fiction thatslove

by Paul Luikart

When you go to put things back together after all the years lost to the needle and the streets, you're really starting from scratch when it comes to friends. When I went to treatment, the one that eventually took, I recall this big fat man with a beard who used to sit at the side of my bed every night. He looked like Santa. My memories of that time are mostly about how sick I felt; except for this guy. He'd always burst in and say, "How are ya, pal?" or "Why the long face?" and then he'd laugh like crazy. I was too sick to say anything, so he would read me jokes from Reader's Digest or we'd listen to the Cubs on the radio. When I finally got well enough to move to the residential program, he shook my hand and said, "Good luck." I told him thanks for hanging around, and I recall his exact words. "That's love, old boy, L-O-V-E love."

About the Author

Paul Luikart's writing has appeared in the Chicago Quarterly Review, Boston Literary Magazine, and at the Burnside Writers Collective. He is currently a second-year student at the University of Chicago's Graham School where he continues to study fiction writing. He and his wife live on the North Side of Chicago.

322 Review is a journal that publishes provocative emerging and established artists. Operated by Rowan University graduate students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Writing Program, 322 Review is aggressively seeking the best fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, mixed genre, and mixed media works of visual art.