The Break

On their last weekend together, two fourth-grade boys sneak into the woods searching for a mythical creature with the power to grant wishes. Leif feels childish for entertaining the idea, but he would follow his friend to the end of the earth if asked. Creed has spent afternoons at the library and nights on theContinue Reading

Everyone Was Smoking and Drinking out of Fear

The world shut down abruptly one Monday before anyone had a chance to really think about it. I’d been in bed in my mom’s back bedroom watching Star Wars cartoons and smoking a bowl. I’d been committed to a pretty easy night when I received a text from mom: the governor was shutting down allContinue Reading

The Hardest Thing

The last time I saw my father, he was weak but not in severe pain. It was a wealthy form of hospice; he was sitting up in one of his fancy, overstuffed, silk-upholstered armchairs. He told me that the hardest thing about dying was that he couldn’t sleep at night, and I remember feeling surprised—wouldn’tContinue Reading

Swim, Swam, Swum

Max didn’t even have to ring the doorbell. I came out as the van pulled up. I suppose I shouldn’t have been so eager for the visit but it didn’t occur to me hang back, to be cool, not yet at least. It was late summer, just before the start of eighth grade. I wasContinue Reading

Man to Man

In the voice of this charismatic stranger, basketball is a mystical game you can control before the ball is even in your hands. There’s a way of feeling out the court, of knowing where to stand. He generously shares his knowledge with me, as though, like the sun and the stars, it belongs to everyone.Continue Reading

Betrayal

   …bookishness and cultivation, so treasured by those who possess them, are no guarantee of human value…. Nobody is a more worth-while person for having read Yeats.  – Anthony Lane   I scratch notes for a piece to describe a social divide I experienced as a child in a factory town in Rhode Island. IContinue Reading

Pandemic Plummets

Everyone has their own tolerance and focus with how to stay connected during the last two years, or as we say Post Pandemic (are we ever, truly?) With masks and vaccines or not, and travel dribbling away, parties and gatherings somehow obsolete, many of us, myself included spent more time, not less, on social media,Continue Reading

Four Fights

Fight #1 My first fight was with this guy on our block who didn’t have any friends his own age. He was always hanging around the younger kids, teaching us to smoke, swear and vandalize. He liked to talk about sex, too. One time he asked me what the nastiest thing I ever saw was.Continue Reading

Loving and Forgetting

LOVE Friday in the Student Union basement bar meant ‘70’s night: soul, rock, disco, funk, reggae. ‘They should do one each week, or two. It’s too much of a mix.’ Billy leant on one of the sofas that lined the dark, graffitied walls. Between his middle fingers he held the rim of his empty plasticContinue Reading

Three Stories

ONE NIGHT ONLY The only time I ever saw James Brown perform live was through the Lone Star Café plate glass windows on 13th Street in light snow at midnight. It was the week before Christmas, 1981. I was single, in my late twenties, and had made the mistake of asking out the woman whoContinue Reading