The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Lori Horvitz’ “The Girls of Usually”


Excerpt from Little Pink Hatchling

At twenty, I had just graduated from college, moved to Manhattan, and got a job selling all-natural Italian ices from a pushcart. Each morning at the Jane Street depot, we packed our carts with blocks of dry ice and big buckets of watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and lemon ices —seeds and all. Our boss, Larry, assigned us a street corner, and if it happened to be in Greenwich Village, we pushed our carts from the depot; if we were assigned a midtown corner, a truck delivered our carts for us. I didn’t mind the job. I worked outdoors, got to know different parts of the city, and chatted with people throughout the day. And it gave me a respite from my boyfriend, Joseph, who had moved to New York with me, but a month later moved away, claiming that New York was full of screwed up people and he didn’t want to work for “corporate yuppie scum.” In particularly bad moods, he’d spit at the ground and say, “I’m going to Avenue C,” where the drug dealers lined the streets, a death wish for any clean-cut white boy.


This selection was taken from Lori Horvitz’ book The Girls of Usually, available from Truman State University Press. Purchase your copy here!

Lori Horvitz’ short stories, poetry and personal essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals and anthologies, including Chattahoochee Review, Epiphany, South Dakota Review, Southeast Review, Hotel Amerika, Thirteenth Moon, Tusculum Review, and Quarter After Eight. Her essays have been included in two Seal Press anthologies: P.S.: What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends and Dear John, I’m in Love With Jane. She has been awarded writing fellowships from Fundación Valparaiso, The Ragdale Foundation, Yaddo, Cottages at Hedgebrook, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Blue Mountain Center. Horvitz is Professor of Literature and Language at University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she teaches courses in creative writing, literature, and directs their Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

Sarah Einstein is the author of Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press 2015), Remnants of Passion (Shebooks 2014). Her essays and short stories have appeared in The Sun, Ninth Letter, PANK and other journals. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net, and the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is also the prose editor for Stirring: A Literary Collective and the special projects editor for Brevity Magazine. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.





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