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Clean, slice, inflate by Sean Ennis

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

There is some question, like, who is this Colleen person? Are you in love with her? What’s the backstory here? I’ve gotten into it before, but it’s enough now to say she holds a place in my life. In an emergency, I guess I could call her.

Of course, I’m not in love with her. That would be Grace. I mean, she brought peaches to the house that were clearly nectarines. Loveable. Her shoulder is frozen above her head, but she’s doing her exercises. She cannot send me the email I really want though. Nobody probably can.

But Colleen needs to borrow our wet vac—I don’t remember buying it. She wants to borrow our mandoline—it terrifies me. Also, our air pump. Her plan is to achieve things this weekend. Grace and I say, sure, sure, we weren’t planning on slicing our fingers open this Saturday.

The house is emptier.

Sometimes I worry Grace cares more for Colleen than for me. For instance, she won’t let me borrow her toothbrush. But it's the kind of petty worry that serves no purpose, is without ground, confuses. To make up for it, I overcompensate, and write down for Colleen all our passwords, and throw in a novel too.

I go back and forth.

With all that stuff gone from the house, Grace and I have room to spread out. The kitchen is now wide as a dance floor.

When Colleen returns what she borrowed, there’s a bandage on her finger, of course. Could she please borrow a summer dress, a strong flashlight, and two tablespoons of coriander? We have these things too! We are pretty helpful. We’re not annoyed.


Sean Ennis is the author of CHASE US: Stories (Little A) and more pieces from this project have appeared in New World Writing, Bending Genres, X-R-A-Y, Diagram and HAD. More of his work can be found at

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