“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
Essays/Articles (all) Featured Fiction New Fiction Story of the Month The Story Behind the Story Why I Write
Sort by

“My Motivations For Writing: A Letter To My Writing Workshop”

On Monday night I had trouble falling asleep. I attribute that to a combination of drinking coffee too late in the
2020-06-01 19:04:26
allieblum

0

“Gravitate”

I.They stand side by side facing a row of dining room cabinets. Audrey examines each one carefully, looking
2020-05-25 08:03:21
rlittell

0

“Everyone Knows”

Everyone at Bishop High knows which Brothers you can’t be caught alone with. The older students play many pranks on t
2020-05-18 17:16:17
cgrosel

0

“Driving Dark in the Marlboro Night”

He drove over to her house to confess his love. Oh, she of the thoroughly chomped Dubble Bubble, our lady of Red
2020-05-11 18:27:20
deandj

0

“The Fog is a Snow Leopard Eating Owslowski”

The snow leopard hasn’t been fed. The boy was in a suitcase. The children hid beneath their d
2020-05-07 12:55:22
solomon

0

“Zp, Signed with Love”

I was hurt even though he said I didn’t have to be. He told me I knew. I knew all along. That she was even sleeping
2020-05-06 14:32:49
sferrari1

0

“Nebraska”

In 2014, tornadoes swept across the northeast corner of Nebraska, destroying the small town of Pilger. Families
2020-05-04 08:01:03
rlittell

0

The Story Behind the Story: “Unhinged”

I attended a handful of weddings last year, and this piece was inspired by a bachelor party my boyfriend was
2020-04-30 10:33:06
vprovazza

0

“Joan Ponders Spit”

Joan Ponders Spit It was Christmas day, so Joan was bored. Her children had already opened their presents.
2020-04-27 15:27:56
kikadorsey

0

Why I Write: Wei-Chih Eudela

The action or even the idea of being rejected evokes some pain, especially mental and emotional, for those who
2020-04-20 10:28:01
jakeson0327

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.