Tom Barbash fiction enry is in the part of the dream where his father carries him piggyback through the shoulder-high waves. His father's T-shirt is soaked through, and the salt water is making the cut on Henry's elbow sting, when a woman's voice calls out, "Henry . . . Henry." Before his eyes open he knows who it is. He can tell by the smell of her shampoo that it's Alice. He'd been napping in the café around the corner from his apartment--the one open until midnight. "He just left," Alice says, sitting down at Henry's table, which is by the corner window. She does this fairly frequently, finds Henry, now a boyfaced thirty-one, somewhere in the neighborhood when she wants his advice. Once, when she needed to choose between two job offers, she searched the grocery store, three coffee shops and two bars before discovering him seated with his eyes closed on the couch at the Laundromat. Henry has been Photo by Liz Priddy escaping into dreams a lot lately, in movie theaters or on buses or subways, but mainly in cafés or coffee shops, where he spends the bulk of his afternoons and evenings reading or
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Jul 22, 2011
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