M. F. McAuliffe is the Australian co-founder and contributing editor for the Portland-based, multilingual magazine Gobshite Quarterly, and its offshoot, GobQ/Reprobate Books. All the stories featured here are part of the forthcoming collection, I’m Afraid of Americans (Portland, shoegaze, 2018).
All in make-up; all clean; all with their hands hanging by their sides because they can’t agree on a common prayer-book so they’ve brought none at all; all in their best sudden-funeral clothes, they all file off like dark cemetery pines along a roadside fence; all silent, all frightened, they all file off.
I come to work at seven-thirty. I start and seven-thirty and finish at four. We get half an hour for lunch.
As you walk down the corridor it gets shabbier and shabbier: the carpet turns from light green to dark; the rooms get darker; the carpet ends and becomes tan and pink lino; the tan and pink lino ends. Our lino is two shades of grey. Our office is woodwork-teacher furniture, old typewriters and four time clocks. All the time clocks are wrong.