I look inside. Humans swim around like fish…. Those I saw throughout my life, death has crowned them with a green existence; all swimming about in the green aquarium, in a silky, airy music. Here, the dead live!… Found, found! Here’s the dream of my dream—“It’s me, my dear, me, me. The creases are just nests of longing.” My lips inundated with blood are drawn to hers. Alas, they remain on the pane of the aquarium. —Avrom Sutzkever, “Green Aquarium”
It was just a summer job, Leah kept reminding herself during that summer of 2009. Just a summer job to earn some money because she hadn’t gotten the grant she needed to spend the summer doing her graduate research on Yiddish periodicals, and because the job was at least ostensibly related to her research, and because her boyfriend had dumped her and now their gorgeous shared apartment was no longer hers, and because her parents had decided to rent out their house and spend the year in Madagascar, and because her life as a scholar and even as a person needed a summer break, and because it was better than working at Starbucks. It was only a summer job.
About the Author
Dara Horn is the author of three novels, the most recent of which, All Other Nights, is now available in paperback. This story will appear, in slightly different form, in Promised Lands, an anthology of new American Jewish fiction, to be published by Brandeis University Press in November.