DON’T BE GAUCHE

André Babyn
Don’t be gauche. I had a dream, and in that dream I was
gauche. A terrible gaucheness was attempting to smother
me in an empty room without windows. I stared up at the
Victorian wood panelling and screamed, a gauche
scream. When I woke up there was a dog next to me and
the dog was being gauche. “No,” I said. “Don’t.” The air
outside, I found, was gauche. The surrounding
countryside was certainly gauche. The family car pulled
out of the driveway and the strains of music playing out
the open window were gauche. “If this keeps up, I’m
going to have to commit suicide,” I thought, waving
goodbye from where I stood with the dog. I went inside
and had breakfast. The dog saw a cat through the
window, and began barking. I went back to bed, closing
my eyes and daring to imagine a world that was not
gauche. The phone rang. The ringtone, I have always
struggled with it, was gauche. It was my mother on the
other end. They had forgotten something at the house
and they were turning around. As the car pulled down
the driveway, and I stood with the suitcase they had left
behind, I couldn’t help but notice the sun filtering
through a break in the clouds. A perfectly gauche
display, I thought.
André Babyn's work has appeared in Maisonneuve, Hobart, Grain, Pank, HTMLGIANT, and elsewhere. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Adam Penn Gilders Scholarship in Creative Writing, and in 2010 he won the Norma Epstein Award for Creative Writing. He recently obtained his Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto, and he serves as the Fiction Editor of the Puritan.