Very Short Stories. Robert Roth

Kaqmantas brother Robertqa uchuy wentuchakunata waqtarmun /liyirqamuy / corazon contento / corazon llakikuq

Very Short Stories

Roberth Roth



A shoutout over a vast divide. When I go out the two things I need to do are wear a mask and sunglasses. My sunglasses would seriously fog up after a couple of blocks. If one had to go it was the sunglasses which significantly limited how long I could walk. I saw a disturbing photo of two anti-lockdown warriors in full regalia with rifles over their shoulders. One though was wearing sunglasses and a mask. I am more worrier than warrior. But still I studied that photo and figured out how I could wear both.

Since then, every time I step outside into the sun I think of him with gratitude.


Private Response. My friend George spoke very positively of the sexual rush he got when a male security guard at Ben Gurion Airport patted his whole body down as part of the security protocol. “You know why I have to do this,” the man said almost apologetically. George answered, “No, no it’s fine.” My friend Muriel spoke angrily about her breast being gruffly grabbed and squeezed at a different airport by a security guard, this time a woman. She spoke about the feelings of desire stirred up as well as her sense of being violated. She in addition thought there was something gratuitous in how it was done. Another friend wrote about having an orgasm while nursing her son. This was a difficult thing for her to write about. What she didn’t write about, and I felt I couldn’t ask her about, was whether that was something she anticipated or was hoping to happen the next time she nursed him.



The Atheist and the Priest.  I wished my super Michael a Happy Holiday. He answered that he wasn’t religious and that he was both a socialist and atheist and that he didn’t celebrate religious holidays.
It turns out his best friend was a Jesuit priest, a friend since childhood, who would come by his apartment every Sunday after mass  for dinner. They would have long endless discussions. Though they loved each other dearly, they disagreed  on almost everything including whether or not there was an afterlife.
When Michael died–to honor his request– the priest along with another of his friends illegally snuck onto a pier late at night to scatter his ashes into the Hudson River.
Now each time the priest drives by that pier, he looks towards the river and says, «Michael, you know better than me which one of  us was right.”




Intersectionality. Sometime in the 1960s I remember watching a transwoman (not sure how she was referred to then) on the David Susskind show. She was a recurrent guest, extremely high strung, frantic, frazzled, manic, always insistent on the validity of her reality. She was asked by Susskind with a kind of lascivious smirk frozen on his face what she thought about women libbers burning their bras. She answered, “Why should I want to burn my bra when I spent my whole life trying to get into one.”

She was there in the full integrity of who she was, separated from the powerful current of women rising in resistance and all the ways they too were being ridiculed, caricatured and dismissed.

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