Katy Huff

this life is in beta

Category: introspection


Massive sandstone blocks, slick with ice and precisely cubic, glistened white against the black slush of Lake Michigan. Panting cold clouds into the night, I sat among the sharp cubes and my sweaty body was a microscopic speck perched on the salty rim of an abandoned margarita. The rocky shoreline shone crystaline and jumbled where the lake’s icy sluice abutted it and I could almost taste the crunch of salt. Out in the blackness, chunks of pulpy ice floated listlessly in a once-frozen abyss, melting gently, forgotten at this late hour.

My chest was hot with the burn of the winter air and I thought to dive in. Drinking it deep, I would feel the cold heat of its sweet triple sec while firey fingers of tequila and lime swam down my throat, straight to my heart.

But Lake Michigan is no margarita, and my heart is already feverish, overheated by so many hot fingers in its vicinity.



I am hard and brittle as a squat drinking glass, tossed idly from hand to hand by a visiting mathematician. Clumsy with indifference, his young hands absently fumbled and it shattered against my refrigerator door. Only hours later, I shatter at the slightest mishandling by my own detached and blundering mathematician. I dare not contemplate the broom we’ll need if we intend to gather my sharp edges without drawing any blood.

Silly String

I miss silly string.
And candy.
I miss hot cider and hayrides and bedtime. 
I miss old ladies on the playground, elementry school teachers.
I miss discovering everything for the first time.
I remember never having heard of soccer.
Or acne.
I have wrinkles and gray hairs and slow legs and dead friends.
Life is very short.


When I see beautiful thin women out in the world, being beautiful and thin, I want nothing more than to be a beautiful thin woman also. Instead of immediately abandoning my work for a run or becoming a raw vegan, however, I often sit back, admire the thin buttocks of the beautiful thin woman, gaze longingly at the taught skin of her face, and eat a big cookie.


the grease of winter

Hard, fatty coconut oil melted soft and clean after a shower and now shines weirdly on the skin of knees emerging nude from my boots. In this early morning glow, gloppy shoe grease melts tenderly into abused black leather, moist from a saddle soaping, and an inky lustre begins to glisten beside my skin. Meanwhile, beneath my fingernails, the black boot grit mingles with oily brown winter bike chain filth and the sickly turquoise of phil’s grease that fills my snow rusted bearings. As the mountains of snow outside succumb to the mild sunlight of noon, I meticulously go about melting away the salt and grit of the week with oils and salves in the hopes that my bike and boots and I might survive another here on the midwestern tundra. 



The sealegs and hiccups of drunkenness are alleviated by lying lateral, but the slicing tinnitis in my eardrums rises lofty above the pizza in my belly when my muscles grow still. Too cold, my shoulders clench, frozen with goosebumps under the covers, but the wine is no match for Wisconsin, and outside today’s sunny snowmelt is freezing clear and hard, black and sinister against the asphalt in the in the night air.

New Words

A young yellow light lay across the covers on our first mornings. Your words rose, strong and new above us, mingling with dust that shimmered in slanted bands of morning air. They danced like whirling dervishes through literature and music and philosophy, an assortment of collegiate fascinations to match my own. Was it Milan Kundera you’d been reading? You’d certainly been listening to Beirut. In those days you followed music nearly as closely as politics and we’d both read the most recent New Yorker and Economist.

You worry someday we’ll run out of things to say.
Here’s hoping we haven’t even reached the best of it yet.