I wish I was different. I picture a different me sitting beside her this evening, someone who can grow a beard that doesn’t look like patchy tufts of pubic hair; someone who can wear slim-fit jeans without his stomach pressing over his belt, someone who looks good in a t-shirt. I envy this me, as he casts a sexy yet mysterious air around the table like Antonio Bandaras in 1998’s classic The Mask of Zoro, or that guy from the Dos Equis beer commercials. He doesn’t have to ask for her name.Read More
Finally the therapist looked up.
“I hate it,” she said, “all the paperwork. So what can I help you with?”
“Well, Dr. …”
“Just call me Ginny. I’m an intern from City College. We get to practice on students before we treat people with real problems.”
“But I have a real problem.”
“Oops. Just a second.” She wrote something in her notebook. “Oh, and do you mind if I record this?” She touched a tape deck already spinning on her desk. “I need it for a grade.”Read More
The couple grew up on the same block and met in grade school. Frankly, they could not stand each other. It wasn’t until Bertha accidently backed over Angus while attempting to sneak out with her family’s car that they really got to know each other. As punishment for borrowing the vehicle without permission, driving without a license and being out past curfew, Bertha was assigned to care for Angus until he was out of his full leg cast. Two weeks into the recovery, Angus had made Bertha cry multiple times, and he was not sorry one little bit. Thanks to her, his senior year on the football team was over. Once he got over his anger and she got over her humiliation, things really started to happen.Read More
Glorious heat seeped into my bones; they were each side of me, pressed close, their breath on my cheeks and legs over mine. Clasped hands lay on my belly and fingers trailed lightly through my hair. Energy radiated through me.
I tried to speak, but Jen placed a long, sleek finger on my lips while whispering escaped hers. “You still need rest. You look feverish.”Read More
You know you have to get up tomorrow and do it all over again and you don’t think you can with your feet feeling like every bone is broken and you wonder if you might need a hip replacement too when you get back home but you get up off the bed and stand and moan and put one foot after the other and think of the wine the paella your friends waiting for you or perhaps they’re not waiting at all but dragging their aching bodies around in their rooms thinking of tomorrowRead More
On this particular day, she noticed a man waving at her in the water, a distance from shore. She squinted. She hoped he didn’t need help because she was not the one. He waved again and smiled. Drowning men don’t generally smile. She waved, turned her back to him and laid down on her stomach.Read More
I was only at Paolo’s restaurant the one time. I never returned. After all, I’m not a total glutton for punishment. I’m not referencing the cuisine either. Patience, dear reader, as you’ll soon see what I mean. I can remember to this day even, and with such astute clarity, the aura of red lust on green envy capriccio.Read More
She loves this game, bibliomancy. It’s supposed to be played with a Bible, but she plays it with classics. She checks the book – Losing Battles by Eudora Welty. She always gets good answers from this one. She even calls the book “Gloria” because the character Gloria features so heavily in its answer.
Will it be within the next six months? She flips the pages and shoves in her finger for the answer, but then, he’s there, standing in the doorway. His shoulders droop.
“Hey, Malcolm,” Harry said. “I've got a bundle of old newspapers.” Harry placed the newspapers that were tied together with twine onto the counter.
“What do I owe you, Harry?” Malcolm said.
“Five bucks should do it,” Harry said. “I haven't asked before, but I'm curious. What do you do with all the old newspapers and magazines?”
Malcolm took a five dollar bill out of his wallet. “I make things,” he said.Read More
“Mom? Dad? I have to tell you something.”
“What’s wrong, honey? Did you and Yuki have a fight?”
“No, it…well…I’ll just spit it out. I wanted to tell you that I’m asexual.”
“Oh, honey…that can’t be true.”
“What the hell does that even mean, asexual? You have a sex; you’re a girl.”Read More
Blue guy sidles in close to me and initiates a message. I switch on Accept and Translate.
“You alright? No distress?” is what he sends. That was sweet, so I reply.
“Actually, lost an earring down my suit; it was new. Stupid.”
“Sorry. Can I help?”
Ok, that was creepy. “Unlikely, but thanks,” I send back.Read More
On the first day in August, I wasn't looking for a table. I wasn't looking for anything. I was just window shopping at the resale shop while I waited for my friend, Lena to show up for Sunday brunch. It was her birthday, and she was turning 42. This was our girl's day out to celebrate. I was early, and she would be late, as usual. I kept watch out the window for her arrival. Then I saw the antique Chippendale style table done in the 18th century mode. Oh my God, it was gorgeous with cabriole legs executed in the Philadelphia Rococo School of design, which were carved with the Acanthus leaves motif coupled with the carved volutes and ruffles ending in the claw-and-ball feet. Plus a heavy and deep, reflective Mahogany table top set round with 8 chairs. It was outside my price range as well. The price tag read $11,787 including the chairs.Read More
The miners all spoke at once.
---The bandits make the priests trick these men!
---They could stop if they tried!
---Priests cannot fight bandits!
---What they do is a great sin!
---They will rot in hell!Read More
The last stretch of new train tracks had been laid in catty-corner fashion. Funny how the engineer who directed this strange design was never seen again once the last spike was driven and the champagne toast drunk. Perhaps he knew the chaos he'd caused and wanted to get away before his crime was discovered. Those passengers returning to the station had no problems as the tracks were split and only the tracks for outgoing trains were affected. But what an affect those catty-cornered train tracks had on those who dared to ride! You’d think you were on the train to Boston and arrive in Timbuktu, or to New York and find yourself lost in Shanghai. It was unbelievable. It was magical.Read More
Tonight was the big debate--the election was just a week away--so Karen got the kids to bed a little early while I washed up the dishes. She came back down, turned on the TV and changed the channel before flopping onto the couch.
“Want a beer?” I called from the kitchen, looking into the fridge.
“No, Coke’s good.”
I opened her can and my bottle and brought in a bag of pretzels. While Carter and Reagan and the moderators were introduced, I got settled and put my feet up on the table. I nodded toward the screen as the first question was asked. “Let the carnival begin.”Read More
Whispering, stunningly beautiful landscape wrapped around my heart as magic is revealed to me in a second. As a cure to my grieving soul, crawling while lost in a picturesque forest made of paper heart and loneliness. Could it be the perfect dream, everything we, as tiny beings, aspire to? Drizzle all over, bouncing, caressing heaven on ground, minimal consciousness embraced by the sweetest and fragile touch, maybe God-like paradise creating a blue symphony of what is to be loved, or is it just me and my journey to the never ending pure land of fertile leaves and trees?Read More
April was looking for a rosebush on the easterly section of the hiking trail to verify the note she’d received was genuine. She found none. If this were a safe place, I’d find a rose somewhere. At least a rose bush.
Stephen always told her to beware of false messages. It was one of the hazards of being in love with a spy. “You must understand the risks,” he’d say in that delightful Irish accent of his.
April sighed. She loved thinking about Stephen, the way he talked, walked, even the way he smelled! But now she had to find the rose or leave. That was the rule.Read More
I know to just walk into the cabin in the overgrown forest; there is no lock, no security system. Lit by elongated spherical candles, the expansive room is filled with shadow and stark illumination and eggs.
The ghosts of my ancestors haunt me about what I am about to do. Well, somebody has to put Ma into a nursing home, for her own good. And it should be someone who loves her.
I feel stupid dressed in a suit and tie. Compared to her, I'm big and powerful. And really, I'm not.
Inside, I'm still the child who grew up here.Read More
The day that Lisa Crenshaw walked into Bea’s Antique and Curio Shop, the last thing on her mind was murder. Lisa slowly walked through the store, perusing each item. Rounding a corner of cluttered shelves, an unusual cast iron muffin pan caught her eye. It sat on the back of a shelf surrounded by objects once used by nameless people—certainly long dead.
Marty McGrath, Leo Fisher's 10th grade English teacher, was clearly upset when the boy refused to read Julius Caesar aloud in Special Ed. Instead, Leo sat in the back of McGrath's classroom, surrounded by a pile of musty-smelling philosophy texts and short-story collections, discards from the public library, while the only other three students able to read at all were expected to soldier on--with or without Leo's participation.Read More