Jen Michalski

Available Now

You'll Be Fine (2021; NineStar Press)

"An enjoyable story about an adult trying to grow up"
Kirkus Reviews

Selected, "Best Books We Read This Year (2021)”— Independent Book Review

Coming Soon

The Company of Strangers
(2022; Braddock Avenue Books)

What the Shop Sold

I dreamed of a store inside a rowhouse that sold all the things I've ever wanted but couldn't have. Except they were not for sale, at least not to me. I could look at them but not touch. I made up reasons to go to the store all the time, looking, trying to find a way to convince the proprietor to give me the things, sell them, or trade them to me. I asked the universe what to do. Finally, it said, you already have your answer. The answer has always been the same. This store does not even exist. When I looked at the proprietor, she said, Goodbye, Jen and went into the back. When I followed her, she was gone. When I returned to the front, so were the things, except for their shadows. Then, when I left the store and turned around they too were gone—an empty storefront. I knew when I turned the corner that the store would be gone, too. I climbed into a cylindrical pod and rocketed into space. The earth was the size of a button. I never wanted to go back, but I remembered the things I did have and was thankful. The earth got bigger and bigger again. I braced myself against the pod. Impact in minus five.

I always have music in my dreams, stuff I've made up in my subconscious. The music upon my return to earth was some Crosby, Stills & Nash knockoff, some bittersweet-all-the-wiser-sounding song. I always thought they were a little smug.

(Photo: Paolo Neo)