Rick Andrews
TRASH

I’ve got bags full of trash she touched: a pamphlet from a state fair pumpkin carving booth. The pithy tops to Snapple bottles and Jones sodas. Maps, maps of museums, of Delaware, of Boston, maps of Paris, of France. Maps of places we never actually went, like a map of Montreal and the ICA that closed early. Paper placemats from restaurants, one from a café on the banks of the Seine where the women are holding umbrellas to block the sun. Another from an Italian restaurant in Portsmouth, NH with a map of Italy on it. Tickets to movies, faded receipts from a meal I thought was important but can no longer remember why. Bazooka Joe wrappers. A small sign that tickled us, taped to the dome of a playground slide that says, “Time Machine.”  Another that made us laugh, taped on the door of a bathroom that says, “Everything is wet.”  Little ears she doodled when taking a message on the phone. Sticky notes hidden in a book she knew I was about to read. Twist ties to loaves of bread. Some small afternoon, when a baby we watched chewed a wrapper and I kept it.


Rick AndrewsRick Andrews is an improviser, instructor, and writer living in New York City. His writing has appeared in Ninth Letter, The Normal School, and Emrys Journal, among others. In 2023, his story “Couples Therapy” was selected as a distinguished story in The Best American Short Stories.

Read more from Cleaver Magazine’s Issue #46.

Submit to Cleaver!

Cleaver Magazine