The mouse saw the Ghost of Death approach him as the humans struck him with the shoe, stick, broom, and a series of quick kicks.
I want something in return for telling you my story. I want you to remember me. I want you to say that I was a capable man.
Our father was a design engineer whose best invention was figuring out how to disappear.
Actually, don’t bother measuring. The audience won’t know how to taste for the right textures and flavors anyway. It only matters to them that it’s an authentic recipe. The only recipe that your abuela—your last known living relative and the only brown person responsible for teaching you culture—gave you.
“He was the president of Quordoba from the early fifties until 1981, when he was deposed,” said Jean. “Of course, he was just a puppet, Alberto Machano held all of the power.”
Surely, this was a cry for help. Generally, the Governors wanted the staff to stay out of the lives of passengers. There were some things going on that passengers wanted to believe nobody noticed. There were couples swapping partners, both with and without the knowledge and consent of the people they’d arrived with. There were orgies with all kinds of drugs, especially among the senior citizens.
We can’t all be like Lotta Tornberg, environmental crusader. I, for one, never had her strength and confidence, her resilient spirit. She remained optimistic to the end, certain that her peaceful protests, with the speeches and marches and sit-ins, would actually make a difference. Back then, her image was everywhere: a slight twelve year-old girl with braided pigtails and a doughy smile. Politicians, not to mention some of the most egregious corporate polluters, paid her lip service, while working adamantly to undermine her cause and credibility. Lotta simply gritted her teeth and doubled down.
After a moment of ‘studying,’ Horsecollar said, “That’s a mighty iffy saying of Lincoln’s, but it makes a lot of sense.” He slightly nodded, but I wasn’t at all sure we understood one another.
Red’s may not have been nice, but it was ours.
I didn’t used to tell the ski jumpers about the time they have to endure at the top, but in the more than thirty years I’ve worked at the Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex—meeting the competitors at the base of the K-120 long jump and directing them to the start—I’ve come to realize that it’s better to get this information on the table immediately. Otherwise, they grow restless. We all do. And that’s when the real accidents happen.
After a while, I started to think she might fall for me. I thought she might leave her husband and come live with me in my small one-bedroom along the river. We’d find our own space eventually, maybe get a dog. It would be hard at first—I’d have to adjust to her working all the time, but we’d make it through.
Nobody likes it when you scream in the street, when you turn over trash bins but can barely remember your own name.
The bid-whist-playing, gin-drinking, chit’lin-cooking, barbecuing, party-loving Pattersons. That was Mama’s family–loud, boisterous and slightly disreputable. Miss Jonita declared them “country,” though the Pattersons had been established in Chicago a good half-century before Miss Jonita’s people came Up North, or as Black folks ironically deemed it, “Up South” from Arkansas.
I glare at the construction crews. I search for where they’ve hidden the dynamite. They don’t know that I’m in the warehouse. I keep myself hidden. I’d like to sneak in and light it off, watch the fireworks. I imagine Rowan watching, too, knowing that it’s me.
“Pynchon is like the lost minutes on the Nixon tapes,” Steele says. “The not being there just adds to the mystery. The fact he even came today ruins it. Like if the Red Sox won the World Series. The myth is dead. The real Pynchon would’ve never showed. I think it was a dumb move, actually.”
Ruth couldn’t quite forget that her husband, David, had slept with Diana before he slept…
“Free Solo Climbing”
“A Beautiful Fiasco”
In 2010 life changed in Bear’s Corner. Outsiders know the place as Komi. That was the year the bears came to eat us.
Religious, you say? What’s religious? And when there are so many shades, so many tones and semi-tones of religious, who really qualifies as merely religious and who, as a nut job?
I made no friends in Granada, which seemed natural enough to me. I read though. Oddly enough it was then I became fascinated by the American Civil War.
There’s never anyone there to scold me, to watch over me, no one to demand, hands on hips, “Where were you, young lady?”
I realized I’d made a big mistake. I hadn’t advanced with her as much as I thought I had.
Hell, he probably looked like Michael, himself, who had taken plenty of girls home from plenty of parties, too – horny, hopeful; no shame for him in that – but had backed off if they said no, and just said goodnight.
These days they want to text, mostly. It is more discreet. They text me from their
couches, their kids’ soccer games, their beds next to their sleeping wives. I will fuck you so hard.
I would tell Renee all of it, the details held in my stomach, fluttering up my throat as my mother and I got in the car and started the familiar drive to Skateland Roller Rink.
We don’t get along because we’re always fighting for a spot near the air pump.
The first time Isabel saw Camila’s ghost, she was standing at her beside next to the IV drip. Her face was still eighteen and fresh.
“When it comes to Brown’s latest, the White (or even in some cases Grimy) City should be proud,” Laurie Levy writes of Rosellen Brown’s “The Lake on Fire.”
Finally Natalia Ginzburg’s “Family Lexicon” is English and couldn’t be more timely, Natalia Nebel writes.