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Stories by Diane Williams


Mrs. White at the Red Shop showed me the beady-eyed garment, but I can’t pay for it. I’m broke! I already own a gold ring and a gold-filled wristwatch and I am very uncomfortable with these. My eyes sweep the garment and its charms.
I am tempted to say this is how love works, burying everyone in the same style.

Through a fault of my own I set off as if I’m on a horse and just point and go to the next village.

This village is where flowers are painted on the sides of my house—big red dots, big yellow balls.

At home, stuck over a clock’s pretty face, is a note from my husband to whom I do not show affection. With a swallow of tap water, I take a geltab.

By this time I had not yet apologized for my actions. Last night my husband told me to get up out of the bed and to go into another room.

My husband’s a kind man, a clever man, a patient man, an honest man, a hard-working man.

Many people have the notion we live in an age where more people who behave just like he does lurk.

See, I may have a childlike attitude, but a woman I once read about attempted a brand new direction with a straight face.


I can’t be expected to remember his privates – a pink head or yellow head. She wipes cream off of his face and I thought, I like his haircut now. She needs to take out whiskers. I don’t see why any opportunity can’t be taken to do something beautifully. I look for people to admire and she is one person.

I have on Billy’s robe. The robe is filthy.
I saw his penis.

She wiped shaving cream off of his face. Those two never helped the poor because they were too poor.

Sometimes he sat near her, but tried to get away if she tried to smooth him.

People say the dog lay on its back, some blood near its tail.

Their house has plain bricks painted red and a shaded porch. They set their table with a cloth and the dishes and the cups keep dashing off through empty space.

If she had worried about money all the time, she’ll have much more money.

For instance, your wishes are fulfilled and the dream comes true.

It is a great pleasure to be in a fascinating group.


“I would do anything for my son,” she said. “But how little we know of what he really wants.”

Meanwhile, her arm would release me. She told me what she serves for meals.

“It’s all going to all work out,” my husband said. “She will love you as much as she loves me.”

His mother had a way of being strong, but not nasty. It was so sensuous. She and I both are short, short-haired women without eyeglasses. My husband has big eyes and he is large and muscular. I am very shy. His mother put her arm plus her leg around me—just live with it for a while. I, myself, how gladly I do.

Before long legend has it that when a partnership works, it is no accident. More accurately, more importantly, this illustrates this: I learn more about the arts and skills.


I mention to Happy the honor of knowing Earl. I have loved Earl for months and for months and now get relief from not loving Earl.

I try to put a good face on it—I tell Marquis Abraham. It could have been the Marquis, but the Marquis’s hair would not bunch up like that.

“Happy! Happy!” I say.

“Eat this,” Happy says, “it will help you.”

A loaf with a sauce.

They fired Happy, then Megdalia was fired and Sandra, not Marvin. Percy can’t help me any more.

Perry once helped me. He made a hole and took my blood. He said, “I just want to cut through the fat!” He said, “Everybody who comes in here has the same color blood!”

“Take the food with you, your underpants, and the directions,” one woman who created and arranged me said.

I don’t find that very interesting.


Around here, I see plenty of Haddock, an overall figure with his meaning growing, with a friendly frown, flanked on each side by a dog. I wonder how his bowel movements are.

I saw Mr. Haddock at the bay perhaps picking up his spirits. It’s peaceful at the bay and Haddock says he does not have an ailment. He has no eye problems and perfect ears.

You know—fluid-filled space!—a bay, the bay!
Fancy cushion clouds at the bay are the same shapes and sizes as I saw when I had an exact understanding of conditions greater than my emotions.

Mr. Haddock’s laugh—yeah, it is similar, but that’s not what it sounds like. I remembered what it sounds like—then when you did that—I forgot.

There are a lot of young, forgetful people going around these days. At least, I am young and pretty and can make my claims.

Fifteen years ago there was a cloud I saw which moved around, traveled, came by, fled into the woods, exerted a strong influence, spent more than half an hour there, was free to roam, before returning to the village, where the cloud added up to a source of pride.


She did so very slowly and needless to say she had to go get something in the dark room. She stepped into cold liquid. There was the crap in the dark and she hadn’t reached any stream! She cried!

Like her father she had an ordinary way with walking, paying no attention to daylight or to artificial light. Sometimes she would pass on her philosophies to her son. Her husband also encouraged her. His job was mainly looking for nests and getting into mischief and he made quite a name for himself. Their house sits beside a dried up tree. All the gaiety and the color she finds in sex.


Diane Williams

Diane Williams is the author of six books of fiction and founding editor of NOON.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2005

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