Rio: A Journal of the Arts


Shanti Weiland


Gwen's Dead


The other really sucky thing is that my hamster died sometime after Arkansas.  I was pretty sure she was alive in Louisiana but didn't make it past the Mississippi line.  Chris thought it's be a funny way to relieve tension to say Yeah, you cooked her, only I burst into tears.

When we got back to the apartment I was supposed to live in and there was no toilet or shower and the place looked like an abandoned crack-house, Chris said What are we going to do? and I said I couldn't think while there was a dead hamster in my car, so we got a hotel.

The girl next door had an equally shitty apartment and so we got a house together.  She is fascinating to me because she wears wigs and I've never in my life known anyone to wear a wig unless she had cancer.  She wears a lot of pink and she sleeps with married men.  She says, Just 'till my car's paid off.  And I think, gosh.  She's nonchalant like I am, in my mind, like I'd like to be.  At that moment, I thought maybe God was saying Go home Dumbo, go home to your boyfriend in Flagstaff who helped you bury your hamster in a Wheat Thins Box.  They don't come finer than that.



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