My truck’s compromised radiator steaming, I pulled off for pepper flakes, expecting nothing more than having to call Triple A if I couldn’t fix the situation. This was in the parking lot of a place called Halfway Barbecue, down on Highway 176. I ’d chosen to take back roads all the way to the South Carolina coast in case something like this happened. . . .
Hazel Hicks was the first “None” to graduate Crossley State College as a religion major. Hazel herself thought it nothing special. She thought it an obvious choice for someone like her. Which is to say, a person who took every form of life seriously but who found all creation stories implausible—even the most entertaining and compelling. . . .
Qingxin remembers that the character 万comes fromin the Oracle Bone Script—a scorpion with large pincers and a poisonous sting at the end of its jointed tail. How does a bug come to mean ten thousand, as in “毛主席万鋸”—Chairman Mao lives ten thousand years, . . .
Born four and a half billion years ago from flecks of matter, particles of helium, the teeth of gravity, dust, light, ghosts, and ice, she married the sun, bore children from wind and plankton, tethered herself to the hearth with the rearing of men and mice and fruit. Her bosom was full of water and her belly full of wild trout. . . .
I like the innocent parts of Flat Earth, the bits about reinventing knowledge, but I hate the part that’s borders and brutalism. I get the desire for an edge because I also love the feminine tilt and the endless dip of the heliocentric, but Flat Earth feels like a gender homesick for an atlas of endless shale beneath us. . . .
Fourteen doctors puzzled over my symptoms before a fifteenth finally presented the results of an eight-hundred-dollar allergy test explaining my seven years of debilitating digestive issues. I stopped eating everything on the list—basil, oranges, raspberries, artichokes, asparagus, mustard, melon, oregano, papayas, plums, yeast—and I improved. At that time, I anticipated neither the extent of the illness nor the ways it would weave through my existence, . . .