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Chris Wu

IS THE AUTHOR OF THE SHORT STORY What Are We Looking At Here, AVAILABLE ON HV


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Chris Wu is the author of the story "What Are We Looking At Here"
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1) “I’ll often stay with my ideas for a while. It can feel like waiting for my hair to grow. Sometimes it takes weeks until I’m ready to sit down in the chair.”

 

2) “It’s important for me to know what I’m writing. Every now and then it’s fun to experiment. But for the most part, I want to know that I’m taking an inch off the top before I start.”

 

3) “I prefer to rewrite with scissors. Once I have my first draft done, I make tiny trims. I go over and over the draft. Snip here, snip there. Until finally it starts to look good to me.”

 

4) “It’s good to take a break in between drafts. Though I might want to just be done with the haircut, I often need to remind myself that it’s okay to get the shampoo and allow myself a scalp massage.”

 

5) “Looking in both mirrors to check the back of the head is a good trick. Sometimes in a final pass, I’ll start at the end of the piece and read backwards, section by section. I often catch things I missed after reading through normally so many times.”

Lake Avenue

She was a meaty woman who ate alone in the vegetarian restaurant on weeknights. All of last month, she was there every night I was there. Never with a companion.

During two of my visits, she had carried around a cat with her. But the cat must have finally found a way to escape being an accessory and returned to its natural lifestyle.

She appeared sad to be alone in an environment filled with youthful queers behind laptops and tourists who could only speak Mandarin. The community table she always sat at was long and made of mahogany and, empty tonight, it looked like the altar of lost souls.

Burnt and rashy, her paws were wrapped in molded yarn. The tinsel shine of fluorescent lighting reflected off her skull. Hair with grease strung over a good part of her face. But she never displayed pain. Just suffering. Her eyes were desert basins filled with smog.

Though she breathed in gulps, her voice crackled without fear. Nowhere could you find such a broiled person. As she spat out words from off the overhead menu, the earth rumbled. Steamed broccoli. Fried potatoes. She finished ordering a fake chicken sandwich, but not before using an online coupon for a free drink.

Twin boulders toppled when she stooped forward and teased the phone out of her shorts. Underneath the wide part of her thighs, purple-green veins webbed like poison lightning. The rest of her legs were plump pillars carved up with tattoos. Two indigo damsels in ball gowns. They waved at each other from across the narrow chasm.

I watched her, mesmerized, and took a sip of my water. Tinged with drops of fruit punch from the dispenser.

Baby Chris Cowboy
2014-12-25 01.13.13

Plummer Park

 

Our team was up in the last inning and everyone was up on their feet. Ben K whiffed on the first kick and the next ball came bouncing with anger and caught him off guard and he leaped back when the ump swallowed the vodka soda from his Nalgene and called strike and we erupted blood. But the next ball he wailed on with no sympathy and he took off. All eyes were on the fireball from Shiva arcing through the smog as the outfielder stood under it in his straining cutoff tee as ready as Hercules to take one for the team and we were assholes yelling to try to distract him while the ball hurtled down and bounced off his meloned bicep and goddamn if it worked. We stomped up and down and ripped our heads off going hoarse with our threats of run dammit and fucking go go go for Ben K to shovel coal as we kept one eyeball on his chiseled frame tilting an orbit round the pitcher’s slab and charging like a bison kissing each base with his dancer’s toe and the other eyeball stinky on the heathens scrambling and chasing headless after the bouncy red mass of chaotic momentum. Ben K was hard face molten sucking wind pushing his quads to the brink of lactic annihilation blazing past us and knocking against Evan M screaming decibels though electrons and bodily fluids. And as all of us boys were frothing with looky loos from other games around us joining the spectacle and mixing our charged bodies bouncing off each other the rubber satellite finally reached the pitcher who slung shot it home to the basic catcher waiting eyes wild for a mushroom cloud one way or another. The throw was magnetic and it seemed as if Ben K’s destruction was sealed but for he flipped on the nitro shedding his legs for iron pistons and burnt a glass trail all the way through to close off his polygon in a massive collision that left the catcher obliterated and Ben K in radioactive pieces in the grass. The ump called safe. A cry erupted from our loins and we rushed to lift his heap of melting muscle up on top of our own mixing our tears with his sweat. We were so frantic to feel the touch of his flesh and finally consume his beautiful body.

CHRIS WU GREW UP IN PLANO, TEXAS WITH TAIWANESE IMMIGRANT PARENTS. HE STUDIED ECONOMICS AT YALE AND USC. AFTER A BRIEF STINT WORKING IN CORPORATE FINANCE, HE DECIDED TO BECOME A WRITER. HIS WORK CAN BE FOUND IN LITRO MAGAZINE, CHICAGO LITERATI AND STAR 82 REVIEW. HE HAS ALSO WRITTEN FOR THE TELEVISION SHOWS THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE AND HAWAII FIVE-O.

Image Credits

All images courtesy of Chris Wu or Pixabay

Pixabay Artists: Mason Eubank, Mystic Art Design, Clker-Free-Vector-Images, OpenClipart-Vectors


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