The Return of the Emancipator

It’s midnight by the Heineken clock and I’m sitting at the base of the O’Connell monument, eating a McDonald’s, when I hear somebody cursing and muttering above me.

Checkout Girl

Snow had been cleared from the street and formed into a knee-high mountain range in the gutter. It was dirty and embedded with scraps of litter. I walked alongside the peaks and valleys, my backpack heavy with cans of beer.


I hammer on the front door with my fist and press the doorbell three times. Somebody is coming down the stairs. A dark male shape behind the nineteen-eighties frosted glass. A muttered curse and a key turning in the lock.


The venetian blind clacked against the window frame and waited, trembling, for the breeze to lift it again. When it did, shadows bunched and rippled along Simone’s legs, lingered at the hem of her skirt, and fell back to her ankles. A tide, rushing up a beach, and retreating.