and remembers that one episode of the X-Files his cousin made him watch where the stretchy man gets sucked into the escalator leaving behind a train of blood and ooze. Ted never really enjoyed shows like that. That’s not how the government works. The FBI would never let some yahoo jet all over the country to investigate unfounded claims like UFO sightings and vampires. Sure, maybe there’s a conspiracy or two. Everyone knows that. Even Ted. But it’s not like they let him in on anything. Nobody invites Ted to conspiracy meetings. Or lunch. Ted sits on the bench in front of Hot Topic to retie both of his shoes. He double knots them, just for extra security. When he looks up, Ted sees his reflection in the store window, a little distorted. It scares him for just a minute, and then he remembers how reflections lie sometimes. Everything lies. Agent Mulder. The Smoking Man. The President, God help us. Even Ted. He makes his way toward the food court and hopes none of the teenagers working at the Jamba Juice recognize him. Kids these days seem to know more than they should.
E. Kristin Anderson is a poet, Starbucks connoisseur, and glitter enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and Hysteria: Writing the female body (Sable Books, forthcoming). Kristin is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks), Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press, forthcoming). Kristin is an assistant poetry editor at The Boiler and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at EKristinAnderson.com and on twitter at @ek_anderson.