Lies I Told My Mother

I tell my mother that my friend Janice and I plan to visit Holy Family Catholic Church on Sunday morning. I’ve been interested in becoming Catholic, or better yet, a nun, ever since seeing the movie, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. Of course I’ll be the kind of nun who falls in love with a handsome priest just before taking her final vows. He’ll leave the church for me, and we’ll live the rest of our lives in a state of holy, mystical, pious bliss.

Continue reading… "Lies I Told My Mother"

London to Bristol

Donna doesn’t say much. Donna likes to drive. Donna likes football. I think Donna is a lesbian, but I never quite pluck up the courage to ask. Donna wears jeans and t-shirts and sneakers every day, rain or shine. Donna has a sausage roll and a can of coke every day for lunch. She buys it at Gregg’s down the street for a pound fifty. She shows it to me and always says ‘bargain!’ The joy of the meal deal never gets old for her.

Continue reading… "London to Bristol"

Holy Knight

It is the night before Lee Staebler’s birthday and we have just uncorked the ten dollar bottle of red wine that I picked up from the Walgreens on the corner. There’s no living room here, no collection of Waterford standing guard behind the glass doors of a maple chest, so I flag down Nurse, who is in the dank hallway, and request two plastic Dixie cups from her stash. These babies are normally reserved…

Continue reading… "Holy Knight"

The Elusive Miss Churchill

About the only enticement encouraging me to sort second-hand books in the dank room under our local sports stadium is the prospect of finding a signed first edition signed by a major author – unlikely, although not unheard of. The thousands of books are contributed by local citizens for our annual Friends of the Library sale, the proceeds going to sponsor library programs.

Continue reading… "The Elusive Miss Churchill"

Fences

Something makes me look up.

Here come the cows.

There are eight of them, steers actually. They’re tame, curious, and bored with grass. They’ll mouth the alder leaves for the new taste, and they’re gathering where the tree will fall.

Continue reading… "Fences"

If I Tell You What I Have Told No One Else

My first real job when I moved to Manhattan was in a mental hospital. I did television. I was in charge of running the video studio, an insulated box once used for detecting electrical actions in the brain. This box looked like a refrigerator where you would find big hunks of meat, except it was lined in maple veneer and had a faded rose carpet. It was in the third sub-basement of an ivy-covered building on the river.

Continue reading… "If I Tell You What I Have Told No One Else"

Cannon Beach

I first met the Pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach when I was a kid. Tourists hadn’t taken over the town yet and it felt like we had the beach to ourselves. The vastness, and how puny I felt at the edge of the ocean was like looking into space at the moon and stars. The sense of amazement, the size and power of all that water, the sound of it breaking on the

Continue reading… "Cannon Beach"

Perfect Timing

I lie awake in the darkness and laugh out loud. The sound wakens Stewart from a shallow sleep.

“What’s funny?”

“I’m happy,” I say and he murmurs something and sleeps again.

I don’t tell him I am laughing with delight because he’s here, in my bed,

Continue reading… "Perfect Timing"