‘October 9th 1990′ by Susie Macheton

Better known now for her tawdry, and disgustingly popular novel, Lovely, Lovely, Lovely, about three American sisters and their ‘delightful’ summer in Paris, Macheton’s debut short story collection Kill All the Shitheads was the work of an edgier, better writer. In this story, Manhattan is coming to the end of its era of decay, and the protagonist, named only as ‘S’, is standing outside a basement dive bar on the Lower East Side. S. narrates the tale of her journey into abjection commencing with her expulsion from Vassar for strangling a swift in the President’s office, through the traditional experiments with adulterated stimulants and the usual residency as a bassist in a punk rock band. It certainly made me think twice about giving up the cor anglais and leaving home, although I did, naturally, as I’ve never suffered from a fear of syringes, handsy men or migrating birds.