Issue 1 cover

Experiment: Love

by Brian Conn

Issue 1 :: Autumn 2007 (stories)

Experiment: Foil
Obtain a car and driver, some aluminum foil, and a roll of adhesive tape. The car should be one you wouldn't mind falling asleep in; the driver should be someone you love.

Tape up some foil inside the car. Cover the ceiling and the area around the windows. Foil crinkles easily; make it as smooth as you can.

Wait for night. Go for a drive. Doze off in back, then wake up, uncomfortable, wanting to go back to sleep. Look out the front window: you are on an unfamiliar highway. There are no other cars. Your driver knows where she is going; that's one reason you love her. Take your seatbelt off and lie down across the back seat; make a pillow of your coat. Fall asleep again.

Wake up. Feel the vibration of the engine and feel the road beneath you. Wonder where you are. See your driver in profile and trust you are somewhere good.

Watch the foil. You are passing under sodium streetlamps. The light is orange; watch it on the foil. Expect the next lamp, then the next and the next. As the car turns, watch the light turn across the foil. Cultivate the illusion that the foil is not reflecting but transmitting light, that it is not a strip of foil but a window into a silver place where orange lights flit by too quick to question. Wonder what this place is that you see through the silver window.


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"Experiment: Love" is roughly 2300 words.

Brian Conn's work has appeared in Sybil's Garage and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. He is a graduate of the 2004 Clarion West Writers Workshop and is currently a student in the MFA program at Brown University. He lives in Providence. Visit his website at