“Sutton would be thirty-two, an out-of-work machinist in a little town in Missouri. Because everyone in Missouri is a blue-collar cliché? Okay, he’s a civil engineering student at SLU, back in school to finish his degree as an adult, at the suggestion of his girlfriend Chloe. Chloe? Elise. She’s tall—they’re both six feet—and she’s really good-looking in ways that we hint at but don’t say outright. She’s a combination of grit and grace, revealed in the unselfconscious way she dive bombs her cereal with her spoon, while the morning light catches in her tawny locks. She’s an out-of-work machinist.”
“Let’s Make Up Jack” was published by the Kenyon Review Online. It features a bird, a lawnmower, and simulated real-time revisions.
You can also listen to the author read and discuss the story at Off the Page, a podcast produced by the Stanford Storytelling Project, available here.