The Return of Amelia Earheart

by Peter Cherches

When Amelia Earheart finally returned, last year, a banquet was given in her honor. Exultant friends, senior citizens all, and admirers, many of whom had not yet been born when Amelia disappeared, somewhere in the Pacific, back in 1937, showered the triumphant, if somewhat tardy, flyer with gifts and kisses. An international dinner was prepared by a team of the world's finest chefs. Everybody was ecstatic — everybody, that is, except for Amelia. While her friends reveled in her good fortune, the aging aviatrix was depressed and withdrawn. She felt strange among people after all these years. And when asked for details of her great adventure, and her many seasons in limbo, she would reply, simply, "I once was lost but now I'm found," in an uninflected monotone, wishing she had not cheated history, and yearning to return to her simple life among the shells and sponges.

Peter Cherches is the author of Lift Your Right Arm (Pelekinesis, 2013) and two previous volumes of short prose: Condensed Book and Between a Dream and a Cup of Coffee, as well as several limited-edition artist's books. His work has recently appeared in the anthologies Poetry 180 and Up Is Up, But So Is Down: New York's Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992. His fiction and short prose work has been featured in a wide range of magazines and journals, including Harper's, Semiotext(e), Transatlantic Review, Fiction International, and Bomb. Sonorexia, the avant-vaudeville music-performance group he co-led with Elliott Sharp in the 1980s, appeared at such legendary venues as The Mudd Club and CBGB. Cherches is a two-time recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships in creative nonfiction. He blogs about food and travel at His "Excerpts from Mr. Deadman" appeared in Issue 28 of The Cafe Irreal and is forthcoming in the anthology The Irreal Reader: Fiction & Essays from The Cafe Irreal.