Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

Dead Horse Bay by Adel Souto

I read about Dead Horse Bay while researching odd spots in NYC for my blog, This Hidden City. I had to see it for myself, and visited on Halloween, a little after low tide ended. It was a mild, but windy day. I parked too far, and it took forever for me to find an entrance to the bay. While I did take a few photos, I could hardly believe what I had seen. I returned with my girlfriend the following week, at the most extreme low tide. It was a colder, though less ominous day. I knew my way around this time, and did a bit more exploring. These photos are from both visits.

Adel Souto is a Cuban-born artist, writer, and musician, currently living in Brooklyn. He has released several books, including a “best of” chapbook on the subject of a 30-day vow of silence, and has also translated the works of Spanish poets. His work has been shown in galleries in NYC, Philadelphia, and Miami, as well as in Europe and South America. His music videos have been screened at NYC’s Anthology Film Archives, and he has lectured on the subject of occult influences in photography at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development's Department of Art and Art Professions. He currently produces the public access TV show, Brooklyn’s Alright If You Like Saxophones.

Black Sails from Barbary by Ben Greenman

OBJECT: Shipwrecks

BODY OF WATER: The Rockaways 


World of the usual kind. Sunset on the widest of oceans. The Captain was eating supper with the crew down below. The mate notched a piece of wood and his action was rather brilliant. Edwards watched the water. He was not accustomed to these pleasure cruises for the rich, to the beautiful strong-jawed ladies and the men concerned less with those ladies than with their own pocket squares. It was above all a comfortable business, and Edwards had said to himself “With these people the sea’s more a bed than a grave.” It was not a remark that interested him. He was equally uninterested in the remarks of other men, and history, and parliamentary politics, and Lily who he had married the year before, and the goods of the earth. Nothing stuck to him so long as the whole business remained so comfortable. This was an atrocity, really, to make of the sea something safe. Didn’t they know what was down there, the serpents that could wrap around a woman’s leg and drag her to the ocean floor, the massive bivalves that could swallow a man whole? When Edwards had first come to the sea he had lived for those moments of fear, when the enormity of it all would expand to fill him. But he grew older, learned to affect a certain calm, met Lily, bought a bed, hung up his boots.

For a while he had lived that way. He worked a series of jobs and then settled into a management position at a small grocery. He smiled in the morning and let himself go to Lily’s smile in the evening. The two of them talked about starting a family, conversations that lasted late into the night, and the talk frightened him enough that he was secretly relieved when it did not happen. Then a woman he had known in his youth saw him in the street and told him that he had become “sealed.” It was a strange word and he parried with what he thought was wit: “Envelope or coffin?” But she did not answer him. She turned her back and walked away. He called at her door that night but she would not let him in, no matter how many times he said her name. The next week he answered an ad in the newspaper to crew on an ocean liner. Over dinner, he told Lily he was shipping out. He thought she might cry but her broad pale face broke into a sad smile. “I know where your heart has always been,” she said, and tapped her own chest, which confused him. 

Edwards was not senior crew. He had been away from the ocean too long for that. He was assigned to work as a weather scout. It was what he knew more than he knew anything else, to read the sky for signs. He stood at the stern of the boat and watched the sun disappear into the water and counted the wisps and whorls of clouds and smelled the air for moisture and tried to figure whether the storm was moving toward him or moving away. He stood there for a long time, marveling at the vastness of the water.  The sense of isolation was majestic. It was then that he saw the black sail in the distance and a single word escaped his lips: Pirates.

As they drew nearer Edwards saw that the ship was not what he suspected. It was not fearsome, not even intimidating. It was not much of anything. Though its sail was black, it was no more than twenty feet from bow to stern, and the only people aboard were one man and one woman. The woman had one gold tooth that gleamed in the evening light. The man carried a big flat sword and seemed to be attempting a beard. The woman was slight, dark, and quick. The boat drifted within earshot.

“I’m going to tell them to prepare to be boarded,” the man said. He was threading a rope through one of the stern cleats.

“Avast,” the woman added.

“Not avast,” the man said. “That’s what you say when you want them to stop doing something, or when you’ve given an order and you want to rescind it and give a new order. 

“Oh.” The woman turned her head and Edwards caught sight of a fine profile. She had a small nose and an equally delicate chin; her mouth wore an expression of amusement. “So I should say, ‘Trim the sails,’ and then say ‘Avast’?”

“You should say nothing,” the man said. Edwards could see now that he was younger than the woman. “You should let me do the talking. We don’t want to be comedy marauders, do we?” 

“I’m not familiar with that term,” the woman said. “Your mastery of the technical language of this job is intimidating to me.”

“Shut up, Nancy,” the man said.

“Don’t you mean, ‘Avast’?” she said. “And please don’t call me Nancy. You know we had an agreement, Howard.”

It was then that the woman looked up and saw Edwards, who realized that he had not sounded any alarm or even alerted the mate who was on watch. The whole thing had the feel of an amateur theatrical. The woman smiled at Edwards, and because she was a pretty young woman the smile seemed sweet at first, but it quickly sharpened into something vicious. 

“Prepare to be boarded,” the man said.

“Yes,” Edwards said.

They were on the deck in a moment and into the society of the boat.  The man went straight for the mate and made him kneel and stabbed him right there and then, once in the shoulder, hard enough that the blade disappeared entirely into flesh. This got Edwards’ attention. He ran for the Captain, who came up with food still on his face. “We are pirates,”  Howard said, and the Captain fainted dead away. Howard went on, speaking loudly to the fainted Captain. “This ship is ours now. You’ve been sailing pretty until now. You’ve had some nice and merry living. But now you have to get acquainted with the dead. Do you know this man?” He pointed at the mate with the toe of his boot.

“Of course. That’s Loomis. He was the mate." 

“I am going to dump Loomis overboard,” Howard said.

“What?” Loomis said.

“I thought you said acquainted with the dead,” the woman said.

“Please,” the young pirate said. He sounded desperate. 

“I have a better idea,” Nancy said. “Why don’t you put Loomis in our terrible little boat and then blow a hole in the hull? It’ll sink and he’ll sink with it. He can be Captain for once.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” Howard said.

She turned to Edwards. “Who else is on board?”

“Lots. It’s a liner.”

“I mean what other guards.”

“One always mans the safe. Most of the others patrol corridors.”


“Hallways,” he said.

“I know what corridors are,” she said, kicking out at him unexpectedly. “What I meant was that it’s good that they’re off patrolling, and that you should take me to the one who mans the safe.” Edwards did not know how he could possibly have been expected to understand what she had meant.

“How was I to know that?” he said.

This time, her kick landed on his shins. “Shut up,” she said.

Edwards could not. “I can’t,” he said.

“Can’t shut up?”

“Can’t take you to the safe. I don’t know where it is. Loomis knows.” But Loomis was unconscious again. “It was stupid to stab him.”

The woman’s eyes widened. Edwards wasn’t provoking her. He hoped she understood. It was just that he always said what he was thinking, and he never lied. Lily always told him that his life would be much better if he could just say something that wasn’t true every once in a while. He thought about what Lily would say if he told her that he had been captured by pirates. “Good,” she’d say. “You’re learning.”

Nancy produced a gun, a small stub-nosed thing, and stuck it in the Captain’s back. “I’ll take him downstairs and get the engine room squared away,” she told Howard.  

Howard moved quickly with Nancy gone. He hauled Loomis over the side, onto the pirate boat, jumped back onto the liner, and then cut the rope that held the two boats together. The pirate boat slowly drifted out to sea. “In ten minutes, that thing’s going to blow, and then it’s hello, bottom of the ocean.” Edwards could think of nothing to say to this.  

Nancy reappeared, gun still in her hand. “I found the Captain’s guards and then I gave them all a shot.”

“You killed them?” Howard said. His voice rose hysterically. 

“No, I didn’t kill them. What do you think I was doing this morning when I packed the syringes and the sedative? Did you think it was for me, in case I got so excited listening to your stories about robbing banks and needed to calm myself down so that I didn’t jump you right then and there?”

“Now my stories about banks bore you?”

“Let’s not fight,” the woman said. “I did my job. I sedated them and tied them up. The captain got a half-dose so that he can steer the ship. Now do what you’re supposed to do. Introduce us to the nice man.”

“Okay,” Howard said. “I’m Carter and this is Dowling. Those are our last names but you don’t need to know our first. We’re pirates. What’s your name?”


“Last or first?”

“Last,” Dowling said. “There’s no one whose first name is Edwards.”

“I knew a guy once,” Carter said.

“What was he in prison for?” Dowling said.

Edwards thought Carter would laugh it off, but he struck Dowling on the arm with the flat of his sword. “Ow,” she said. “That really hurt.”

“Next time I’ll cut it off.”

The woman smiled appreciatively.

“Now take Mr. Edwards downstairs and give him a shot of that sedative." 

Edwards followed Dowling downstairs. He briefly considered trying to overpower her but then he remembered that she had a gun. She led him past a berth, where he saw the captain and the crewmen tied up. Then she pulled him into a small berth and slid the door shut. “Look,” she said. “I’m only going to give you a half-dose too. I didn’t bring enough. Also, I don’t think I’m going to put tape on your face because you have a beard and it won’t really work. That good for you?” Edwards nodded. “Before I load up the syringe, just tell me one thing. Tell me that Howard didn’t kill the only person who knew exactly where the safe is.”

“I don’t know. I was a late addition to the crew. There’s one guy, Symons, who probably knows. He’s easy to spot. Tall and bald.”

Dowling took out the syringe and turned it in her hand. It reminded Edwards of Lily, and the way that she held a pen. “Elegant,” he had told her when they had first met, but the truth was that it was belabored, as if she was aware that she was being watched. He wasn’t certain if that made it less elegant, but it made it less compelling. Compelling was the way the lady pirate was holding the syringe, not looking at it or even near it, aware of it by touch alone, sensual with ease. Her fingers danced as if she were playing an instrument. She caught him looking and gave him the shot, not as nicely as she might have. “We’re going to make our getaway soon enough, and I want to make sure that we can do this quickly and quietly.” She jabbed Edwards again. “Soon, you’ll feel kind of heavy around the eyes and mouth. You might nod off. When you wake up, there’s a decent chance we’ll still be here, on account of the half-dose. But don’t worry. We’re not going to hurt anyone else. The one, Loomis, we’ll have to write off to Howard’s personality. He isn’t much under pressure.” She smiled, and this was the reverse of the smile she had given before: it started out sharp but softened. “Howard’s only mean because he cares too much. You know how people are: a flower in a garden where metal spikes are the rule.”

When the woman began to hum a lullaby, Edwards figured that he was hearing from inside the sedative. He let his eyes close and went to sleep. In there, he dreamed water, dark and lovely.


Scrap Dive by Margaret C. Argiro with Ed Fanuzzi

Editors' note: Scrap Dive is an exhibit created by graduate student Margaret C. Argiro for "The Social Hall: An Oral History Exhibit" at Columbia University on May 1, 2014.  For Scrap Dive, Margaret drew on oral history interviews conducted with Ed Fanuzzi from October 2013 - March 2014, as well as photos and objects from his personal collection. This post is a digitized version of the exhibit.     

Ed Fanuzzi grew up going on scrap drives during WWII, built his first diving helmet at age 11, and since then has collected innumerable items from wrecked ships in the waters around New York City. Most of all, Ed is always searching for gold. This exhibit invites you to take a dive into Ed’s stories and scraps to see if you come up with any gold of your own.

In 2013, Margaret C. Argiro graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and an interest writing, began her studies at Columbia University in the Oral History Master of Arts program, and met Ed Fanuzzi through Underwater New York. Margaret and Ed became quick friends, and she is overjoyed to be presenting Ed’s stories and objects today with support from Underwater New York.  On track to graduate in October 2014, Margaret’s thesis will be a creative written work about a firehouse-turned-music hall in her native Columbus, Ohio. Margaret keeps an online audio journal. See it at

East River of My Devotion by Lindsay Sullivan

Watch video of Lindsay and her collaborator Doug Keith performing this song at the American Folk Art Museum here



I took the sea to the C

searching for ghosts at Dead Horse beach

a ship appeared to me

I swam out so I could see

"Come aboard my darlin

it's the last time I'll be callin

come aboard and sail with me."

We sailed along the water's edge

Brighton Beach over Dreamland

cut right and towards the bridge

first Brooklyn then Manhattan.

"It wont be long my darlin

until you are drownin

and you belong to the sea."

Then the wind began to blow,

lightning struck and hit my boat.

I swam hard but fell below

I sang out to the River, don't let me go.

"You are the waves to my ocean,

East River of my devotion

I'll drink your salt

I'll breathe your sea."

I sunk down onto my knees,

Threw my head down to Her Sandy feet,

I begged Her please to let me breathe,

one breath of Her Salty Sea.

"You are the waves to my ocean,

East River of my devotion

I'll drink your salt

I'll breathe your sea."


And I became the River Bed,

Dead Fish, Stripped Cars and Soda Cans.

River City below Manhattan,

Piano Keys, Submarines and The Princess Ann. 

I am the waves to Your Ocean,

East River of our Devotion.

I drink Your Salt and 

I breathe Your Sea.

Yes I am the waves to Your Ocean,

East River of our Devotion.

I drink Your Salt and 

I breathe Your Sea.

Lindsay Sullivan is a student, yoga and meditation teacher, singer, songwriter and piano player living in Los Angeles. In 2008 she released her debut LP, Long Road Home with her band Clair. 

The Storm by Rachel Dix



Thomas Chambers, Threatening Sky, Bay of New York, c. 1835-50, Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 24 1/4 inches (46 x 61.6 cm), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 365-2008-5, Photo courtesy: Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Thomas Chambers, Threatening Sky, Bay of New York, c. 1835-50, Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 24 1/4 inches (46 x 61.6 cm), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 365-2008-5, Photo courtesy: Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.


A long and frigid plight across

A dark and angry sea

The Captain looked out from the bough

“A mighty storm,” said he

“A mighty storm to shake these men

A storm the sea must free.”

He placed his hands along the rail,

“A mighty storm,” said he.


The lookout was uneasy

For he could not find the shore

And with a deep conviction cried

“We have no place to moor!”

The men all murmured hushedly

What God forsake them for,

Though they received no answer but

The thunder’s distant roar.


A livid wind scaled the deck

And set the sails to rise

It bit the men with savage teeth

And stung their reddened eyes.

It rose above them, loud and clear,

With woeful, angry cries

It threw the crew from mast to rud

And churned up darkened skies.


The purple, bitter waves amassed

With foamy frothy ends

A man who tumbled from the stern

Was lost in wat’ry bends

The priest aboard consoled the crew

“We come when Jesus sends!

We are but lambs who ran astray

From flocks the dear Lord tends.”


Boom! … Crack!

“We’ve come to New York Bay!

I know these are the Narrows men,

If only one more day

Had passed before our jaunt began

We’d surely be okay.”

Their sides heaved at the irony

Their sides heaved with dismay.


The boards began an anguished groan

The hull began to fill

The sounds of waves and thunder

Overwhelmed the senses till

The men no longer fought it,

And instead embraced the chill

With stony faces, callused hearts,

And one united will


The day broke in an eerie calm

The sky was pink and blank

The shoreline was announced ahead

By the buoys’ clank

And all the remnants of the men,

Of the mighty ship that sank

Was floating on the languid sea:

A lone, and simple plank.

Rachel Dix is a sixteen-year-old sophomore at George Mason High School in Northern Virginia. She’s an aspiring actress, and very interested in the arts and humanities. She plans on going to college to major in theater or marine biology, or maybe even English. She’s been writing poetry since she was nine years old, and her poem, The Storm, is the winning entry for the Underwater New York Shipwreck Story Contest.

Waterway by Colette Murphy

OBJECT: Shipwrecks

BODY OF WATER: Hudson River

“Home,” Acrylic &amp; bleach on linen, 46″x60″, 2009

“Home,” Acrylic & bleach on linen, 46″x60″, 2009

“Poaching,” Acrylic &amp; bleach on linen, 36″x60″, 2009.

“Poaching,” Acrylic & bleach on linen, 36″x60″, 2009.

“Great Island III,” Acrylic and linen, 76″x76″, 2009

“Great Island III,” Acrylic and linen, 76″x76″, 2009

Artist Statement

This body of work required a search for something real and sustainable both in the physical construction of the work and the images I chose. The image of the shipwreck became a tangible object as a metaphor for our fragile state as a society. The appeal of these large, well constructed, man-made objects came from their use as war tanks. Built with a persuasion for life everlasting and yet against the force of nature they crumble and are swallowed. The catastrophe has a peaceful ending. With a desire to return to more meager means of survival or serenity I drown in the silence of the water’s vibration. The materials I choose are in their most unpolished form i.e. raw linen, dirty paint water and pencil, a direct contrast to the indulgence of our society. A return to landscape painting reveals an environment depleted by its previous inhabitants. The landscape has inherited our deserted presence. The vine of growth attempts to strangle the throne which once seated the king. Waterways swallowed the objects abandoned from their former days of glory. Decay is losing ground as the paint soaks the last breath of color from its falling days of grace. As an artist I am committed to recording the world as it is, unedited. It is not the event that I am interested in, rather the perception of the event. The details of the decline are glorious, the devastation sublime. The silence of language and the absence of people is the world revealed in my work. The aftermath is a desire for something more but the threatening future possesses me and the work that I make.

Colette Murphy is a painter who lives and works in Brooklyn. She holds an MFA from Hunter College. In 2009, she exhibited in “Personally Political—Contemporary Sensation,”at Art House Tacles, Berlin. She also showed with “PARLOUR.” No 6 “Watery Grave” in Staten Island. In 2008, she exhibited at Dean Project, LIC, APW Gallery, and Hunter College Times Square in New York City, as well as at the Scope Art Fair in London and in the Hamptons. In 2004, she exhibited at The Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery at Hunter College. She has been published in New American Paintings, Feb-March Edition, 2009.  She was the recipient of the Estelle Levy Award in 2008 and the Tony Smith Award 2009.

At Me Too Someone is Looking by Alanna Schubach

When the greenish lights hit the smoke rising from the DJ booth, it formed a noxious cloud. If you dance inside it, you die, Alice decided. They were there at the behest of someone called Darien, a stick figure given life and stringy black hair. Elyse had sent him for drinks.

“He’s a millionaire,” she said. “We should pay for nothing.”

“How did that happen?”

“I don’t know, some Internet thing. He’s retired now.”

He returned with twin cylinders filled with neon.

“You know, Darien’s a town in Connecticut,” Alice told him.

“And also, my name.”

“How are you enjoying your retirement?”

“I don’t feel retired. I want to open a commune on City Island. I want to learn how to make my own compost—supposedly you need at least two years for everything to really ferment the way it should. I want to bring back the zine. Who can bear to read shit online? I’m concerned with the rise in intangibles. I really need to finish my screenplay. It’s a reimagining of Crime and Punishment, set in a Long Island high school.”

“I grew up on Long Island.”

“Qué fantástico.”

He spoke to her as though she could parse a thing he was saying. As if she wasn’t the sort of person for whom going to a club still held an odor of the forbidden. Everyone seemed older. There was the sense that they all owned the same kind of makeup, something you could only buy on the black market, something that filled in the crevices and caverns on your face, that smothered years rather than peeled them away.

Elyse asked, “Will you put your own shit in the compost?”

“Will you dance with me?”

Alice sipped her neon and tried to move her hips without thinking about it. She knew these first moments would be unbearable, to the point that she’d be wildly angry at her companions for plucking her out of the night and dropping her here. It was the challenge she knew she could not meet, to seem as though she were simply one of many of Elyse’s intimates, to bump hips and laugh with during an unexpected but welcome nighttime encounter, rather than a classmate invited out on a whim, probably with the sole purpose of self-amusement, someone who’d never be here if it weren’t for the accident of fate that the registrar placed their fraternal twin names side by side on a roster. She’d imagine smashing her drink in their faces, and that would calm her a little. Then finally the neon would reach her head and shift the crowded dance floor into focus, and all the silhouettes would be ringed with joy.

Elyse felt frantic. She sank her face into Darien’s damp neck to muffle it. She’d thought Alice might blossom into ebullience, but now she saw she was the sort to stand in the corner, fold her arms, send her sour expression forward, floating overhead like poisoned pollen. Darien’s erection poked at her thigh and she felt nauseated. “Alice,” she said. “You look like you’re watching a puppy being tortured.”

“I’m fine.”

Darien gave her a look that was too familiar: don’t get like that, Elyse, as though he really knew what she could get like. Fucking isn’t osmosis, she wanted to tell him. There was an aching bracelet around the meat of her upper right arm where he’d been squeezing. “Nick,” her mother used to say, when they rolled around on the floor, Elyse refusing to tap out even when her windpipe felt ready to fold in on itself, tissue paper in her father’s headlock, “you don’t know your own strength.” That was bullshit. Men knew their own strength exactly.

What was the consolation? To pretend she didn’t know, to agree in earnest to an arm wrestling match, poise her elbow on the table with great seriousness that belied a faith that it was possible, at least, to win, seated across from the guy with mirth stretched across his face like a second skin, him thinking he’d go easy but not so easy that she wouldn’t be slammed back to reality like her humerus hitting the table, her chest full of the bittersweet throb of secretly knowing more.

“Let’s go get another drink,” she said. As they walked to the bar Elyse could feel Alice’s edges soften and blur. Tenderness suddenly filled her chest, warming away the anxiety: she remembered a time when she craved female attention. Before she found all the things that would happen were she the one to give it. Leaning over, her tits resting on the edge of the bar, Elyse tried to think of who the bartender reminded her of, until she realized it was a character from her novel. The warmth fell away.

Last time she’d seen her dad they sat on the creaking back porch drinking beers out of a silver bucket of melted icewater as the day sizzled out around them. From inside the house his girlfriend, Beth, would occasionally peek out the kitchen window and smile, to the point that Elyse began to suspect it was some sort of Pavlovian response to the glassy clink of their bottles. Clink, smile. Beth had long straight gray hair and Elyse privately nicknamed her the Iron Curtain. Beth’s arm was in a cast, which went unexplained.

“I was worried this would be awkward,” Elyse told her father.

“Hey, I know you.”

“I’ve slept with like fifty guys. That I know of,” she thought of saying, but it would just upset him. Not the number: his failure to feel a snap of protectiveness at its announcement. So instead: “My workshop professor this semester is a complete douchebag.”

“When you were little you’d read your mom’s catalogs. You loved the names of the colors for the shoes and stuff. Salmon, burnt sienna, cerulean. Always loved words.”

Clink, smile.

“Right now I’d call the sky three-day-old bruise.”

“I wish Beth would stop buying this shit. She knows I prefer swill. She knows it, but she doesn’t like it.”

“Did you break her arm?”

“Elyse, I’m sixty years old.”

She even cherished foreign words with a similar sense of ownership: when she took high school Spanish she admired how there were words not only for this and that, but also for that over there, in the distance: aquella. She said it aloud into the deaf ear of the club.

“Huh?” Alice said. “Yeah, I’m okay,” though her face was worryingly flushed. Arthur Kill, she was thinking drunkenly, Arthur Kill as she adjusted the heavy bag (it contained a Moleskine, several pens, a short story collection entitled You Gotta Read This!) hanging from her aching right shoulder. Professor O’Neill had assigned her creative non-fiction workshop an article from New York (cue the quiet after-class hallway smirking that O’Neill read that: it explained her perfectly, the heavy Hoosier with dreams of spike-heeled Manhattan bitchiness) about the objects swallowed by city waterways over the centuries: the dinette set, the rebar, the cache of silver, the bountiful shipwreck sunk down in thick harbor sludge, water skinned by tar, disturbingly soft sand filling the cracks on the bow. They were to each pick an item and crack it open. A predictable contrivance from the woman who handed them lemons on the first day and asked them to practice sensory description. It was unbelievable that this was costing thirty thousand dollars a year. Arthur Kill was the narrow between Staten Island and Jersey where they’d lost all the silver, but it sounded to her more like the name of a Victorian child murderer. She thought briefly of writing a story about Arthur Kill but decided she would ultimately derive more pleasure from secretly turning the name over and over in her mind like a pearl. Alice had always had an excellent memory. She was sure Arthur Kill had stuck with no one else. The problem with her crystal recall, though, was that she was forever yanked by its monstrous grip backward—that is, whenever she wasn’t already drifting forward, sending her astral self floating ahead like a smoke signal, this vapor-Alice telling the story of now in a flickering far-flung apartment or hotel room. Tonight wasn’t even happening; it had already happened, crusted over into something for her to spit up for others, for whatever reason—probably to make herself seem exotic, appealing, a person who had lived.

“I’m a time traveler,” she told Elyse. “For real.” They were all sitting at the bar. She was sweaty, muscles popping satisfyingly inside her legs.

“That guy is checking you out. That one over there, the poor man’s Ethan Hawke.”

“Really poor. Like homeless man’s. But I only travel within my own timeline, so it’s not that interesting. I’m not that interesting.”

“Go over there,” Darien said, as though he had spent adequate time studying Alice and concluded she was the sort of person who needed some platonic male encouragement: he could really turn things around for her. You are pissing me off. It was a scream in Elyse’s head. Surely he could hear.

“I looked into the future and saw that it wouldn’t happen. I can’t do anything to change that.”

“Are you saying you want to leave?” Elyse said.

“Are you?” It was a trick Alice had learned from a college friend, to smoothly hoist the responsibility onto someone else’s shoulders without them even feeling it. Most people were just talking about themselves, anyway.

Elyse sighed harshly. “Fuck, yes.”

Alice had learned a lot in college. Then there had been the times when she would come home for visits, the weird backsliding of creeping late into her parents’ dark house after nights out with friends and their increasingly tenuous shared histories, gossip about post-high school activities of now deliciously remote people, her own sludgy feelings of disgust at engaging in these conversations at bars that now just seemed depressingly provincial, now that she was of age, her delight at the sinking stars of those for whom high school had been the zenith: because it hadn’t been for Alice and her friends, so clearly their time was now, with their impressive colleges, and beyond them smooth wide carpets extending into a future that knew nothing of Long Island.

Finally one night her mother told her: it wasn’t that she minded Alice’s going out, but wouldn’t she come up and let them know when she got home? She couldn’t sleep well until she knew Alice was safe and sound.

So she obliged, at two a.m. padding into the cave of their bedroom like her childhood self fallen out of time. She heard their paired steady breathing.

“It’s me,” she said softly.

Her mother snapped straight up and shrieked.

“Jesus Christ Carol,” her father mumbled through fog.

“You told me—” Alice began. Her mother’s white hand fluttered in the dark to her chest.

“She’ll give me a heart attack,” her father said. “One of these days I’ll wake up dead.”

Alice retreated, the room smelling of foreign sleep. It had been beginning to dawn on her for a while then that her mother was faintly ridiculous: she preferred the idea of herself as the mother who waited up to being the one who actually did. Alice had been supposed to know better than to follow her rules.

On their way out of the club, Alice was groped. A man reached over, took a breast in each hand, and squeezed as though that was what they were there for.

“What?” Alice said, as though it was a question she’d misheard. He was already turning away. “What the fuck is wrong with you?” It poured out of her, a liquid yell, consuming the bass thrum in her chest. It became its own energy source. People were looking at her with mild annoyance, sleepy cats roused by a slammed door.

“I’m sorry, but he should be shamed,” she told them. Elyse and Darien were pulling her away. They leaked out onto the street. A cold gust of wind unblurred the streetlights, righted the loose clusters of kids headed to wherever. She used to want to black out, honestly, in those headlocks squirming there at the end of a long tunnel of years. Not to chasten her father: to show him she could. How far she was willing—wanted—to travel. As a baby, her parents said, Elyse would hold her breath until she turned blue to get what she wanted, sitting in her high chair furious and violet, bulging eyes swimming with wordless extremism. She hadn’t asked to be here, to come out from death’s velvet enclosure, but since she had she would laugh at it. Her father was this way, so said the box of Purple Hearts tossed unthinkingly into the corner of his wardrobe, and she was the same, but there was no proof then, no way to reveal their communion other than to go gladly limp in his arms. To enter the black nothing of unconsciousness. Of course, it had happened plenty since then, but always out of his view.

“Holy shit,” Darien said, “Alice is fierce.”

“Alice is a second-wave feminist,” Elyse said.

“Alice once spit in John Updike’s face at a party.”

“Alice came up with Obama’s campaign slogan.”

“Alice is the Poet Laureate in perpetuity.”

“Alice is the leading cause of death in twentysomething men.”

They were all doubled over in the street, holding on to each other, and Alice was suffused with generosity for both of them, she could see now their essential humanness, and she saw the earlier tensed Alice of that night as pitiable, a petty fool. But there was the knowledge lurking beneath like a sea snake that of course she only felt generous when it was convenient for her: like riding the subway home from school at the end of a long day, the sun still up, surrounded by crumpled dusky people who unlike her had to work for a living: then, too, she would feel this way. And she recognized their laughter as the dangerous social laughter that when heard from outside feels like an assault. That is, certainly, a double laughter, not only at the actual funny event or thing but also at everything beyond the edge of the silvery bubble the laughter constructs. And then she thought, well fuck it.

“I’m not like this,” she admitted, gasping, gathering herself. “Usually I just ask, Will this suck?And if it’s a yes I don’t say anything.”

Elyse struggled past the initial shards of judgment that formed at this pronouncement, so certain and unaware, so—she tried not to think—repressed. Her ex-boyfriend used to ask her why she’d get so angry at people who did things differently, but of course he wasn’t really asking, he was telling her she was deeply insecure, she didn’t know what she was doing. Will this suck? Was the sucking worth it, worth some inner assurance? She had never known until the end. The night after the visit with her father, standing in front of the mirror in her underwear, Elyse had pinched at the pale flesh pooching over its elastic band.

“Sometimes I feel like a beast,” she told her ex-boyfriend, half-asleep on the couch. She felt all the beers with her father from that afternoon, the window of Beth and her broken arm, sloshing in her gut, an off-color sea. She lurched over to him in a way she might have designed, somewhat, to confirm her statement. “Do you still find me attractive?”

“Not at the moment, no,” he said.

“I would never say that to you.” It was true: he would have crumpled.

“I would never ask you a question like that. It’s wildly unfair.”

She filed it away, did not fight: she let the frustration mount silently in her chest like mucus and went to bed feeling restless, noble.

And months later, as they cleaned up the kitchen after a quiet dinner, he’d asked softly, barely audible over the running water in the sink, “Are you sure you’re not getting bored of me? Like—you still find me sexy?” The softness bothered her, like he wasn’t really sure he wanted her to hear, or he wanted her to have to lean into his orbit, a comforting satellite. And the unspoken nod to “her past,” which he thought of as still out there, a semi-separate entity living it up on night streets, outshining him.

It would have been easy to reassure him, it would have been easy to think instead of the way he’d gently push her hair back from her forehead as he kissed her so he could reach every part of her face, which he’d gaze at like it was something more than it was. But there was the fact that once, she had been punished by him, for a twinned moment of fear. And he thought he shouldn’t be.

So she’d had to bring it up and they’d had to fight. That was what it was like then, for them. She never told him what she had once seen: a small college town in the mountains somewhere, the two of them on a balcony, their lean faces, lined with character, turned toward peaked roofs, chimney smoke rising remotely away. She’d teach a couple classes a week, maybe; students would visit their drafty living room with its high ceiling, its wooden slats, the lofted bedroom overhead, and they’d admire the nest she’d made with him, to be seen but never quite felt, deliciously out of reach. A life that was hushed but thrummed with mystery, the echoes of a drunken stagger through city alleyways no longer needed. Things accomplished, consummated, to make way for this peace that was for them, the fresh hungry faces, decades away. But she saw this was to be Alice’s future, not hers. In some other pulsing cell of the city now he was pushing back another girl’s hair, learning the texture of another bedroom’s dimness. And if he imagined Elyse at all, she was doing exactly what he imagined, having merged again with that once-dancing once-distant past. There would be book parties in the spring, flirtatious young men with their own dreams to be beamed off her luminous flesh (already her classmates were hovering over the success-to-come, sharks pulled to bloody water), herself bounding through one portal after another, none of which emptied finally into the quiet country home.

Darien stopped short in front of them. They were standing in front of a narrow tall building, a muscular leg in black tights. The blinking sign said eep Show.

“A ghost of old New York,” he said. “From the age of smut.”

Elyse said, “I don’t remember any eep shows.”

“Come on, Lisey. We have to.”

“We don’t have to do anything,” Alice said.

Darien looked at her sadly. “That’s not true.”

It was all the clichés, sticky floors and old tobacco and the bleachy smell of come. Was this authenticity, then—depressing odors and the remnants of Type A influenza? As they climbed the stairs Alice’s buzz dissipated proportionately. You paid in a coin machine that looked like an antique. It was the sort of thing someone like Darien would have in a corner of his apartment. He’d stack the DSM-V on top of it for a high-low affect. Alice couldn’t have grasped after the diaphanous tails of her previous generosity had she wanted to.

They climbed into a booth and pulled the black curtain closed around them. There was just enough room for the three of them. Alice felt Elyse’s downy upper arm on one side and Darien’s pointy elbow on the other. Darien reached over and pressed a stamp into each of their hands. “It’ll make her look like the Loch Ness Monster,” he said. The complete blackness assured Alice it was all right. It seemed to hum with approval. The air inside was stale but hushed, reverent.

And then there was light on the other side of the glass. The girl, who was just a girl, started twisting around behind it.

“Oh God,” Elyse said. “I thought I could do this.”

“Don’t think about it,” Darien said. “Don’t think about how after work she has to suck off her boss and the dead look in her eyes makes it even better for him. It’s just a story you’ve heard a million times.”

Elyse tried to resist, because what Darien said was so often trite and clearly planned ahead of time—she imagined nothing but journals stacked against the walls of his apartment with “Conversations for Every Situation” scrawled inside—and because she wasn’t sure she only meant the booth, the blank sea creature inches away. But sometimes his words nevertheless resounded inside her till she began to vibrate. After the break-up he’d said, “But it’s also kind of beautiful, isn’t it?” so that she wanted to scream but also saw, captured in his voice, a reflection of the broken glass feeling, the way the light shone off it. She let him come toward her, let him think it was all his strength.

They were making out in earnest now. Alice fit herself into a corner of the booth and tried to enjoy it objectively: the writhing couple, their soft open-mouthed moans beside her, the sad bouncing titties on the other side of the glass, co-monologues of stale carnality. But their lips smacked together hungrily and she felt annoyance and something else flare deep within: she saw orange flame streaking through thick darkness. This was the sort of story (here again she traveled through time) book reviews and author profiles would one day yearn for, the wunderkind unmasked. And she would have, at least, the defense that she’d known Elyse before she became the first ever graduate student in the program to have a manuscript accepted before earning her degree: that it hadn’t been about being able to say she was the sort of person who knew intimately this sort of person. She could say she felt then no impatience, only detached happiness for Elyse and silent assurance that her time, too, would come, perhaps minus the fireworks but no less (in fact, probably more) worthy of them. Elyse turned her head toward Alice, lipstick smeared, ghastly, waiting, and Alice fell forward at her with her own mouth, as though she could communicate to Elyse that way how she saw her: how she saw through her. She tasted like secondhand whisky (Darien) and the waxy lipstick and under the lipstick—cherry. Elyse was a secret wearer of cherry gloss. Alice saw her as a little girl in front of a mirror, before consciousness. She pulled away.

Elyse turned back toward Darien, her eyes leaving an aura of mild disappointment, nothing more, hanging in the air. She was slapping at him, scratching, tugging his pants. He threw his head back and it rang loudly against the glass. Even the dancing girl’s expression registered surprise. Alice realized this would go on forever. They would devour each other, pick the strands of muscle from between their teeth, swallow the cartilage whole, watch it ripple down each other’s throats.

“Bathroom,” she muttered, the word utterly Dada inside the booth. She grasped the railing on her way down the stairs, which were squirming with amoeba, thinking vaguely about Purell. Before she opened the door she saw her face reflected in its cracked plastic from every angle, Picassoesque, jutting cheekbone and vertical eyebrow and slashed lips and thought, Good. Now they’ll know.

Outside the sun was coming up. The subway now would be insurmountable. She walked instead, amazed to feel her bag still swinging from her shoulder. I’m Old Faithful, she thought, and then, what was that other phrase I liked? Arthur Kill. Arthur Kill.

Alice reached the river. Beyond it, New Jersey: putting on the coffee, getting dressed for church, newsprint smudges on fingertips and faithfully chugging car motors. Sitting on a riverfront bench, disheveled and drugged as if that was who she really was, Alice longed for the imagined life.

That median strip of rippling gray began to churn. There was a noise like a monstrous burp and the seagulls stopped dead in the air at the sound of it. They hovered, watching, as the river began to vomit its contents, all of them: the dining room table and chairs, bobbing and waiting for their owners to take them home; the abandoned appliances, the building materials, the unfulfilled potential of a hundred objects buoyed by their own wordless yearning for use, the crest of a ship fallen into majestic ruin and then finally, the bars of silver, gorgeous gleaming rectangles floating in the water before Alice like so many false teeth.

  Alanna Schubach is a writer living in New York. She edits the website Such Sweet Thunder.

Lazy Boy by Sara Weiss

Rickie’s got a foot on my head, I’m holding onto a fistful of his hair and he’s pressing my nose so far back it feels like it’s ramming into my brains. Whenever we get together, he beats the crap out of me. I’ve known Rickie since we were little, since baseball camp, when I had thick glasses and a patch to correct my lazy eye. Sometimes, my eye still goes berserk.

“Let him go,” Jodi says. She’s skinny with blue eyes and black hair and she dresses like a boy with cargo pants and a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. The wind makes her t-shirt ripple revealing a strip of her white stomach.

Rickie holds me down a few seconds longer and then releases me.

“Got to work on your leg drop,” he says.

We’re sitting on a cliff overlooking the Hudson. Our town is an hour north of Manhattan. There’s a power plant, a scenic view of the river and nothing to do. Kids make their own fun. They drink forties, dump bottles in the river, jump off cliffs and some of them drown. Our high school holds assemblies after this happens and all the girls cry even though they’d never talked to the kid who died. These aren’t the girls I like.

Rickie moves over to Jodi and starts rubbing her arm, which is covered with goose bumps.

“What the hell are you looking at?” Rickie’s got his mouth wide open and he’s shaking his head back and forth at me.

“Nothing,” I say.

“Cut it out,” Jodi says. “He can’t help where he’s looking.”

I close my eyes to make them readjust, back to normal.

“What is that?” Rickie points toward the river. I turn to look where’s he’s pointing, at a big fancy ship with four sails. It’s heading down the Hudson. As it gets closer, I see a man and a woman standing on the deck. They’re tan and blond, wearing matching pink shorts and sweaters, another sweater tied around each of their shoulders. The woman is yelling with glee. It’s all drama and it doesn’t belong here. The whole thing is blinding.

“Friends!” the man is calling. “Friends, help us out! Our boat here is sinking!”

I see now that the ship is lopping over to one side and going down. The woman is still yelling, but it occurs to me that it’s out of terror rather than glee.

“We have to do something,” Jodi says, standing up with her hand over her eyes.

“What are we supposed to do?” Rickie says.

There’s noise and commotion as the boat sinks like a balloon deflating in slow motion—they’re up to their waist in water and then they’re under. The sails go below, the whole thing goes down. A bird swoops low over the wreck and a bubble pops up on the surface of the water.

“What just happened?” Rickie says.

“That was weird,” I say.

We sit for a moment, watching the spot.

“We can’t just sit here,” Jodi says, looking back and forth from Rickie to me. She cares about causes; she posts photos of rabbits with no hair and missing eyes on the bulletin board next to the cheerleaders’ lockers with a sign that says: “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe she’s a bunny killer.”

“What do you want us to do?” Rickie says.

“Do something real.”

She’s standing on the edge of the cliff with her arms back in ready-to-jump position. It’s about a twenty-five foot drop below.

“Jodi,” I say. My voice cracks. “Maybe you shouldn’t do that.”

“I’ll be fine, Lazy-Boy.”

“Don’t try to stop her,” Rickie says. “She never listens.”

She shakes her head and says under her breath, “You’re such wusses.” I feel her disappointment like a shot in my chest.

She’s beautiful in midair with one leg bent and one down, her hair wild, her arms over her head, her clothes billowing in the wind. I think she’d be happier if she were jumping every second of her life.

She enters the water with a splash.

We stand up and watch her swim away from us.

“Crap,” Rickie says.

I decide that I will jump in after Jodi because there are times in life that one must be a man. I will drape Jodi and the preppy couple over my shoulders, swim them to shore and double drop kick Rickie.

I look down at the water rushing below me, at the space between me and it, and I feel my stomach drop.

Rickie’s next to me. “What do you think you’re doing? Don’t do it for her. She doesn’t want you bro.”

I close my eyes.

“In her world, you are an ant. You’re an ugly little bug with lots of legs.”

I breathe in.

“Can you even swim?”

I bend my legs and spring up and away from the cliff, and those few seconds are an hour. It’s the most peaceful place I’ve ever been, the wind whistling in my ears, falling. I feel the air cradling me.

The water, when I finally hit it, is cold. So cold, I think my heart has stopped. I open my eyes to green and begin to freak out. I don’t know where the surface is. I’m drowning. I flail and flip and try to push myself up but I don’t know which way that is and this is how I will die.

Something’s got a hold of my foot, some sort of plant or sea monster and I can’t move. I struggle, flailing my arms and legs but it’s no use.

A sunbeam gleams like gold chips dancing in silver water. The cloudiness clears away and turns the color of a clear sky. I let the water move me as if I’m a blade of sea grass and I feel calm. Jodi is below me, her hair floating all around her, motioning me to come toward her. I point at my foot to signal to her that I am stuck. She swims toward me, her arms by her sides like fins and she releases my foot from the plant.

She takes my hand and we swim.

There’s a submarine with a seaweed lawn and a roof. We fall through the door, our hands split apart and we tumble and tumble until I crash into a hard surface.

I can breathe again, I’m gasping for breath, lying on a wood paneled floor next to Jodi. Everything looks blurry. There’s elevator music playing in a room with a bed and green and orange flowered curtains. Outside circular windows, fields of underwater plants sway like a crowd at a concert.

The preppy couple is looking down at us. They’re wearing bathrobes with the initials PM and PW sewed on the chests.

“Hey friends,” the man says, puffing at a pipe. “Welcome to our submarine. Please don’t tell anyone about this.”

Jodi and I spit mucky water onto the floor. I can barely sit up, my arms and legs feel so weak.

“We misjudged you kids when we saw you sitting on that cliff,” says the man. “We really didn’t expect you to jump in after us, but here you are. With heart like that, we had to take you in. ‘Course your friend, the other one, he doesn’t have that kinda heart.”

Jodi sits up, hugging her legs, blinking at me.

“You kids are shivering,” the woman says. She throws us colorful blankets that look like they’ve been woven by Native Americans.

“What is all this?” I say.

“Get rested,” the man says. “Don’t worry.”

“We’ll let you two warm up,” the woman says. She and the man close the door gently behind them.

Jodi and I wrap ourselves in the blankets and sit shoulder to shoulder on a bed. It’s cozy in here and it smells like fresh laundry.

“They seem really nice,” Jodi says.

“I get a weird feeling,” I say.

“At least you jumped in,” Jodi says, shrugging, her hair dripping. “Look at Rickie.” There’s a little black and white TV in the corner that shows Rickie still standing on that rock, pacing like a lion at the zoo. Jodi runs her hand over my face. “I think your eye is fixed.” I look at her straight on. I see nothing but her.

We live down there for awhile. The man teaches me how to steer the submarine and how to grow facial hair. The woman shows Jodi how to put on makeup; she’s like the mother Jodi never had. Rickie is still there on that rock, pacing.

One day, Jodi tells me she has feelings for me. “I realize now that you’re stronger than Rickie because you’re resilient. It’s because you’ve had to overcome your lazy eye. He’s never known hardship.”

I reach toward her and put my hand on the nape of her neck. We look into each other’s eyes and kiss, and though I’ve never kissed a girl, I am very skilled.

Another day, I find the man sitting in the home theatre, wearing a cable knit sweater, sipping a soda. The film spins through a projector and a slice of soft light spreads over the room. I come and sit down next to him.

Rickie’s on the screen, sitting on the cliff with his head in his hands, looking sad at the water.

“I love this movie,” the man says. His hair is a salt and pepper gray which is becoming, coupled with his bone structure.

“In a second, he’s going to get up and start pacing again.” He shoves popcorn in his mouth. “Classic.”

“You think he wants to come in after us?” I say.

Popcorn spills from his mouth. “Ha! There he goes!” Rickie stands up and starts pacing again.

“I feel a little bad for him,” I say. “I kind of miss him.”

The man turns to face me. He’s wearing spectacles that magnify his eyes. He says, “We’ve got everything you’d ever want in our submarine. A movie theatre for example. It’s a dream– everything you’ve ever desired. But you do miss reality sometimes,” says the man, nodding at me, empathizing. The film ends and black squiggles pop on a white screen. “Then again” he says, stroking his chin, “down here we’ve got love.”

I stop to watch Jodi setting the table, humming to herself. She has filled out beautifully. She’s taken to wearing her hair in a casual pony-tail, a few loose strands framing her face, and her apron is tied neatly around her waist. When she sees me there, she comes toward me, her pale moon face tilted. She puts her arms around me and rests her head against my chest.

“Hi sweet pea,” she says. “Dinner’s almost ready.”

The room smells hearty, like stew.

I pull away from her. “Jodi,” I say. “Is this who you want to be? Remember how, when we were in high school, you used to throw red paint on women in fur coats? Didn’t you want to do something more along those lines?”

She smiles with one corner of her mouth turned upward and runs a hand over my cheek. “This is where I belong,” she says. Her eyes blink with a pleasant vacancy beneath raised brows.

“Now pull up a chair and tuck your napkin in your shirt.” She returns to the stove, humming.

That night, I can’t sleep. I leave Jodi in bed, pace around the cabin and spend hours looking out the window at dolphins snacking on squids. This Jodi, the one who is smitten with me, is nothing like the real Jodi. She’s always needed something or someone to save, and what is she doing with her life now? And what has become of me? Now that I can see straight, I’ve got nothing to prove.

I grab the wheel and take the submarine for a spin through the fields of seaweed which move like fingers tickling the boat. I think about last Thanksgiving. There was a fat turkey sweating in the middle of our dinner table. My mother stood up to saw through the turkey but it was tough and wouldn’t give and the whole bird fell to the floor. I got down to pick it up but Rickie caught me by the pants and gave me the wedgy of my life. Those were good times. Rickie always came over to my house for dinner because come to think of it, his family was pretty much the pits. His mother used to blow an air horn in his ear to wake him up in the morning.

“He’s always been jealous of you,” the man’s voice says. I turn around to see the couple is standing behind me. He’s smoking his pipe wearing a collared nightgown and she’s sporting poodle slippers.

“Don’t say that,” the woman says. “That Rickie kid was a bully. A nasty mean kid.”

“Lovey, let the boy go and live his life. In the future, he’s going to be a doctor and that Rickie kid is going to be fat and unemployed and sleeping on his couch. The tables will turn.”

“No!” the woman says. Her eyes look crazy and desperate. “Down here, he’s somebody. He’s got a woman to make him dinner. He was nothing up there. A wuss. A lazy boy.”

I’m trying to steer the submarine but we start bumping against plants, plants slapping against the window.

The man takes his wife by the elbow. “C’mon dear. This is upsetting you. Let’s go to bed.”

He guides her away but first he turns back and says, “She liked you, that Jodi. With your lazy eye and all.”

I park the submarine and notice that the water is cloudy again, the color of peas, and I sit for a long while with my head up, watching sunlight and blue sky wave at me from the surface. I imagine my mom’s up there plastering my face on trees, questioning every conversation we had leading up to my disappearance. My dad’s got one hand on the lawnmower — the other’s flipping burgers on the grill; he’s trying to act extra normal, holding it together for the family.

Come to think of it, how long have I been down here?

I return to bed, wrap my arms around my loving girl and pull her close before doing what I know I have to do.

I leave in the middle of the night. I open the door and push away from our perfect spot, away from our home underwater. I wait for old Jodi to come and get me, to take my hand, to swim us back to shore.

Sara Weiss Zimmerman’s writing has appeared in Literary Mama, The Hook Magazine and Outbreath. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and is a graduate of Tufts University. Sara works as a writing professor and yoga instructor and lives in Nyack, N.Y. with her husband and baby girl.