There were no brides in Manchester in 1989. Unemployment, falling cinema attendance, and The Problem with Wearing White were offered as factors on the news. It was the year the bog man exhibit came to the museum. Visitors pressed their noses to a glass case, staring at the young man found preserved in peat. He appeared to be sleeping, cradling the land. His tanned arms curved loosely in front of him, as if allowing someone to slip in and out of an embrace. Girls clutched their satchels and wondered if they touched something enough every quality it possessed would seep into their hands. Rent was increasing. Satin reminded people of rain, but the most popular reason for not marrying was peat. Women addressed the camera and stated, Some nights I think about going clubbing, but find myself laid in the garden, touching soil, letting the cool soak into my legs.


fiction by
Angela Readman

image by
Chris Espenshade