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Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Khan Carries On

A Novel
also available: eBook Paperback
tagged : humorous
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They arrive at her place and Anthony knows she’s going to ask again if he wants to come up. He really just wants to tell her how he’s afraid of sex, afraid she will have something that will kill him, but he can’t. Partly because of how she will then see him, but also because he doesn’t want to offend her. Zara, please, you must know that I think everyone is diseased.


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What’s the Matter with Mary Jane?


During our second year of university, Priscilla Jane Gill’s cat Micah died, and she had him taxidermied.

We all thought this was gross, but she said he was the truest being she’d met up to that point. She said that when she was with Micah she had been able to tune in to a special place, in touch with a purity to which she could only aspire, and that reaching for such purity gave her life a through-line of calm. So she wanted to recall that clarity every day, and she thought she would do so when she looked at his effigy, posed in a lifelike facsimile of his favourite “meatloaf” lounging position.

In those days, this sort of explanation made sense.

Besides, Priscilla was a folklore major, and they were all a bit like that anyway.

I think all of us saw Priscilla a little like she saw Micah—when he was alive, of course. To us, she was a symbol of a time out of time, a pure zone between childhood and real life where we could dream of a perfection for which we would not even remember to try once we’d put our college days behind us. But Pris didn’t distinguish between college life and reality, and that set her apart.

Maybe she was an early adopter of adulthood, or maybe she was a pure idealist, but either would have made her a wonder to us. We loved her evolved nature. She was an exotic, but she was our exotic, and long after we graduated her image stayed with us, delicately posed in our history, perfect and without entropy, like a saint, or like Micah.

We got used to Micah’s Ghost, as we called him, after a while, and some of us also were able to take Pris for granted now and again — until she breezed out of our lives on graduation day, wearing not much of anything under her graduation gown, and became one of our memories of university life, preserved in the amber of time—which is to say, idealised and mostly forgotten.

None of us had seen her since, but any time any of us encountered each other, sometime in the conversation we were bound to mention Pris, and smile, and shake our heads at our inability to match her grace and aestheticism.

The woman at my door that cold October day was tall, ascetic and stylish, with a grey brush-cut and the hollow perfect cheekbones of a clothing retailer’s anorexic display figure. When I opened my door she was looking away down the corridor and I saw her strong raptor profile with a mysterious thrill of buried familiarity.


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