The reality of what’s happening to me hits as I slide the key into the ignition. It’s as if the ugliness of the past year unfolded on a giant movie screen in front of my eyes, and now, with the clicking of the key into its shaft, a connection has been made to make the onscreen image surge out of its frame and wrap around me. I look out the car window at the door I will never again pass through, into windows I will only look through from the outside, and I feel a rush of panic. I’ve been holding onto my old life by a flimsy line of stopgap payments and legal appeals; this morning its last threads have snapped, and I’m watching the old life recede, gathering speed into the distance as I fall away.
In the passenger seat beside me, Heather coughs. She must think she’s fooling me, as though throughout nine years of marriage, even over the two years we’ve been seeing this day coming, this paragon of stoicism, my wife, has never before snuffed a sob with a well-timed clearing of her throat. My hand, on the gearshift, floats over to rest on her knee. She gulps audibly. Though I want to look into her face, to stare into those chocolate-brown eyes and speak reassuring words that bring to them a cleansing flood of tears, I stay looking away. There’s my key ring dangling from the ignition. There’s the fuel gauge showing a quarter tank (oh, Christ, another chunk of change about to get sucked out of my bank account). There’s my hand on her knee. And in a few seconds, there are her chubby olive fingers snaking past my knuckles, curling over my fingertips. She gives my hand a gentle squeeze, which I take as her thanks. With her touch, my panic deflates, congealing into a bitter dread, which I too can just about swallow back down.
Eyes still darting around the car, I catch Dusty’s pillow-spiked light brown mop in the rear-view mirror. I lift my hand from Heather’s knee and twist around in my seat. “You strapped in, kiddo?” Of course he is. I buckled him in myself, not two minutes ago. Exhaustion has drained all the feelings from his face, except for a slight crease between his eyebrows. His mouth has finally closed while he builds his strength back up. All that remains of his tantrum are the streaks of drying tears down his cheeks. Still, his red-rimmed eyes burn holes in mine.
I wondered, as I struggled to pull the boy off his bare bedroom floor, why I’d let him come back in with me after we’d closed up the moving van. Hadn’t I known he would do this? Each of the dozens of times we’d tried to talk with him about the move, he’d given us this kind of trouble, holding his breath, stomping on the wood floor, shrieking at our unfairness. I was setting him up for a last stand. Now I think I see what I really did it for: I needed him to throw the tantrum I couldn’t throw myself. In some irrational way, I held out the faintest hope, which all children hold well beyond reason, that a crying, shouting, writhing child would convince the universe to put things back the way they’d been. It didn’t work. Hold your breath as long as you can, kiddo. The universe is patient and stubborn. It can hold its own for longer.
“Dad?” Lainey’s voice stabs at me from behind my headrest. “Are we gonna live here in the driveway?” She is her mother’s daughter. The exaggerated sarcasm she gives the question lends a grating, prepubescent edge to her stoicism.
I twist a little further to speak to her directly. There she sits, arms crossed, eyebrow arched at me in exasperation. “That’s the spirit, sweetie.” I pour every ounce of sugar I have in my body into the words. The effort is exhausting, and for a few seconds I have the energy only to stare at her, a dumb fatherly smile on my face. Her arms stay crossed. Her eyebrow inches up even higher, and her mouth opens into that testy sneer that is the ten-year-old’s best weapon against parental condescension. Humbled, I settle obediently down in my seat again. My seatbelt buckle clicks like a pair of handcuffs.
The car gives me the usual problems starting up. I have to hold the key forward for several seconds while the motor gurgles, wheezes and coughs out the sediment of a day’s disuse. My heart settles back with it when its hum picks out a steady key for idling. Luther’s words sound in my head: “You’re lucky your car still runs—and that it’s paid off!” He’s been packing his emails with the saga of his Explorer almost since the day we closed the store. I admire his sense of humor. “I figure I stuck it to them,” he wrote last month. “The thing’s been toast, sitting in my driveway so long, they pulled the treads clear off the bottoms of the tires pulling it onto the flatbed. And what it’d cost them to replace the fuel pump and the alternator, it’s more than they’d ever unload the thing for anyway, lol!” He tells stories about crazy people on the bus, and ends each email with “U gotta laugh, don’t U?” I shift the car into reverse. On cue, the “Check Engine” light comes on. My weak smile I dedicate to Luther.
“Bye-bye, One-Sixteen Oakhurst,” I call out from the curbside. Dusty squirms in his booster seat in my rear-view mirror. He squeals once, but makes no further protest. I glance at Heather, and have to look away before she catches me. I promised myself I wouldn’t linger on a long goodbye, but my eye falls on the living room window and a wave of emotion pins me in place. The car stays still, geared in reverse, for another long moment while the house’s front windows, like sad eyes, beg me to stay put a little longer.
There’s the living room, which each December could never quite fit the gargantuan Christmas tree we let the kids pick out. It was where Dusty took his first steps, where in fact he hit all his milestones well in advance of when the charts said he should. There above it is Lainey’s room, where two years ago you would have seen her from this spot on the street, posing and preening on top of her bed, singing along to Hannah Montana in a voice which, incredibly, sounded even higher and more chipper than her idol’s.
On the right there’s our bedroom, Heather’s and mine. With the TV sound up to overcome Lainey Montana blaring through the walls, that room was where my wife and I would indulge in heckling bad action movies and the most inane reality shows. The memory of that sanctuary has become darker, bleaker since then; now as I look through the window at the bare light bulb on the ceiling, the murmurings of foreboding we shared with the lights out come back to me with painful clarity.
Heather would make the cold decisions, plan out the financial triage we needed to do to keep us afloat when my commissions started to evaporate. We would have collapsed months ago if not for her late-night strategizing. Still, my overriding memory today is of her attempts to just shrug off the things we were having to give up. Her casual whisper, “No more having to drag Lainey to ballet class,” hisses through my head.
“Honey,” ventures Heather.
“Dad!” goads Lainey.
I shake my head to show them I’ve come back to the present. “Just going over things in my mind.” I smile at Heather, a bit too keenly. And my brain chooses this moment to notice, good God, she’s gotten fat. The padding that used to give her cheeks that warm glow has puffed out so that now it makes her eyes look sunken. Gravity tugs the excess into the beginnings of jowls along her jaw. The flesh in her arm bulges from the cuffs of her T-shirt, and her belly folds over to almost conceal her seatbelt. She joked, over the last few months, that with so much less grocery money she would finally lose weight. And we have cut our food bill, almost in half. Yet something is ballooning inside her—maybe it’s the sorrows and disappointments that she buries deep down, all building up until she bursts. I shift into Drive and find my hand coming up to pull at my collar. I guess I shouldn’t talk. I haven’t exactly kept my physique, and now, suddenly, I can feel the places where my shirt is getting tight. We’re starving, and yet we grow fatter. I pull in front of the van and wave Luther in line behind us.
Oakhurst is a sea of red, yellow and brown leaves this time of year. We and our neighbors have always noticed an uptick in traffic every October, as folks from all over town make detours to take in the Oakhurst Foliage. No one living here complains about the extra noise, because it comes with a sense of prestige that outweighs the lower-middle-class neighborhood’s stature. Newly fallen leaves in the street fly up in a beige blizzard around the car. As the houses flit by, I am struck by the way the multicolored leaf patterns on the trees and on the lawns brighten up even the drabbest gray aluminum siding. My foot eases off the gas so I can admire the view. How beautiful, I think, and how glorious it is, to witness Nature’s grand spectacle. No wonder people pass this way this time of year; I would drive a hundred miles to see something as fantastic as this. How strange, then, to be able to think that way and to feel with equal passion my very next thought: that I hope I never come this way again.
The street runs into Wattawamee Way a few blocks down. Heather coughs again at the first stoplight. We pass Wattawamee Mall on our right. How the hell did that thing ever clear the planning stages? Never mind the rabid fight the neighborhood put up before the city council pushed through the permit to bulldoze Wattawamee Woods. Who in their right mind would have approved the design of the building, which can most flatteringly be compared to a crashed UFO or a dropped hamburger?
“You’ll never have to go there anymore,” Heather tells me. I don’t need to hear her say it to be reminded of that great irony: after months of us signing petitions and telling anyone in earshot that we’d be boycotting any store that set up shop in that thing, I came into work one morning to hear that Management had just rolled the dice and arranged to move the store there. Who was I, a competent salesman with them for thirteen years and never a damn thing more, to tell them they were committing suicide?
I check my mirror as we hit the red light at the mall’s eastern side. The van comes to a stop with yards to spare behind us. Luther is a one-man Afrobeat combo in the driver’s seat, using the steering wheel for percussion, puckering his lips to the imaginary sax mouthpiece of his thumb, bopping from side to side, tapping his lips together and wagging his tongue with Fela Kuti or another of his heroes. I can actually feel from where I sit, with the windows up, the beats where the bass guitar and bass drum meet and amplify each other.
The sheer volume of the music in that cabin must vibrate away any sorrows before they can take hold; through all his upper-body callisthenics, my man never once glances at the building where we went through our life-shattering traumas. Maybe for a few beats his mind shifts to the day Management cracked down and pulled the plug on the horn department stereo, robbing him of his cherished power to choose the daily soundtrack for the whole store. The congas roll, his hands bat at the wheel; if the thought was there, he rolls it away. Does he have a moment to reflect on their decision to cut the already tiny brass case in half in favor of a Coke machine? No time. Kuti travels at the speed of sound, and it’s probably all Luther can do to keep up with him. Besides, Luther has been making idiot grins all day, since I picked him up to take him to the truck rental place this morning. He couldn’t wait to drive again, after so many months of job-hunting by bus. That rediscovered thrill, of his foot on the pedal and his choice of music blasting, must be a powerful anesthetic.
The light stays red. This intersection gives long greens to all traffic entering or exiting the East parking lot. Two cars have turned in, and one has pulled out, in the minute we’ve waited. I want to take this idle time to speak reassuring words that will buoy us all and bind us together as a family. But my mouth stays stubbornly shut, while in my head the only words of fatherly wisdom that surface are my own dad’s, from eighteen years back.
“You’ve got potential. See that you live up to it.” He said it when I told him I was thinking about skipping college and getting a job at Judd’s Music, where for months I’d been spending an alarming number of hours hanging out. He said a lungful of other things: “A degree is your ticket up the ladder,” and aiming for the practical when that weak platitude fell flat at my feet, “Look, I saved since you were born to give you a chance I never had. You got a short window to use it.” (In fact, that savings popped up, a little too conveniently, as my inheritance when my father died. It all went straight into our down-payment on good old One-Sixteen. Gone now, anyway.) Last, with his ammo dwindling, he fired at me, “Are you gonna spend your life in retail?” The light goes green. I lift my foot off the brake. Maybe not, Dad.
I press the gas. Heather waves the mall off one last time. “It’s somebody else’s eyesore now!” she declares with a strange bravado. We move along Wattawamee Way toward the freeway on-ramp. To end the pause that gains mass in the car, my wife coughs again.
The pavement here is smooth and eerily quiet under our wheels. Up the small hills on either side of the street grow rows of saplings, leafless already. This is the “new” road, the extension that gave the mall freeway access. Three years after they were put down, I can still see the lines between the strips of sod. Did they stop tending to it? Whose responsibility was it? The mall’s? The city’s? Surely it should have grown all right on its own anyway. Scattered with brown, dead leaves, the green of the grass fades to gray under a sharkskin sky. The concrete pillars and metal railings of the approaching freeway appear almost as a relief. They are what they are, truly, predictably gray, in any weather.
I signal for the on-ramp. Between steering-wheel conga fills, Luther switches on his blinker. My car treats the climb to the freeway like it’s K-2. Luther zooms up almost to our bumper before he realizes that we need to take it slow. Our speed picks up as we come level, but we’re almost at the end of the merging lane before we’re fast enough to slip in with the traffic. Luther finds space two cars back. We jimmy between lanes to bring the van behind us again. As we do, I find a kind of fear tightening around my chest. I don’t know what I should be afraid of; Luther printed out the directions from the Internet, so he knows exactly where he’s going. I need him back there, though, and only once he’s in place again do I relax a little.
The mass of gray cloud hangs low over us here, but from our new vantage point I can see patches of blue. Behind the largest opening, I can see two white stripes criss-crossing each other. I feel myself deflate a bit. Julio’s chemtrails. He was at it about them even before the store closed. “They’re up there, ya know. Sprayin’ that shit.” He always hissed over his drum counter at me with his eyes locked on mine. And I would laugh. I’d tell him it was just the exhaust from airliners. “No, those are contrails. They disappear. Chemtrails stay up there.” His eyes, never wavering, would bulge, and his earnestness would push his mouth into a tense sort of smile. “They got all kindsa chemicals comin’ outta those planes. Aluminum, barium...”
I’d try to steer the conversation to his most recent camping trip, to the latest bullshit drum innovation, but he never bit once he got on his kick. “They did a check of the water in... Virginia, somewhere. The barium level was ten times the legal limit!” Here he would wait for my reaction. When I didn’t register enough shock, he’d use his haymaker, “And it’s all to make us get sick!” He’d go on about aluminum in crops, and Monsanto, and some other stuff that never stuck in my memory, though this conversation happened at least four times in the last year at the store. Each time I looked up at the sky in that period, I would see those lines and think, nutty Julio and his chemtrails. But some days there would be dozens of them, making tic-tac-toe squares all over the whitening sky. Those days, even though I would still smile at the thought of my friend’s paranoia, I wouldn’t be able to get it up to chuckle. Today I look again at that break in the clouds, see just those two lines peeking out, and I actually feel moisture sting my eyes.
“Oh, look! Liberty Towers!” I hear a thud as Lainey no doubt plasters her face against her window. “Dusty! Look!” Dusty, his face still puffy with his grief, lifts an eyelid in the direction of the building off to our left. “My friend Trish,” Lainey tells us, “she saw a helicopter land on the roof.”
Liberty Tower looms way in the distance, over the green, tree-dotted landscape that starts four lanes over from us. Even in the dull gray of the day, it seems to shine, standing tall, proud and smug. I laughed at that one when it was built. “How many millionaires do they think there are in this town?” I predicted to everyone at the store that it would never find any buyers, that it would be a derelict building, condemned after five years. But at least half the lights in the building are on, and even from this distance I can see flowers and vines overflowing from balconies up and down its front and sides. There are so many things that used to make me laugh. “I wish we were moving there instead,” Lainey concludes. Dusty’s eyes have now opened all the way to observe the wonder that his sister has pointed out. But his father’s have narrowed and moved elsewhere.
Elsewhere, to the other side of the freeway, over the more modest bungalows built right beyond the railing. To count the “For Sale” signs on the tiny patches of lawn that are visible from here. One, two, three. Four. Five-six-seven. And over all of them, to the point on the horizon where the telephone poles, treetops and rooftops end, where the waterfront must be. To that hypothetical point where I imagine Julio stepping out of his camper van, planting both feet on the parking lot pavement and looking up to count the lines behind the breaks in the cloud. I hope he has the energy to flip the bird at the sky.
“I’m just lucky I got the RV!” He said that in July, the week his landlord kicked him out. It had been a few months since the state reduced his wife’s disability rate, and he just couldn’t stretch that and his unemployment to cover his budget. “It’s a good thing we like camping,” he quipped more than once on the day I helped him move his drums and things into storage. “’Course,” he added the last time he said it, “we ain’t headin’ to Yosemite.”
We were bringing the last of the boxes from my car into the storage building, there to stuff them into the last cubic feet of a glorified closet. There they would remain, sealed in a glorified cage of glorified chain-link fencing. Holding an apple crate marked “Books” in black Sharpie, I was thinking about the leap Julio would have to make to get his life back. In this god-awful job market, with a résumé that boasted as its centerpiece ten years behind Judd’s drum counter, he would need to find something new at double his old wages, just to break even with the way things used to be for him.
Julio’s eyes, though, were on the white-and-blue pattern over our heads. “Those fuckers!” He shook his head. That clench-jawed smile was back. “At it again!” It occurred to me then how little real anger he vented at the conspiracy he saw. In fact, for all his animated ranting, I couldn’t remember any of his words laced with any palpable rage. From “They’re raining down poison on us—every day!” to “They’re gonna announce lay-offs today,” even to “I got a week to get out,” everything he uttered was with that intense near-grin.
“They’re not gonna get away with it,” he said abruptly. He pointed up once more before we hefted the boxes through the building’s entrance. He continued his thought down the hall. “That shit in the sky, all this money bullshit these days.” The smile grew, more tense but also fuller. “We got the Internet now. They can’t keep anything secret! And they can’t stop us communicating. They’re going down!”
I put the apple crate down outside his cage door, content to let him rally the troops in his mind. He put down his box, then saw the Sharpied word “Books” and lunged at the crate. “Here,” he said as he rummaged through the paperbacks. I caught a few titles: 9/11: Confronting the Evidence, The Cheney Plot, Orgonite: Reich’s Miracle. I braced my face against the cringe I felt building. He snatched a thick volume out from under the top row. “Here,” he repeated, and thrust the book into my solar plexus. I stumbled back, grabbing the book in a blocking reflex. When I’d recovered my balance, I turned the book over to see what polemic was scrawled across the cover.
“The Grapes of Wrath?”
I must have sounded stunned, but Julio just smiled, his eyes burning with his usual passion. “Steinbeck,” he said.
“Yeah.” The cover was creased, the spine bowed, and its edges were worn to pulp. Why was he giving me Steinbeck?
“He’s from Salinas,” he said after letting me flip the book over a few times. “California. Like me.” He stood up straighter to make that declaration.
The other side of Salinas, I thought but didn’t say. “Oh, that’s all right,” I did say, holding it back out to him. “Tenth Grade English. I already read it.” Though as soon as I said it, I remembered that it was Of Mice and Men we’d studied.
“Read it again,” he told me. “You got time.” As he opened the cage door, he gave me an out. “At least just read Chapter Fourteen.”
“Yeah.” He piled one box on top of the other and heaved both through the doorway. “You’ll feel better. Steinbeck knew. They won’t get away with this!”
The book is somewhere in the truck behind us as we drive. I haven’t spoken to Julio since that day, mostly because I keep vowing to read the damn chapter before I call him next. Now I make a silent nod at the horizon, my renewed pledge to my friend that I will do as he’s told me.
We’re getting close to our exit. Beyond the barrier passes Green Valley Elementary, where the kids will go to school starting next week. I keep quiet about it. Heather follows it until it passes behind us, but she also holds her tongue. Dusty is quiet like a dormant volcano, ready to re-erupt at the slightest push. Lainey, for her part, has tried to be mature about leaving Oak Elementary. I think she sees the displacement from her friends as a very adult problem, and she’s stared it down with a heart hardened like her mother’s.
But still, she won’t get to see Bobby Tyler every day. Even though Bobby Tyler is in the next grade, and though I’ve never seen her with him, the swirly calligraphy of his name on her English notebook and the heart she has drawn around it are a testament to her undying devotion. She’s been mourning that impending loss for weeks. I’ve seen that one bring water to her eyes. To point out Green Valley is to resurrect Bobby Tyler’s memory, and then to kill him once and for all. I sure hope Green Valley has a Bobby Tyler, and that she finds him fast.
And, oh God, I hope he’s not a racist. I hope none of them are. It’s silly, in this day and age, isn’t it? There’s all kinds of kids out there, everywhere, right? There were black kids at Oak, and Hispanics, and a couple of Asians. Mine are just half Filipino. You’d barely know it in Dusty’s case. I had this fear on Lainey’s first day at Oak, and then on Dusty’s just two months back. And I never once heard about so much as a rude word. Green Valley the neighborhood is supposed to be pretty diverse—more so than Oakhurst. They ought to be past all that. I crane my neck to see my son in the rear-view mirror. Under his wild, dirty-blond bangs, his eyes are brooding, and it’s when he sulks that those eyes narrow and I see his mother in him. My right hand reaches out and clasps Heather’s again. Her fingers, that creamy olive I love, blanch to a sickly yellow at the knuckles when she presses her nails against my palm. I take my hand back to work the steering wheel and blinker. And I give my head a guilty shake, to let the bad thoughts fall away.
Luther is right behind me down the exit ramp. He follows me through every turn, rolling through stop lines to keep up. Towering over the sidewalk saplings down each block are long, hulking apartment buildings. They stretch up on each side of the street like four-story canyon walls. A stupid relief washes over me when we hit West 68th Avenue and Luther’s as close behind as ever. I can see our new home, on 68th Avenue and 41st Street, from two blocks away.
The buildings are smaller on our block, two-up/two-down jobs with a waist-high hedge behind the high chain-link fence that lines the sidewalk. As we reach the opposite corner, Heather makes an observation: “Oh, dear. The kids’ bedroom faces east.” She scans the topography behind us. “I hadn’t thought of that. The sun’ll shine right down this street into their window in the morning.” She looks meaningfully at me. “We’ll need to buy blackout curtains.” Her eyes roll. “Another expense.” I wait for a cough, but she swallows back whatever is building. “We’re lucky I’m still at Clive and Scott.”
And that’s what I’m thinking as we pull up alongside our new home: how lucky I am. I have no job, but so far my wife has hung onto hers. I’ve lost my house, but I still have my car, and it just about runs. I have my wife. I have my kids, and these days I have the time to take them to school in the mornings and bring them home in the afternoons. If Dusty ever smiles again, or if Lainey crosses “I Luv Bobby” off the covers of all her notebooks, I ought to feel luckier still.
Luther takes some maneuvering to get the truck positioned right at the corner behind us. When the engine stops, I see him stretch back and turn an appraising eye on the place. Yeah, have a look, Luther. 10949 West 68th Avenue. There’s the window to the kids’ bedroom, where Lainey has promised to sacrifice to her baby brother the space that, as a growing young lady, she needs more than ever. If she just can’t do it, over there is the window to the Master Bedroom (so named for the six extra square feet it has over the other), where Heather and I have plans to slot Dusty’s bed in the corner, inches from the foot of our bed. There, with the medium window facing front, is the living room, where he’ll probably end up sleeping on the fold-out couch when none of our other arrangements work out. Back in that Master Bedroom will be where, in late-night whispers, Heather and I will plot our comeback.
You can’t see the kitchen from this angle, but I’m sure it’ll be just as abuzz as our last one come Thanksgiving, in just a few weeks’ time. The stove here is pretty tiny, but that’s okay. A smaller stove means a smaller turkey, and a smaller bird is a cheaper bird, so it all works out, really. Hell, maybe we’ll just have chicken.
“Daddy?” Dusty breaks a silence we’ve all let linger for too long. He squirms and tugs at his seatbelt. “I have to go to the bathroom.”
“Of course, kiddo!” I throw off my belt, reach back and unbuckle him. We all pile out of the car. “Here we are, ten-nine-four-nine!” Come on kids, work up some smiles. You’re lucky. Look just across the street. We could have ended up on the fourth floor of that monstrosity, in more of a cell block than an apartment.
Here, Dusty, take my hand. Let’s get you in and relieved before we unload. Through the front gate, up these steps, through the building’s entrance. Watch that patch of floor. Now through our front door, the same front door your Dad might burst through a week or two from now with the news that Gearey’s Dry Cleaners or Domino’s Pizza has taken him on. This room must feel huge to you, this blue rug covering the expanse of floor like an ocean. We’re going to fill it up, though, really soon, and to the brim. Over there will go the couch, snug between the wall and the doorway, and your Dad’ll sit there and read that damn chapter and then call his friend Julio to tell him how it’s put everything into meaningful perspective.
Believe it or not, kiddo, we’re thinking we can just about fit the old ping-pong table in here for Turkey (or Chicken) Day. We’ll throw a tablecloth over it and eat a decent meal of sensible portions, and we’ll all give thanks for everything that we still have. And it’ll feel almost like last year—maybe better, since this time last year we were waiting for the ax to fall, and now that it has there’s no more uncertainty. Now we can be sure of how lucky we really are.
Okay, through this hall, and here we are, the bathroom. I’ll wait out here, Big Boy. Drop your pants down to the blue-grey tile and do your business. See the bathtub? It’s pretty big, isn’t it? Maybe bigger than the one at Oakhurst. Pretty sweet. Now look up. See that open space in the ceiling? See all the nice, sturdy pipes to our upstairs neighbors’ bathroom, all conveniently exposed like that? I did. From there, that’s where, perhaps, one semi-sunny afternoon, under a chemtrailed sky, they might rush to cut me down before you and your sister get home from school (I won’t be there to pick you up—that’ll buy them more time).
But no, that won’t happen. Probably not. I’m a lucky man. We are a lucky family. Just think about all the things we’ve got. Come on. Remember to flush, kiddo. Now, out you come. Let’s try and find something to keep you occupied. Your daddy’s got a lot of work left to do.
Maintained or neglected, familiar or foreign, well-worn or wild, roadways inform our decisions and identities. Their geographies direct the movement
of our lives and sketch the cartography of our stories. In this spirit, 322 Review publishes provocative emerging and established artists whose fiction,
creative nonfiction, poetry, and mixed media artwork wander the paths of human experience. A nonprofit literary journal conceived
and operated by former Rowan University graduate students, 322 Review is based in Southern New Jersey.