The hardest part about the past, at least for me, is that you’re in so much of it. Remember that one Christmas when we were driving through North Dakota, which is mostly empty, and we passed that burned-out husk of an ice cream truck on the shoulder of the road? You told me [...]
The starter’s pistol punctured the air above the heads of the runners curled over like fetuses. Instantly they sprouted arms and legs. From his seat in the bleachers, Stan found it hard to tell which boy had made the best start. Nor could he pick out from among the eight brightly colored jerseys the [...]
Every Thursday night I sit quietly on a folding chair with five Silence Addicts in room B-11 under the Episcopal Grace church on Broadway. The room’s walls and floors are covered with orange shag carpeting – amateur sound-proofing done years ago by the minister’s son, who apparently planned to record a Christian acoustic-rock [...]
Cody Black says that running away isn’t about highways and strangers you care about more than friends, that it’s about something else inside you that you love so much it hurts, hurts enough to haunt you the rest of your life. And I’ve told him that I was haunted only when I pleased [...]
I was in my fifties and David had touched sixty when we met for lunch on a cool fall day in a Pan- Asian restaurant in the heart of Chelsea. Our on-line correspondence had escalated to animated phone conversations and, finally, to a face-to-face encounter. I liked his workmanlike gloves, his orange parka, and [...]
We were playing paleontologist in the sandy long jump pit at Robert E. Lee middle school track as Mom ran laps.
I was nine and Danny was six. The rules were simple. He would close his eyes and turn around, as I buried one of his dinosaurs under a layer of coarse tan sand then he had to dig and find it.
Going to the track with Mom was the only part that I didn’t like about summer. She was always training for a new race, which was okay during the school year because she would run while we were in school, but in the summer we had to come with her, and there is only so much a pair of brothers can do in a sand box.
My father decided I should go to Sunday school. “I want you to see how the other half lives,” he said. He was sitting at the kitchen table as he spoke. The remnants of the previous night’s activity were scattered around him: bottles, a beer mug and a large ashtray full of cigarette butts. [...]
From her vantage point, she can see a pedestal Kohler kitchen sink, an old freezer, and toilets: one with an old-fashioned pull chain, another in olive drab, and the third a tea-colored porta john with the words FriendlyFlush barely legible. A kayak is next to a canoe that is next to an ancient treadmill.
I’m not sure how Has Anybody Seen My Gal? became the quintessential ukulele song. Maybe it had the perfect melody for the instrument, enough razzmatazz in the lyric to produce a smile from just about anyone, including a big one from my Dad. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have sworn it was his favorite song – far above Haggard’s Working Man Blues