You Were Saying

Zoe Gold


great image of a perfect fluffy cloudy blue sky


The day after Christmas I get lonely and put up a fake ad for kimono dragons. Selling six kimono dragons, the ad says.

My mom and I do a dumb after Christmas thing. We go to the Gap. She needs more beige pants. I could go on forever and not talk to anybody.

The app zings.

What’s up with the lizards?

Are they brothers?


Wallis telephones. He is in the park. No he is on 11th and 48th street.

Hey Wallis, I answer in my sleep. The time is 3:15. I’m unaware we’re talking until it’s yelling.

He’s told me before that anything yelled automatically becomes true.

He’s saying, Get over here! I’m tired of dealing with this bullshit. It’s so dark, Kate. There is a fat man walking around and singing. Why don’t I know him, or someone like him? He seems so happy.

I’m saying, My bed is a warm place.

Listen, I think I’m in love with you, Kate. I’m in love with you.

Huh, I say.

There’s a midget in a bowling outfit outside my building, he tries again. I swear! Please come. A regular joe bowling!

Go to McDonald’s, I say.

That is such a good idea he says. He sounds in love.


When am I gonna come back around? I ask myself.

Don’t wait up, answers me.


Wallis is ordering a McGriddle with sausage, no bacon, no sausage! They don’t have hash browns!

What should I get? I go to the grocery store. The time is 4:18.

I rumble in there with a hood over my right eye. The left one peers at carrots. I start groping around the carrots to get the pretty ones.

I like your outfit. Some dude interrupts me.

He gestures to his hood. The same.

Wallis is on speaker yelling at McDonald’s employees, breaking every ten words for you feel me? Which is an affectation he developed after I told him no one can understand what you’re saying. How are you gonna disturb the equilibrium of breakfast like that, you feel me? It’s the first meal of the day.

Hood dude stands in front of me like he wants me to help him choose a rice. I nod. Too many!

Hey, if you could think of one word to describe me, Kate what would it be?

I think for a second. Mean.


It’s getting loud in the phone again. Sort of moany. Hood dude edges past me with a flank of salmon. Just trying to get my probiotics!

Wrong, I think, that’s meat.

Kate, are you near a window? What time is it?

Kate, what does cheese taste like?

Better answer him, hood dude says. Sounds impending.


Kate, where are you?

Why should you get to know when I don’t, I think.


I’m in the tunnel. I should turn back. There are lights here, but they’re not helping. I could go up, down, or sideways.

Alright, let me just deal with the midget for a second, I’ll call you back, Wallis says.

A cop looks at me from another car and I feel…panic? No, I just regret everything.


What’re you doing here? I ask, opening the door to his place.

On the couch he draws a triangle inside a book and I take a picture of it with my cell phone.

That’s not a good picture at all, he says.

What would you know about this?


You’re gonna tell me how you got to be this way, I inform him.

Oh, really?

Yes, that’s been the subtext.


You are lovely, Wallis says to naked me. But you kind of smell like onions.

Who are you the onion police?

I am propped up on a ball of comforters, looking at the window, at the day. Inside it, headlights glance on signs, billboards advertise oil or syrup, cars honk and screech across the city’s surface fast so they won’t sink.


Zoe Gold (b. 1992) is a prose writer from San Francisco. She holds degrees from UCLA and NYU. Other writing can be found online in PANK and Cosmonauts Avenue.