How to Have a Fake Affair with a Real Celebrity is a non-fiction short story written by Victoria Young. The story was recently published in the Spring & Summer issue of Cream City Review (41.1).
The story is a comical and tragic rumination of what it’s like when powerful men shine their spotlight in your direction and the ethics of fidelity in the internet age. At times hysterically self-deprecating, at others poignant and painfully relatable, this work of non-fiction is both a joke and a broken heart. The point is not to avoid the hurt, but instead to understand why we keep going back for more. And to find a salve in the laughter.
Writer. Dater. Masturbator. Victoria Young’s work has appeared in PRISM magazine (after winning second runner-up in the 2015 creative non-fiction contest). She currently holds two BAs, an MA, and whole lot of grudges. Her first collection of short stories Love Poems for Butchers may get published one day, who the fuck knows, amirite. Her work was shortlisted for the 2016 Constance Rooke creative non-fiction prize.
How to Give a Passive Aggressive Handjob is a non-fiction short story written by Victoria Young. The story recently won second runner-up in PRISM International’s 2015 creative non-fiction contest and subsequently appeared in the publication’s Spring 2016 Issue. It is now available here for download
Russell Wangersky (Judge of the 2015 contest), described the story as having, “a more traditional structure, but a grasp of tone that is hard to achieve: self-deprecating without being self-pitying, a style that lets the reader understand the author can step out of the experience and observe the writer’s own life with a kind of clarity.”
Part One: I Write Short Stories
I’m writing spaces, these blank places where we become better than our possibilities.
If I told you the truth, if I said all the words, you would end the conversation. It sounds like a thud, this faux love that we make, this fucking on IKEA beds.
The good parts are in your head. The words ruin what was possible, bog us down, and cement the atrocities.
When the bed creaks, we don’t hear it. When the pillows sigh, we have stopped listening. Ribs cage us. I don’t have the heart to tell you.
You can find my body and his in all the spaces, these places where everything was always greater than its assessed value. Even in the sorrow, even in the badness, the emptiness is what warms us.
We fell in love with our own rhythms: the beat of our heels; our thighs, the rub. I found him in the place I wanted him to be, the place where I was a thing worth finding. He was a magnet, a polar opposite. I rubbed him like lotion until he disappeared.
He asks what I write and I tell him, “short stories.”
But the stories are not short.
Not unless you want them to be.
Not unless I have a heart attack soon and die.
Not unless you just stop reading.
I have only ever had but one story to tell.
The periods are just for breathing. Your ears, like cholesterol, inside my pounding heart.
You tell me it’s okay to relax, I laugh and say, “comma down.”