“Failing to Fall”

“Failing to Fall,” “Her Walk” and “Souvenir,” three short-shorts by alumna Christine Hale (fiction, ’96) appear online at Prime Number Magazine.

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Failing to Fall

Midnight on New Year’s Eve, 1973 turning 1974, I stand in an open window on the top floor of a small hotel in Heidelberg, Germany, assessing whether and how to kill myself. The window stretches floor to ceiling: French doors, flung wide, with long dusty curtains swept aside to let in the frigid, gusting night air, and a cacophony of pealing church bells. In the room behind me are some number of my college student companions—I have no memory of how many or which ones—on this winter-break junket to Europe.

My boy husband Hen is surely among them. It’s inarguable that much hashish is being smoked to see in the New Year. We’ve all been toking as often as possible for five or six days, ever since some daredevil cool-fool among us scored big in our port of entry, Amsterdam. I am eighteen, almost nineteen, a stoner among stoners to whom I have no other connection. I’ve had great affection since high school for any form of downer drug, but I’ve never had hash before this trip, and instantly I am enamored of the aromatic honey taste on my palate, and the sticky-sweet resinous smoke in my hair, and the languorous drone to which it reduces my twitchy consciousness...[Keep Reading]…
Christine is the author of the novel Basil’s Dream (2009, Livingston Press).

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