‘A Love Story’ by Samantha Hunt
Photograph by Matt Knoth
From The New Yorker:
“A coyote ate a three-year-old not far from here.”
“My uncle told me.”
“He said, ‘Don’t leave those babies outside again,’ as if I already had.”
“Come on.” An answer less precise than no.
“Why’s he monitoring coyote activity up here?”
A wild dog with a tender baby in its jaws disappearing into the redwoods forever. My uncle’s so good at imagining things, he makes them real. “Yeah. It’s just what he does, a habit.” Or a compulsion.
“I don’t get it.”
But I do. Every real thing started life as an idea. I’ve imagined objects and moments into existence. I’ve made humans. I tip taxi-drivers ten, twenty dollars every time they don’t rape me.
The last time my husband and I had sex was eight months ago, and it doesn’t count because at the time my boobs were so huge from nursing that their power over him, over all men, really, was supreme. Now, instead of sex with my husband, I spend my nights imagining dangerous scenarios involving our children. It’s less fun.
“Watch out,” my uncle says. “Watch out,” taking refuge in right-wing notions, living his life terrified of differences.
Once, I was a drug dealer, back when pot was still illegal here. I’m a writer now.