“Consuela Throws Her Tv Away”

Consuela threw her TV out the front door, not caring where it landed. Trash, she said in Spanish, loud enough for her gringo neighbors to hear. The TV was square, a box of particle board and vacuum tubes from the old days of tin-foil rabbit antennas. The glass broke like a car backfiring; it sprayed into the narrow Laredo street. The wires from inside reached for images aborted into the dusty ditch, commercials that never had a chance to be born.

She screamed ¡Puta! and spat on the dust of the front wood step. She’d chipped the glossy red thumbnail of her right hand, and she stared at it for a moment. Then she snapped off each plastic fingernail in rapid succession, tearing the glue from her fingers, throwing the pile into the dirt. The nails interfered with her housework, anyway.

That hopeless, melancholy theme music from Young and the Restless ran in her head, and she grabbed her temples, pushed her naked fingertips into her eyes. ¡Ay, mi Dios! She refused American tongue now, she refused thoughts on mighty bedrooms and muscular young surgeons, dark and lithe and never sweaty, never premature in bed. No guarantees, she thought in Spanish, in her native Mexican. No hay promesas. No land of the free, no home of inheritance and chandeliers and polished mahogany dining tables. No tropical nights with flowers like fists, with red like Technicolor, silk like gold. No convenient killings, no husbands that go thankfully missing when they get borracho and spend their wives’ dowries. How foolish she had been, to think an American soap opera could teach her anything, to think her life would change.

Americans said naïve, but that was a French term, stolen by the English speakers. America had her Spanish, too. And now her TV.

No, not true—America had only its shows, its mustaches and slick hair and caressing lies. The dusty alley street here in sad borderland Texas had her TV, the tires of passing cars taking the bits of screen into their treads and carrying them away, angels taking all her dead Children away. And tomorrow the trash men would come and take her TV, load it in the front seat of their dented, blue-smoke-blowing truck, and try and fix her TV. Tomorrow, the trash men would come.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction Finalist for Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize Essays/Articles (all)
Sort by

“The Only Song is the Song of the Self”

The aurora of fireworks over the Hudson has passed and New York’s Finest are cordially inviting everyone to move the
2019-10-21 23:53:25
mark-crimmins

0

“I’m Blue”

Caracas, Venezuela They fly around the city making their cawing sounds, behaving like nothing is
2019-10-18 20:10:41
lvocem

0

“5 AM”

Jeremy says I’m a waste of weed because I can never pull anything into my lungs. Now
2019-10-14 23:49:29
sraghav

0

“Aimee’s Alibi”

Aimee Semple McPherson was kidnapped from Ocean Park Beach near Santa Monica on May 18, 1926 by two men and a woman,
2019-10-11 23:51:11
clio

0

“Love”

Bobby and his girlfriend had been going out for four years. They were inseparable
2019-10-07 11:03:05
michaelferro

0

“I’ll Have What She’s Having”

Fun fact: Nora Ephron and I share the same birthday. I first experienced Ms. Ephron with her film “Heartburn”
2019-10-04 23:47:26
dana

0

“Unleaving”

The boy’s favorite smell was the smell of leaves burning, that mossy, earthy smoke, even though you weren’t supposed
2019-10-02 09:37:12
kathrynka

0

“Symptoms and Remedies”

I try to interpret the signs of my own body, and think back to a medieval literature class I took in which we
2019-09-30 11:05:53
emilylivingstone

0

“A Proper Fight”

Meena remembered once seeing a girl in a movie suck on a guy’s bloody knuckles after a fight. The girl had brushed h
2019-09-25 21:03:41
vankhanna

0

“Tourists”

Coach unzips his blue tracksuit, zipper fizzling down the suede, as the wind carries the sound off the bluffs at the
2019-09-23 11:04:54
kyledillon

0

Samuel Snoek-Brown

About Samuel Snoek-Brown

Samuel Snoek-Brown grew up in Texas but now teaches and writes in Portland, Oregon. He also works as production editor for Jersey Devil Press. His work has appeared in Ampersand Review, Fiction Circus, Fried Chicken and Coffee, SOL: English Writing in Mexico, and others, and is forthcoming in WhiskeyPaper and Bartleby Snopes. An excerpt from his Civil War novel Hagridden appeared in a special “pitch” issue of Sententia, and his fiction was shortlisted in the Faulkner-Wisdom contest in 2010 and 2011.