I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts.

ISSUE #7: ENVY is out! For the uninitiated, ISSUE Magazine is an online magazine/ collaborative platform based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that was started by my two friends. This is the last ISSUE for 2012, and we’re 7 editions old! 

My favourite reads from #7:

The Backups by Lutfi Hakim

We are today’s Sad Young Men. Unwaveringly single and still living at home, we are the highly educated eunuchs of society. Smart and talented enough to be prized and entrusted with duties, we aren’t bold enough to be of any real consequence to our paymasters. We are castrated by a lifetime of entitlement, and silenced by the need to be respectable.”

Better the Envy you know by Haziq Hamid

  • A story that personifies the Sins; reminds me a lot of The Endless from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.

Dwelling upon sores by Syazwina Saw

“Go ahead. Hope you can live with yourself.”

“Not a problem,” I say to his back. And it isn’t, honestly. I don’t feel bad for chasing after something Sasha’s not brave enough to want.

A great follow-up to Syaz’s short story for ISSUE 6 The way you cut your meat, moving now to the mixture of envy, resentment, protectiveness and love that occur between sisters of different stripes.

Fable of Yukio

"Where have you been?" Yukio asked.

"I was on the roof just now," said the giant, "And before that I was in some southern orchards."

"I mean in my life," said Yukio, "Why have you stayed so far away? Even in my attempt now, to return to my childhood, you’ve shunned me."

"Childhood?" said the giant, "No. You only get that once." And then he made a little grunt.

"Then what can I do?" asked Yukio.

"Nothing," said the giant, "It’s too late, but it’s fine. You’ve done very well, living alone, but so does every tree. And trees are not happy or sad, they are just very good at being trees." And the giant popped another almond in his mouth and chewed and looked at Yukio.

"I didn’t realize," said Yukio.

"It’s okay," said the giant.

by Spencer Krug for We Are Friction

Victory Lap by George Saunders

Three days shy of her fifteenth birthday, Alison Pope paused at the top of the stairs.

Say the staircase was marble. Say she descended and all heads turned. Where was {special one}? Approaching now, bowing slightly, he exclaimed, How can so much grace be contained in one small package? Oops. Had he said small package? And just stood there? Broad princelike face totally bland of expression? Poor thing! Sorry, no way, down he went, he was definitely not {special one}.

What about this guy, behind Mr. Small Package, standing near the home entertainment center? With a thick neck of farmer integrity yet tender ample lips, who, placing one hand on the small of her back, whispered, Dreadfully sorry you had to endure that bit about the small package just now. Let us go stand on the moon. Or, uh, in the moon. In the moonlight.

Had he said, Let us go stand on the moon? If so, she would have to be like, {eyebrows up}. And if no wry acknowledgment was forthcoming, be like, Uh, I am not exactly dressed for standing on the moon, which, as I understand it, is super-cold?

Come on, guys, she couldn’t keep treading gracefully on this marble staircase in her mind forever! That dear old white-hair in the tiara was getting all like, Why are those supposed princes making that darling girl march in place ad nausea? Plus she had a recital tonight and had to go fetch her tights from the dryer.

Egads! One found oneself still standing at the top of the stairs.

(via lindsayrobertson)