I Could Be Your Neighbor, Your Lover

by Caren Coté

I'm normal, in the sense that I obey traffic laws and am diurnal by nature, but not so normal anyone would suggest I socialize that guide dog or provide a stable environment for this foster child. That sort of normal is the product of a happy childhood; I am not. Frankly, I don't understand the allure. Oh, I tried, and then I pretended, for normalcy's sake – but the more I studied those normal people the more convinced I became that they were, in fact, one person with many faces. No, not even that. One person with many variations of the same face.


Caren Coté grew up in shamelessly abnormal neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. Between those streets and her cubicle in the Silicon Forest she passed through restaurants, bars, a newspaper with a staff of three, and a Hungarian flower shop. Her short fiction has appeared in VoiceCatcher2 and on KBOO, Portland Public Radio.