national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

Saint Anthony (the keeper of lost things)

Mollyhall Seeley  • 
New York University

Saint Anthony mostly goes by El Capitán. I call him patroncito because it drives him crazy (he’s a terrible racist). Usually he won’t see me because he says that I don’t lose things, I ignore them. But even he has to admit I need his services after the smell of steam and mouthwash makes me suddenly start weeping. My hair is still wet and I’m wearing only a towel (Saint Anthony is a bit of a pervert). He asks if my grandmother baked pies, and I say no, so he asks if I knew anyone that died in a sauna, and I say no, and he says right, that’s it, I give up, I’ll just give you something else if you’ll stop calling me at four in the morning because you can’t remember what you’ve dreamt. Okay, patroncito. Saint Anthony shuffles through his briefcase and pulls out Anastasia’s diadem but I refuse because I’m not convinced she won’t someday rise again and need it. You’re a pain in my ass, says Saint Anthony, and suddenly I remember Norm Jacobs standing as close to me as anyone has ever stood, skin emanating sweaty heat in cold February, saying Yo, Bunny, you minty fresh (now he’s dating a fifteen-year-old). Saint Anthony raises his eyebrows and asks incredulously, a boy that called you Bunny made you cry? And I say yeah, that’s just it, patroncito, he’s the only one that ever has.