comforts of Williamstown, Massachusetts. Yes, she just fell in love with
Indian Dick, and then she will tell Alicia how she tied Rod to the posts
of her childhood bed and—to celebrate the text—beat him with one of
those bright-colored Guatemalan belts Alicia used to buy for Christmas
presents at that shop in Adams Morgan: Remember all the good times
we had? Guatemalan belts, fashion statement of the ’80s?
She is heading toward the library when she is startled by a huge dark
cross shooting over the grass in front of her. It stops her in her tracks.
It’s like nothing she’s ever seen before, the shadow of a cross. She waits
for it to happen again, and when it does, she realizes it’s only a jet, the
shadow of a jet. Not a cross at all. The planes are heading up the Potomac
River to land at Reagan National Airport, and as they fly along the river
they cast their shadows over the Georgetown University campus, shadows that take the form of crosses. It’s a remarkable coincidence, she
thinks, something they could use to recruit students. But even though
she knows what it is, she waits and watches another dark cross appear in
her path, and then another and another, and she thinks she may stand
there all afternoon, watching as each dark airplane shadow shoots across
the bright landscape like the blessing of an unknown god, the unknown
god who commands us to visit the sick and pray for them when they
die, the unknown god who watches us make our visit and do our tricks,
the unknown god who watches over us and listens to our stories and
forgives us when we lie.
Jane Gillette has published short fiction in a variety of journals
including Virginia Quarterly Review, Yale Review, Michigan
Quarterly Review, The Hopkins Review and Zyzzyva. She has
won a Laurence Prize and an O. Henry Prize.