The Gerasimov Doctrine

Putin: Oh god. Putin rubs his face in his hands. Putin: I just remembered, I have to have a meeting with the new US president next month. General: Sir, don’t stress; let’s just follow the next step of the Gerasimov Doctrine? Putin: What’s the next step for the...

Anne of Green Gables

A reader discusses the book Anne of Green Gables with a viewer of the Netflix show Anne with an E. Reader: When I started the book, I wondered if the woman who ran the orphanage didn’t purposefully send Anne out to Green Gables in order to teach her a lesson—that is,...

Biology

A biologist and an activist discuss genetically modified mosquitoes together. Biologist: There is some hope because we are releasing modified mosquitoes into nature. Activist: It won’t work; it has been proven that the treatment only lasts for three years and then...

Utopia (incarcerated philosopher 1)

A philosopher drives his spouse through the countryside on a Sunday afternoon. Philosopher: I should write an essay about utopia. Defining a utopia helps one define one’s own personal ideal; of course, reaching an ideal in this life is impossible, but it would be a...

Selling a caravan

A caravan owner works on his van outside of his house. A stranger pulls into the driveway, exits the car, and begins the following conversation: Stranger: Excuse me, can I ask you a question? Owner: Yes, sure thing. Stranger: Are you busy? Owner: I’m just fixing this...

Gala, gay-la, gaila, gaga

Dermot and Rufus sat in the back of a cab and looked out the windows as they made their way uptown to the university gallery. The city looked just the way it always looks in September, which is how it looks every other season, too: lots of cement and glass. The only...

Portuguese wine tourism

A tourist sits at a table with a friend and swishes the last of his wine and thinks how to answer the question just asked of him. Tourist: Yes, I picked grapes in Alentejo. I HAD hoped to learn to make Vinho de Talha; I HAD hoped to learn a few important phrases and...

Shopping

Two customers walk through a home improvement retail store; they wear face masks, push a cart, and search for a customer service representative. 1. How long have we been in here? 2. Who knows? 1. God, if I could just breathe fresh air or feel the wind on my face...

The news

Los Angeles. In an apartment building, a sad adult pauses to read Google News during a busy working day at the home office. He reads the following: Headline: Popular Japanese biker turns out to be 50-year-old man using face app. Revelation makes fans love him more....

How to be an expat

American: Hi, neighbor! I see you are going fishing today. If you catch an extra fish, I would love to join you for a fish fry! Neighbor: Pay me twenty dollars. Neighbor’s father: Great job, son; great job monetizing that conversation. American: What is wrong with you...

Protorufus

This is the opening scene from a protoRUFUS play I wrote in 2012. CURTAIN Morning. A bedroom in a cottage in rural America. RUFUS enters hurriedly, nearly naked, and a little hung over. RUFUS. I think no one saw me. How did I fall asleep under the kitchen table again?...

The Bee dialogue

Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a stone house. One day her uncle called her to help him in the garden. Uncle: Teresa, take this letter to the bank for me. Teresa: No? Uncle: Come on. Don’t be difficult. Teresa: I thought you wanted my help...

The Bee prose

Here is the first chapter of a story that I wrote in 2019: Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a stone house. This stone house wasn’t one of those cold, dark houses from the middle ages, nor was it a new modern house with mildew and weird...

Oedipus

This is the beginning of a play I wrote in 2012. Oedipus stands in the middle of the apartment with a bloody knife wound in his leg; blood drips on the floor. He is breathing hard. He wears nothing more than his underwear. Jocasta lies in bed asleep. Oedipus: Jocasta?...