Claustrophobia

by E.B. Bartels

I’m extremely excited to announce that I have a short nonfiction piece––”Claustrophobia”––in volume IV of the small, Boston-area-based zine/magazine Infinite Scroll. The theme of the issue is TIME & MONEY.

To read the full piece, buy a copy of Infinite Scroll, either online or at Magpie in Davis Square.

Below you’ll find a preview.

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In the summer, the office gets hot. The large picture windows let in scorching light, and when the air conditioner is off, I’m a goldfish in a bowl in direct sun. When the air conditioner is on, however, I’m in a Siberian blizzard, and the high school summers that I worked at Andersen Insurance––my family’s business––my desk was in line with the blower. I suffered equally from wind-chill and heat stroke. The ancient motor of the air conditioner was deafening: a plane taking off in a hurricane with all the passengers screaming.

“What, pal?” My grandfather, Puppy, shouted over the roar.

“I’m almost done with filing!”

“What?”

“I said: I’m – ”

“Wait a minute, pal.” Puppy reached up to the window, using a long wooden stick to power off the air conditioner.

Silence followed, except for ringing in my ears and a sigh from Donna, the office’s longest-running non-familial employee.

“I said: I’m almost done with filing,” I repeated, already feeling heat from the windows.

 

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