, the way they look at the hottest girly with neutered lust.

“Those aren’t mountain men, they’re married men,” Girly says.

“They’re nice men. And they have a chalet. In the mountains.”

“Guess,” screams the hottest girly and the sea of married men ripples with forced laughter.

They’re getting it wrong on purpose, Girly thinks observationally. Fucking wrong on fucking purpose, she wants to say. But wait. No. This is negativity. Do not embrace it. Embrace the universe. She gazes from her friends in their man sea to Dirk prodding his swollen nose in the corner, to the black night through the bar windows, a night into which she fears she will go forth alone. All the rose colored words she pasted to her bathroom mirror have deserted her. She does not remember the three good things any more.


A girly is covered in vomit. It is her own. And it stinks. It stinks tangibly. And yet, and yet, here she is, being twirled round and round in the chalet living room by one of the married men from Chicago to a Jefferson Airplane song. Girly observes this through the open jaws of a bear skin rug which she is donning like a cape. Observes it with the blazing blank mind of an animal, the image coming to her through teeth and hide, as though from a great distance. None of it matters. Because she is communing with the universe which has a message for her that she is straining to hear. It’s hard over the Jefferson Airplane. “FUCKINGQUIETDOWNINHERE,” Girly roars in her preverbal language.

Five minutes ago, she was sitting on the couch like a drunklump, watching this vomity girly get twirled, whispering mantras out of her mouth corner — Lars. Hud. Hars. Lud. — staring at the bearskin rug on the floor, upon whose hairy white back all these fuckers were drunkenly dancing. Dancing their pre-fucking dance or the dance they were going to dance instead of fucking. That was when she heard a voice.

Psst. Girly.

She stared into the bear’s glossy dark eyes which were looking right at her, she saw, trying to tell her something of great import.


Now they are One. Bear is another skin, consuming her so she is oblivious to the shouts and screams around her — What the fuck are you doing? Are you insane? But Bear is a shield. Girly is deaf to all sounds inside of Bear because inside of Bear, there are other whispers. They are the whisperings of the universe. The whispers go not just in her ears, but into every pore of her skin, through the Dead Sexy lotion she rubbed into every surface and nook of herself, through the Ivory foundation two shades too pale for her face. They lead Girly in circles toward the back window like she is the wandy indicator thing on her warped Ouija board. She moves about the room in figure 8s — crashed glass, more screaming — only to land with face pressed against the cold window pane. That’s when she feels Bear grunt something like ook! Girly focuses an eye onto the darkness. There. Darting about in the woods like a deer between the trees, a man-shaped shape. Follow. Must.

Yes. She grunts back at Bear. Lead me. But she doesn’t speak the words. Doesn’t need to. She and Bear are of One Thought, One Mind. It isn’t even mind, it’s deeper. It’s blood. It’s heat. It’s a language where are there are no adjectives or articles or little verbs anymore. It’s a force of nature, heaven and earth. It propels her out of the chalet and into the cold night, upward into the thin winter-crisp trees, and further up where it is colder still, but the universe is keeping her warm with its words of encouragement. The whisper is hot in her jewel-shackled ear now. Not a liar. No. The universe is not a liar. There is a shape out here. She saw it through the caterpillars dangling from her eyes. Of something. Something better, wilder, hotter than all she is leaving behind. She scrambles up higher and the snow is no longer cold, it’s hot, like the time the girlies all took that cruise to Cozumel and there was that half hour docking on the beach and Girly ran out to feel that white hot sand between her pedicured toes and how that felt. Her big toes painted the color of limeade. Bad Girls Go to Cozumel was the T-shirt Girly bought them all so they’d have a fashion memory of the green sea and the white sand and those suns like busted peaches over the water. There are still photos of them all on Facebook, wearing these shirts over bodies bloated from the midnight chocolate buffet. At the time, Girly was looking for a sea man. Each night on the ship she would don a flowy dress from Dress Barn and sit there on the decks and she would wait and wait and wait for this man to come out of the darkness like a dream. Her eyes sifting the dark for any man-shaped shape. For any shape.

But now? Outside in the black. Girlyless. Dirkless. No bar or couch or dance floor upon whose edge she must hover alone, always alone, thinking thoughts like ice picks. Cold. Stars. Trees. Rumbly snow on the mountain. But she is warm within the bear hide. Her breath is smoke. She sees, beneath his muzzle, through her false and falling eyelashes, that there is the sky and there is the mountain but where?

There! Growls Bear now and Girly is lead, paws extended forward as though she is blind toward a clearing in the black woods, where the man shaped shape glimmers in the distance like a hope.


Run toward it. Run! It is there! Oh it is there! No it is everywhere! All around her this hot man shape. Is it a man? A mountain? A mountain man? Whatever it is, it is taller than she is, chest burly like the mountain, shoulders broad as the black sky, eyes beautiful as stars. Girly falls to her furry knees.


The shape nods.

I love you. Do you love me?

The shape moves in closer. Enfolds her like heat, like buzzing air. She feels him as a touch that is more than just touch, under and over her fur at the same time.

We’re going to fuck now, it growls into all of her body pores which have all become little ear whorls, in tune with the universe’s murmurings. She nods. Yes. She swoons, sways, allows herself to go faint like a girl on television. The sort of girl whose image, if she saw it on the TV, would compel her to throw her drink at the wide, flat screen mounted on her living room wall. But now she is that girl. The universe has made her feel perfect sized. Dainty. When they tumble to the ground, the snow is not cold. It is a bed of down. It is the universe’s bed for the fucking, better than the log lodge at which she made a reservation. Mountain view or view of the lake or of the town? The front desk woman asked her and Girly said All of them. She’s on all fours now. Raises her hide in the air so there can be no misunderstanding. That was what she did in a motel in Cedar City for the real estate agent with the anal beads, her face mashed against the thin, bed buggy mattress, eyes closed tight in anticipation of what turned out to be a limp dick, cold plastic, a lock of her own teased, freshly dyed hair caught in her throat. But this is a different experience. Because just as she twitches, the mountain begins to gruntrumble. Gruntrumble with desire! It wants Girly so badly. She is desired. Longed for. Lusted after. The wail of the mountain tells her this.

Fuck me, she cries to this thing that is larger now than mountain or man or mountain man, that must be none other than the universe itself. Feels the force gathering behind her, rumbling behind her, grunting for Girly. Tender, but aggressive. Gentle but fierce. Oh this will make up for so much. For all the lonely nights. For all the outside nights. For all the bearded dragon nights. For all the nights when she hung out on the sawdusty edges of things, the action, the bar, the dance floor, the board room, the water cooler, the clusters of humanity, nodding, trying to laugh along, watching other people talk and twirl each other round and round, watching other people open up for each other like flowers in the morning, while with Girly they always remained closed shut. Why? Why why why? But never mind that now. The force is gathering behind her, the force of the whole world and then some penetrating her ass, the one she loofahed, moisturized oh so tenderly, told it I love you in the mirror earlier in the evening. Craning her neck to address it, to really tell the whole of it, You are my ass and I accept you. The force is entering her like a giant cosmic tonguecock, and not just her sex parts, but her fisty heart, its wings, her smudged up soul. She can feel it as an electric, cerulean breeze on her hide, like the cooling aloe gel the waxing lady applied when Girly started bleeding and screaming post wax, but sexy and serene.

Now they are in a grunty tangle. It is fur and air and teeth and tongue and stars. It is ice and heat, whisker and wet leaf, air and man flesh. It is mouthfuls and mouthfuls of sweet mountain snow. And when the mountain beneath her, above her, begins to shake and rumble because it desires her so much, because she is such a great fuck, and the snow begins to descend upon the valley below, burying the cluster of chalets in a giant white powdery wave, waving at Girly, Hihi, good morning, my dear, swallowing up the chalet she left behind, the valley, the shit town, all Girly sees is how the stars have finally aligned, how at last they are spelling out her name.

LARB Contributor

Mona Awad received her MFA in fiction from Brown University. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s, the Walrus, Joyland, Post Road, St. Petersburg Review, and many other journals. She is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing and English literature at the University of Denver. Her debut novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, was published by Penguin Books in February, 2016.


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