Gwen Davies

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The light made him squint. Smoke thick, like the stove had backed up. Big Mike was standing in the doorway pushing two girls ahead of him. Good news! Except Big Mike had no kids—and the girls looked like they were freezing in their little skirts and skinny heels. Michael’s mind…

“What’s the first thought that pops into your head when I say red?” “Red? When he says my job is the wife thing. Red, that’s what I see!” “Who is he, Lorraine? What’s his name?” “Will. His name is Will. Will is training to be a fighter pilot. Air Force…

The side door pushes open and Mel, huffing in with the cold wind, sets and enormous turkey on the washing machine. “Look here,” she says to the party in the steamy kitchen. “It’s a last-minute mark down and it’s grain fed,” Every counter is set up with someone chopping or…

Clothes on the culty side: On the driveway, where [Emily] has to follow a set of tire tracks up the long hill, the car slides off at a turn. No traction when Emily tries to rock it out. She opens her door. No one moves. “We have to push it…

There’s the usual crush of early-morning hitchers lined up. The sun is already relentless along the treeless roadside. “Maybe we should walk a ways and get past all these people,” Emily suggests, soothing her hot shoulders with her hands. A car stops. “Oh shit man, that’s an Audi,” Chris whistles…

[Emily] chews on the pen. Gurujan saved her after the girl did herself in right in front of her. He knew what she needed. It feels good to do yoga and it has made her body strong. Yogiji is a wonderful guru, even when you don’t speak with him personally….

Emily sings her heart out with the car radio, like she’s going to San-Fran-cis-co, arm resting out the window, hair bowing. Summer fields, red-brick towns, and the offer of a good teaching position fall away behind her. From “Marrying Gilbert” in Facing the Other Way. There are people – like…

I was coming from my first real job interview, at the Y. For my practicum I was running their weekend drop-in. It was still a pilot, but kids came by the truckload. What a great thing those Trudeau grants were—building playgrounds and starting up daycares and free schools. The job…

There is a job for a part-time baker with some lunch prep at Etheria. Emily asks about it and a guy at the steam table says to come in around five next morning. “Just follow the directions in the book,” he says when she comes in. He hands Emily the…

*** When she reaches home [Rochdale College], a guy who calls himself Mother Parker is on the elevator, selling his home-brew beer from a grocery cart. Emily pushes fourteen. “Only way is up, Emily,” he says. She raises her cupped hand in a pretend toast. (from Facing the Other Way)…