Out by Susan Tepper

The landlord said we have thirty days to move out. He didn’t say move. Move I could live with. It was the out that upset me. I started crying the moment I shut the door in his face. He’d called the apartment a pig-stye. I felt that was over reaching reality. Sure the walls were a little tainted from all the pot smoking Ziggy did but in truth the place was actually quite clean. The dishes were always washed and put away. There weren’t dirty clothes lying about. I couldn’t help the cockroaches they came with the building. I told Ziggy I felt totally insulted. Ziggy told me to smoke a joint and I’d be less unhappy. I told Ziggy he has gotten us into this mess. I told him we are expected to return the walls to their original white condition. Ziggy laughed and said he doesn’t do paint. He said he was going to find Stéfano and get some really good stuff. That it’s garbage like this that blackened the walls to shit.


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Filed under Susan Tepper

15 responses to “Out by Susan Tepper

  1. Randal Houle

    The word out really got to me.
    “blackened the walls to shit.” yeah, kinda like that.

  2. Interesting story, Susan. She feels sensitive to the word “out” and the reader is thinking this is an “outsider” kind of life she and Ziggy are leading. I like how this comes through. Thanks!

  3. You’ve captured the feel of it, the being looked-down upon, the pride that tries to rise above what we’ve become because of our love for another. Nicely done.

  4. I am with Randal on this one – I felt like life was passing these people by and they were on a completely different planet, oblivious to any real reality – and I did laugh at ‘it’s garbage like this that blackened the walls to shit’. I have WORKED with people like that, as clients and colleagues. I did find this story very amusing and too true. Very funny.

  5. at least he is focused. quirky piece.

  6. I feel like I’ve been inside this one, too close to comment! A testament to your great writing, Susan!

  7. Len Kuntz

    this really packs a punch, especially the last line.
    way to go.

  8. Weird the thoughts she focused on. Out bothered her but she was ok with walls blackened by smoking.

  9. To all who read and commented: Thanks so so much!
    Lately I am having a problem reading the stories. The right side is being chopped off of each line. I have outlook explorer. Does anybody else have this problem with outlook?

  10. Taut and true. You captured a great slice of ennui. Peace…

  11. Isn’t bad weed the cause of most problems? A really great scene you’ve created here, how, as Matt noted, they are not dealing with reality. And, as the others have said, the character focus on ‘out’ tells a lot about her.

  12. Kim Hutchinson

    Alos love the way she focuses on the word “out.” It’s like the last shred of energy and pride is invested in one word. Great slice of un-real life.

  13. Kelly Grotke

    crying and laughing, and neither has the final word, thanks to the ambiguous ‘out’ (which I liked as well)

  14. To everyone who commented here: So many thanks! I am having problems with my server and its cutting off end words on each line which makes reading your stories difficult at the moment. Hopefully that will resolve with a new computer… soon…

  15. Pingback: Week # 30 – Urban convert | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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