Categories
Fiction SUMMER 2012

Marina Rubin

THE COAT

it was gone. the bald CPA was shuffling hangers back and forth
in a frenzy. i tried to console him that all businessmen wore the
same black wool coat, someone must have taken his by mistake.
but the visitor snapped that it was a double-breasted Waffen-SS
leather coat with a belt, a real classic. i nodded sympathetically,
slowly taking stock of his shaved head, the square toes, yellow
stitches of Doc Martens, two dozen lonely holes in his earlobes.
between balance sheets and corporate tax returns i imagined him
thrashing his head at a skinhead concert, fucking his girlfriend
underneath a red banner with a swastika. apologizing profusely i
put him in a cab, promised to find the coat, punish the criminal.
then i walked the halls, looked inside the offices, glass training
rooms, wondering who was responsible? the thieves, were they
secret neo-nazis who coveted the iconic coat, or grandchildren
of the holocaust who cringed when they saw it hanging in the
closet? or maybe the coat walked off by itself, took the elevator
down, heil hitlered everyone in the reception, got into a sidecar
of an old NSKK motorcycle and rode off, like it never happened

WELCOME TO AMERICA. PURPLE RAIN

was the first film we had seen in this country. on a television set
rescued from the dumpster, we took turns holding up the antenna
as we watched Prince, not sure if he was white or black, a man or
a woman, Michael Jackson or someone else. he sang ballads and
rode a motorcycle without having a job while my brother needed
cash for a pineapple so he pasted flyers on poles until one day he
carried it in like a kettlebell, opened it, devoured it, then cried
like a little boy because it tasted nothing like it did in his dreams.
the girls in the movie wore garter belts on stage, their hair wall-
like in the front cascaded in a waterfall, we wondered if this was
the american fashion we were brave enough to follow. we had no
idea why Prince’s father shot himself but my father already knew
that he would never be a doctor again, a stock boy at the Sunrise
99ยข store he took home Tide that was discarded as trash, accused
of stealing he was sacked in the morning. that first desperately
hot summer we let the purple rain wash all over us as we strolled
the air-conditioned Waldbaums every night in our house slippers,
counting the years it would take to try all the variations of cheese

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Marina Rubin‘s first chapbook Ode to Hotels came out in 2002, followed by Once in 2004 and Logic in 2007. Her work had appeared in hundreds of magazines including 13th Warrior Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Dos Passos Review, 5AM, Nano Fiction, Coal City, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Jewish Currents, Lillith, Pearl, Poet Lore, Skidrow Penthouse, The Portland Review, The Worcester Review and many more. She is an associate editor of Mudfish. She has been nominated for the Pushcart. She lives in New York where she works as a headhunter on Wall Street while writing her fourth book, a collection of flash fiction stories. Her website is www.marinarubin.com