Blake Kimzey grew up in Prosper, Texas. He is a 2014 graduate of the MFA Programs In Writing at UC Irvine and the recipient of a generous 2013 Emerging Writer Grant from The Elizabeth George Foundation. His work has been broadcast on NPR, performed on stage in Los Angeles, and published by Tin House, McSweeney's, FiveChapters, Puerto del Sol, The Los Angeles Review, Short Fiction, Mid-American Review, The Lifted Brow, PANK, Day One, Juked, Keyhole, Monkeybicycle, and anthologized in Surreal South ’13. His chapbook of short tales, Families Among Us, won the 2013 Black River Chapbook Competition and was published by Black Lawrence Press in September 2014. Blake teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas and recently finished writing his first novel.
When the towers fell, I was seeing two women: Angela and Barb. One wanted to get married. One wanted to have sex in public parking lots and mall bathrooms. I wanted them both. Twelve years later, it’s two different women: Melissa, my wife, and Nikki, my brother’s girlfriend.
What kind of man has to keep a woman on the side his whole life? Everyone agrees the world has changed, but maybe it hasn’t changed enough. The world changed, but I sit in the same office, at the same desk, in the same chair.
Tonight, Melissa and I will go to a memorial service. Her first cousin was killed in the South Tower. The family talks about it like it happened yesterday. Maybe that’s one reason it feels like such a surprise that it’s been 12 years; I guess none of us know how to let anything go. I’ll stand with Melissa, hold her hand when she offers a single rose to an empty grave marker. When the ceremony is over, the family will gather to toast her cousin’s memory and remember the bright future we were all cheated. I’ll have one shot of Irish whiskey to warm me before telling Melissa I