n Friday evenings during the school
year, Julia. uncle Maurice-
Julian walked out of the kitchen and went to
fIerzl's brother—came over with his
kneel next to Peter, who was inspecting a Frank
son Peter. This visit would be their first since
Zappa record he'd taken out of a faded card-
May. The doorbell rang at eight o'clock. Herzl
board jacket. Julian remembered Peter prying
was resting upstairs in the bedroom. Julian ran
open a clamshell once -on a trip to the beach,
down the front hall in his socks, sliding the last
forcing it open to see the live clam. Julian had
few feet. He opened the door and let in his uncle
been content to look at the pretty outsides of
anclconSin: Uncle Maurice
was divorced, and he
the shell. Peter liked to open things up and
was :religious . 'He -
.Peter: wore crocheted
Peter handed the record to Julian and said,
es,- w "ch were held in place with bobby
- - -
ice bent dirt-on-'''-16-*"hug Julian, while
"Remember when we went with your dad to the
Peter leaned back into the shadows near the door.
radio station?" Julian nodded. Herzl's friend Al
Nelly Reifler's stories
He was twelve, and he had recently experienced a
was a DJ at WROC. They went the night Al did
growth spurt. He was covered in a new padding
a phone interview with Frank Zappa, and Peter
have appeared in
of flesh, and his black hair hung down to his chin.
had gotten to ask a question on the air. As he took
He • wore his shirt untucked, had fancy suede
the black vinyl disk from Peter, Julian saw his
sneakers, and carried a leather backpack. He said,
own slender, bony hand, with its thin skin and
"What's_ up?". to Julian. His voice was husky.
just a few silky blond hairs—and he saw his
Photo by Rossa Cole
The Florida Review,
Exquisite Corpse, Bomb,
Post Road, Black Book
and the anthology
1 10 Stories:
Julian took Uncle Maurice's hand and pulled
him into the hot, humid kitchen. The window to
forehead on her sleeve, then - turned to receive
His voice came out high and flutey, like a far-
Uncle Maurice's hug. Rebecca's hands were coat-
ed in lentil loaf batter,. and Julian watched them
caked in 'a' drying brown dust.
There was a big rectangle cut out of the wall
After September 1 1.
"Julian" appears in her
"Where's your dad tonight?" asked Peter.
-- "Taking a nap," Julian said. "He'll wake up for
"Let's go up to your room."
between the kitchen and the living room. Julian
could see Peter kneeling on the rug, flipping
• The walls- of. Jillion's. room were covered in
through' Herzl's 'record collection-.
posters from Nationalograpkie World, mostly
first collection of stories,
nails, and two skinned knuckles.
"Do you want to play?" Julian asked his cousin.
New York Writes
cousin's hand, his thick fingers, tough, chewed
the garden was-steamed over. Rebecca wiped her
the air .behind his uncle. :They were
"How is he?" Maurice was asking Rebecca.
fish and frogs. There was also a souvenir picture
"I don't know, something happened this .after-
from the Nutcracker Suite that
noon. He was in the backyard with Julian—"
NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR JEWISH CULTURE
take down before his cousin came over. He knew