Micrograffiti: The Things They Sold by Nina McConigley


The Things They Sold by Nina McConigley

It was the West, and to go West, it was more than a barter. The Indian family runs the motel off the interstate. They sell shelter. A room with a flowered bedspread, and a sign outside warning about meth abuse.

The girl from the Ukraine sells Dead Sea Salt Scrub from a kiosk. She has a sink and will wash your hands with the care of a mother. A man from Persia sells straight irons and will flat iron your hair straight as bullet at the cart next to her. The Vietnamese family can transform your hands and feet. Your nails can be lacquered and painted with an American flag, a flower, even a school mascot.

And then there is the Turkish grain of rice man. He can write your name on one grain and then place it in a small glass vial filled with glycerin. He can write the Lord’s Prayer on a single grain. He can write anything you want. Even the word Fuck can be suspended on rice around your neck.

The Chinese couple sells food. Orange chicken. Sesame Chicken. Fried rice with carrots chopped like blocks and peas like planets orbit each grain of rice. There are no words on them. Instead, they are oily, soy stained, and ready to be consumed.


Nina McConigley lives in Wyoming and loves the Jackalope.


Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>



One comment

  1. i could hear Nina’s voice when i read this!

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