I mean, fine—the film is not as good as I remember it. The plot is thin, the dialogue contrived, and worse yet: it’s about a struggling writer who seeks poetry in park bench dedications, and has his debut short story coming out in The New Yorker. Adam is mad at me for picking the movie. He says there’s a difference between ‘struggling’ and ‘aspiring’. In the film, there’s a quiet whisper or two about a secreted law school fund, but we never really find out what this writer does for a living. The exterior shots tell us he lives off Central Park West, the same building as Sting, the kind that has bored doormen in uniform and separate backdoors for delivery people. And later, when this writer gets his check for six thousand dollars, which we agree is a lot of money for a short story, a lot more than Adam and I have ever been paid for ours, but we guess, The New Yorker, sure—he spends it all on a late-night impulse-buy at the midtown Cartier; a ring to propose to a married woman. But what really guts us is this writer’s debut story. It’s about a forbidden liaison between a German Shepherd and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever—and they got David Remnick to make a guest appearance for this?

We’re watching Predator next time, Adam tells me. No more of my wishful IFC shit. The only good thing about the film, he says, is the actor who played the writer—may he rest in peace—and also maybe the fictional short story’s title. “Run From Becky.” It could be about anything.

Manhattan, 2020

Gauraa Shekhar is a writer in Manhattan. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod Journal, Contrary, Sonora Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a Founding Editor of No Contact, and the Interviews Editor at Maudlin House. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Columbia University.

www.gauraashekhar.com

www.nocontactmag.com