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Yin Hoo Girls:
an excerpt
By Samuel Saint Thomas

I met you on the day the leaves fell.  You paid no mind to the cold December creek, shrugging off the snow from your eaves.  I studied you from all sides, each the same, save only your eyes.  You saw me looking.  I could sense it, and I wanted you.  I wasn’t certain you would have me, but I took a chance.  I opened, I entered you.  Instantly I was at your mercy, the uncertainty of your devotion.  Through your eyes Yin Hoo, I looked.  Water clouded my vision, and I was safe.  

I have forty dirty windows at my place.  They’re frosted over.  Not icy, smudged.  First the bugs come by to look in, then spiders stop by for dinner, and dust likes spider webs.  I haven’t cleaned them, at least the ones upstairs, since I moved in here fifteen years ago.  You might think it slovenly of me to allow my architectural hygiene to get this far out of control.  But you see, each of the forty windows has twenty-one panes the size of postcards, making eight hundred forty panes. 

I’ve rationalized the dirty windows this way too: to climb on the roof of a house perched on a cliff fifty feet above a little river is a dangerous undertaking, especially if there’s no one below to pick my crumpled self off the ground should I fall.  You’d think, wouldn’t you, that I’d have found a creative way to bring my view to clarity.  I just might.  But I have a penchant for hiding out behind the sullied glass.  I’ve had hideouts before, places to get away from my sister, places to get away from noise, places to fantasize being a king, ruler, maybe a knight.

Before finding this particular hideout, I’d spent a few years not feeling at home in a big empty house, nursing the black and blues of a love gone wrong.  I wasn’t even aware of how much I had the urge to hole-up, carve out a place for thinking, creating, and brooding however I damn-well pleased. 

But there was the ad: a two-line classified, black and white, “For Rent, Asian Style House, Near Ski Slope.” 

I spilled my coffee.  I knew right away...


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