Susan Tepper

photo by Matt Walker


So my sister hooks me up with this girl who just got out of the looney bin. I'm not shitting you. Lucinda, the girl's name. A situation straight out of a horror movie. Except my sister says she's a very cool girl who got screwed by life.

Anyways… we make a plan to wear red T-shirts and meet near the sign outside Chuckie Cheese.

And she's not bad from a distance, her blonde hair in a perky pony. I wave and she waves. But then we get close and she's got these little stickers stuck to her face. A few on her cheeks and three lined up across her forehead.

I'm reading some really small letters and numbers on them. I'm wondering if they're passes to get in and out of the looney bin— like they stamp your arm to get in a club.

She looks straight through me. “Fruit stickers, William, if you must know.”


She taps her forehead reciting: “Lemon from Chile, Sun World Black Plum, 4038 California avocado.”

“You wear fruit stickers on your face?”

Lucinda smiles beatifically. “I only eat fruits and vegetables.”

I scratch under my T-shirt cursing my sister for setting me up with this sticker chick freak.

“Um. Do you think you could peel them off for the movie?”

She squints. “Why should I?”

It is a good question. I'll give her that.

She's waiting; her face looks hungry.

“I believe in meat,” I say.

Susan Tepper’s new novel, What May Have Been: Letters of Jackson Pollock & Dori G (co-authoerd with Gary Percesepe) has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Additional books by Tepper include Deer & Other Stories (2009), and the poetry collection Blue Edge. Tepper hosts FIZZ, a reading series at KGB Bar in NYC, and is Assistant Editor of Istanbul Literary Review.

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