“Visitor”
by Bryan Washington
from the January 20, 2020 issue of The New Yorker

Bryan Washington’s “Waugh” (see post here) was published in The New Yorker in late 2018, a few months before his debut collection Lot came out. Now he says, in his interview here, that he’s wrapping up edits on his debut novel. I have to admit, I never did look into Lot. I’m glad to have this reminder!

He knocked on my door about a month after the funeral. I almost didn’t answer, since I wasn’t expecting my fuck buddy. It was entirely too late for anyone to be visiting, but the man in front of me said that he’d been a friend of my father’s—and I slipped on the face I wore for those people. It was three or four in the morning. He’d caught a late flight from Kingston to Houston.

Then the man said something else, in a heavy patois. I asked him to repeat it.

His lover, this guy said, rubbing both of his elbows.

I made a new kind of face. Except it couldn’t have been a new kind of face. We only get so many.

What, I said.

It’s true, he said.

No, I said, and then I laughed.

Sounds like quite the visitor!

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