Diane Williams

He had chafing and I’m not having luck with anything I’m using.  We had agreed to meet where they know me.  The server put drinks down.

“Hey!” he said.  “I happen to have a chicken. Why don’t you come over?”

I would say that to a friend, and it would be true!

My anus is now irritated.  My vagina’s very delicate.  My stomach hurts.

His sconces were shaded in a red tartan plaid and there were side-views of sailing boats in frames.

I was getting to see the hair cracks in his skin that suggest stone or concrete as it hardens.

Back out on Ninety-first Street, a man and a woman were walking their dog.  The woman had turnip-colored hair. The man wore a felt hat and he motioned to me.  They could have both been exhausted and penniless.  No!  As it turned out they were assembled there to talk me out of that.  Let me think about this further. At a stand, I bought a few strands of daisies. Every bone in one of these blossoms is mended.

Diane Williams’s new story collection — VICKY SWANKY IS A BEAUTY — is due out from McSweeney’s this January.  She is the author of seven books of fiction and the founder and editor of the literary annual NOON.  She has been awarded three Pushcart Prizes. “Pedestal” first appeared in the November 2009 issue of Harper’s Magazine.