Never Met a Stranger

by Jenn Scheck-Kahn

You're not supposed to know strangers the way I do. You're not supposed to see their troubles acted out and if you do, you're not supposed to like them more for what you see. You're supposed to fear the ones who talk and the ones who don't talk, fear the way a woman scratches, a place that is okay to scratch in public as long as you do it right and not her way. A body is a body. When I see a stranger being her private self, she is a body cut open. I like what I see because it's not mine; there is a person I can know.

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Jenn Scheck-Kahn's fiction has placed in the Atlantic Monthly 2007 Student Writing Contest, received Glimmer Train's 1998 Short Story Award for New Writers, and has appeared in failbetter.com and Tea Party Magazine. She earned her MFA in fiction from Bennington College.