"An Eyeful" by Jennifer Carr

The ethnic families of San Pedro live in enclaves, or maybe compounds, and this will continue through the 1960s. Bachelors and newly-wedded couples live in one- or two-room bungalows, on the southern side of town, and once they save enough money inside their mattresses, pay cash for one of the newly built bigger houses up the street a block or two. But they all reside in the same general area. They live next door to one another, across the street, all within short walking distance, just above the reek of the canneries at the end of 22nd Street. Slav women are very careful that their homes don’t smell of fish. They boil their husbands’ clothes when they return from fishing, outside, in the backyard. They have access to cleaning potions that erase any evidence of filth or stench. In many ways, these women are like witches, and with their husbands gone, they raise their children in an obsessive-compulsive, anally-retentive coven. 

Posted on May 15, 2015 .