Mammals, I Think We Are Called: I Probably Am a Lonely One

I Probably Am a Lonely One. Edward Hopper's Nighthawks in the background.

I Probably Am a Lonely One

Number 8 of the eighteen stories in my debut short story collection, Mammals, I Think We Are Called.

Hopper’s Nighthawks is brought to life when a freak lightning ball in a diner propels a group of outsiders to decide between loneliness and love.

Read an excerpt:

The man in the green jacket
Only the hum of electric lights as they reach across the counter for a hand, but end up with the sugar bowl or the milk. It’s late and everyone is gone, except for those two, sitting together at the counter, plus the waiter and me. I push away my cold coffee and spin round on my stool to face the window, then dangle my arms, the backs of my hands brushing the cool leather, watching the people outside looking up at the sky and then disappearing round corners and into buildings. I imagine they have been beamed up to another planet and are never coming back as the light outside turns green, the inside holding its pressure, holding me in suspension, and I watch the distant lightning from my yellow bowl, my body practically hovering above the seat, electrically relaxed.

The man in the black jacket
I don’t know if this woman sitting so close to me is a devil or a saint. You never know. I can only see her from the outside. She’s pretty. I have the urge to take her hand. I probably am a lonely one. I hadn’t thought about it much, really. I used to hold hands and that sort of thing and then one day I thought, why? and I just let go. I hadn’t felt anything much before, and I felt better right away. Although a few days later I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me and after that the loneliness came back and then I wanted to hold hands again.

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