about the author

Gabe Durham lives in Northampton, MA, attends the MFA program at UMass, Amherst, teaches English to freshmen there, and reads submissions as an intern at Dzanc Books. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Mid-American Review, Hobart, Keyhole, Fourteen Hills, The Normal School, The Lifted Brow, and elsewhere.

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Remember to Breathe

Gabe Durham

What if I told you everyone on the street was secretly much happier than they looked? And if said that happiness stemmed from the fact that they thought of you much more than you expected them to? That it embarrassed them how much they thought of you? That they know, too, that you’d probably love to hear that you are remembered when you’re not around, but that they find it hard enough to talk to you as it is, the way their words fail? What if I spoke of commanding presence and an it that people know when they see it? If I told you that everyone assumed that you aren’t famous only because you chose something richer for your life? If I explained that any hostility you sense in others is never anything but petty jealousy, and that in their—our—better moments, we’re kicking ourselves? That we’d take a bullet for you onstage at a hot summer stump speech? That it confuses our hearts the way God tells each of us that you’re the one, but that mine is the heart most confused? You might be compared to a summer’s day if you or I knew anyone who talked like that.

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