A New Yorker, trying not to be jaded, accompanies a cash-strapped pot grower to a “clothing optional resort” in California. A nerdy high-schooler has her first sexual experience at Geology Camp. A college student, on the night of her father’s funeral, watches a video of her bat mitzvah, hypnotized by the image of the girl she used to be . . .
Frank and irreverent, Rebecca Schiff’s stories offer a singular view of growing up (or not) and finding love (or not) in today’s ever-uncertain landscape. In its bone-dry humor, its pithy observations, and its thrilling ability to unmask the most revealing moments of human interaction—no matter how fleeting—The Bed Moved announces a new talent to be reckoned with.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Bed Moved
There were film majors in my bed—they talked about film. There were poets, coxswains, guys trying to grow beards.
“Kids get really scared when their dad grows a beard,” I said.
Finally, I had an audience. I helped a pitcher understand the implications of his team’s hazing ritual. I encouraged indecisive dancer-anthropologists to double major. When a guy apologized for being sweaty, I got him a small towel. I made people feel good.
Then I took a break. Then I forgot that I was taking a break. Spring was here. Jake was here. Also Josh. One dancer-anthropologist dropped anthropology, just did dance. He danced with honors.
“Mazel tov,” I said.
The bed moved. Movers moved it. Movers asked what my dad did, why he wasn’t moving the bed.
New guys came to the bed. New guys had been in the Gulf War, had been bisexual, had taken out teeth, had taken out ads. Musical types left CDs with their names markered on—I kept a pile. I was careful not to smudge them, scratch them. (Scratch that, I wasn’t careful.)
“So many musicians in this city,” I observed, topless.
Boxer shorts were like laundry even on their bodies. Guys burrowed down for not long enough, popped up, smiled.
Did I have something? Did I have anything?
Something, anything, went in the trash, except one, which didn’t. One hadn’t gone on in the first place.
After, cell phones jingled: Be Bop, Mariachi Medley, Chicken Dance, Die Alone.
Nervous, I felt nervous. There was mariachi in the trains, or else it was just one guy playing “La Bamba.” I slow-danced into clinic waiting rooms. Receptionists told me to relax and try to enjoy the weekend, since we wouldn’t know anything till Monday. Sunday I lost it, banged my face against the bed. Be easy, girl, I thought. Be bop. Something was definitely wrong with me—I never called myself “girl.” I played CDs, but CDs by artists who had already succeeded. They had succeeded for a reason. They weren’t wasting time in my bed. One did pass through the bed, to brag. He had been divorced, had met Madonna.
He asked, “Is this what women are like now?”
Table of Contents
The Bed Moved 3
Men against Violence 25
Welcome Lilah 29
My Allergies Will Charm You 36
Keep an Eye on It 39
The Lucky Lady 40
Third Person 52
Not That Kind of Sad 54
It Doesn't Have to Be a Big Deal 61
F = ma 75
Rate Me 77
World Trade Date 82
Another Cake 86
Sports Night 98
Communication Arts 109
Little Girl 118
Schwartz, Spiegel, Zaveri, Cho 121
What We Bought 126
Write What You Know 138