he night I escaped the sinewy charms of Don Baker, I ran down the rocky dirt road from the drive-in, dodged behind garbage cans, and sidled into the recessed doorways of a strip mall to avoid being seen when Don drove by in his VW van. I walked home from that very scary date and swore to myself “Never again.”
A sophomore at Arizona State University, I thought I knew everything about college, men, and, oh yes, life.
Continue reading… "College Education or Desert Walkabout in Indian Madras"
“It’s twenty-one minutes before the hour.”
The radio announcer’s voice is cheerful, but the words sound ominous. Before the hour of what. Death? I shudder.
It’s early morning when I hear this on the radio and my sleepy mind panics as I’m trying to think of everything I ought to do before I die.
Continue reading… "Twenty-One Minutes Before the Hour"
The cinnamon freckles that are dusted on my body are identical to the ones on the bodies of my sometimes former, sometimes current, nighttime, kind-of-friends. [I wouldn’t go as far as to call the speckled procession, ‘lovers’]. When our bodies combined, the specks were capable of soaking up twice the amount of vitamin D — especially in dark rooms.
Continue reading… "Freckles"
Ephelides awoke in the sunshine. But stormy weather would wash away the little stains,
I crouched next to the green rocking chair as Alejandro faced his twenty-seven third-grade classmates. They were cross-legged on the threadbare grey carpet, waiting for him to read his first completed story of the year. I tried to intercept the gaze of any who would glance my way, my silent plea to receive his story kindly. Things didn’t come easily for Alejandro.
Continue reading… "Only Eight"
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"
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"
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"
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"
The plates showed up at my front door in a box labeled “fragile” and filled with foam padding and layers of bubble wrap. Deep inside, the contents lay separated by tissue paper and cardboard: five collectible Christmas plates I had bought on E-bay when the seller accepted my bid.
Royal Copenhagen holiday plates are blue and white dessert-size plates marked with
Continue reading… "Set of Christmas Plates, Mixed Years"
A spotlight shone on a massive black cauldron as the red-gowned queen lowered a green apple to where I hid inside. I took the green and handed her the red, which she raised toward the audience. Magic!
I tucked to one side as she climbed in next to me, and I awaited my cue. The slow, sinister bow of a cello. Enter the villain.
Continue reading… "Villains get the Red Shoes"