Sensory Details

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Our short story of the week is a story about disability by Jen Knox.

Jen Knox was born and raised in the Midwestern states and has worked primarily in the non-profit sector and academia. Her writing has a strong focus on tumultuous family relationships and our relationship with the natural world.

Her short stories can be found in over a hundred publications, including The Best Small Fictions 2017, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Quarterly Review, Juked, Literary Orphans, Room Magazine, The Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly, and The Saturday Evening Post. She also has a strong drive to teach which has led her to work as a writing coach and an academic program manager at The Ohio State University.

In Sensory Details, Jen explores the challenges of disability and its complicated effect on family.

It’s my fourteenth day as a bagger, the first day I can’t keep my eyes off the rooster-shaped clock above the candy aisle. I’m still in the probationary period at Swifts, so I do what I can to focus, make a game of it. Each new bag can be optimally filled in less time than the last.

Four cardboard boxes containing crackers, pretzels, pasta, and rice fit safely in a single medium bag. The store’s bags are thin, and I need to position the boxes vertically so that the edges don’t cut a hole in the plastic before customer #34 gets to her trunk. Tortilla chips and salsa come down the belt next.

I move the bag to the cart and toss the frozen packages into a larger bag. My hands move so quickly that Rose, the cashier, barely has time to place a product on the belt before I’ve snatched it up and either categorized or bagged it according to its temperature and dimensions. The rooster’s eyes dart back and forth with the seconds; time seems stuck.Read more…

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