Tofu Hotdogs and a Contortionist

January 12th, 2010


For those of you who have experienced life-changing revelations in the deli meat aisle of the grocery store, this excerpt from Thea Swanson’s story Freeway Striper will immediately ring true. For everyone else, her vivid prose will be your revelatory guide.

The newest story to join the first issue of the Camera Obscura Journal is Freeway Striper by Thea Swanson, which begins:

“Terrence had what he considered a mystical experience between the tofu dogs and the mechanically separated chicken-and-beef kind. Truth be told, the dogs were five aisles apart from each other, but that was the thing: he spent forty-five minutes in Albertson’s darting back and forth between the two, putting links down and picking them up again, until finally, he squatted in a neutral location, knees touching ketchup bottles, sixteen dogs propped on relish jars. On a bun package, in slippery blue ink, he wrote his new hypothesis: a man can only go as far as what he puts inside himself. This he decided he would tinker with a bit—word wise—but the truth of the statement was gold.”

Thea Swanson holds an MFA in fiction from Pacific University in Oregon. Her work appears in Crab Creek Review, Image, Our Stories and The Write Mother. Though she grew up within the curbs and grids of Buffalo, New York, she now tries to locate herself within the paths and trees of Washington State where she writes and teaches at West Sound Academy.

Also, recently added is a lean piece of writing doing a lot of work with very few words just to live up to the title. Big Top Photographic Exhibit – November 2009: Georgette the Contortionist through the Years, by Cynthia Litz.

Cynthia Litz is a physician whose fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Night Train, NANO Fiction, NOÖJournal, and The Annals of Internal Medicine. She organizes writing workshops at an adventure in Dallas called the Highland Park Literary Festival.

More to come…

M.E. Parker, Editor
Camera Obscura Journal

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.