“Did you hear me, Jack?” I asked loudly. “I’m not deaf, Ed,” Jack yelled, though I suspected he was referring to my question, not to the news I had shared just before that. I smiled and nodded. I could have apologized, but I he wouldn’t have heard me. If you believed Jack (I hadn’t made up my mind yet), he actually heard everything perfectly well, but all at the same volume, so if you talked to him while a record spun on the turntable and bacon fried on the stove, the three sounds Read more [...]

Here’s My Card

(This true story first appeared at the wonderful I wear glasses . . . except I don’t actually wear my glasses. They fine tune my vision, but things within 10 feet are mostly clear without them, so I don’t wear them. What this means on the bus is that if I’m scanning to see if anyone I know is aboard, I have to focus for a second or two on each face, and that means I make a lot of eye contact. Being a friendly sort, this is fine with me, and usually, people I don’t Read more [...]


They say you can’t capture the Grand Canyon in a picture. A photograph puts borders on something boundless, puts edges on the infinite. You may take a beautiful photo of the Grand Canyon, but it will never contain the everything that’s just outside the viewfinder. What a photograph can do is trigger a small, controlled detonation in your memory that shakes loose the sensual experience that accompanied the click of the shutter. In the case of the Grand Canyon, the searing heat of the Arizona Read more [...]
November 30, 2013Permalink 2 Comments

Dinner Plans

  My guess is her parents liked knocking boots to Fleetwood Mac. They probably say her name was inspired by a Welsh legend or queen of something, but that’s just revisionist history made up by aging hippies who don’t want to be seen as having once been deeply entwined with popular culture. Not that I've met her parents, but knowing Rhiannon, I bet that’s true. Rhiannon thinks everything that’s popular is bad. I’ve never really understood that attitude. Obviously, the two overlap sometimes Read more [...]

Stating the Obvious

  He knew something was wrong. He just didn’t know what. Unfortunately, figuring out the what has never been one of his strong suits. Lucy certainly had seemed happy with the ring, which was good, because he’d taken the jewelry store radio advertisement’s advice that he should spend two months salary on her ring, a feat that would have been easier if he’d somehow been able to stop paying for food and rent and electricity for those same two months. She seemed to be happy with the people Read more [...]

Other Places

  He’d stopped counting the days. As the number crept up into the 20s, then the late 20s, the expressions of the people he told were less sympathetic and more surprised, even incredulous at his specificity, so he stopped being so specific. Of course, he was still counting the days, he just wasn’t telling anyone. Today was 33. He knew there was an unwritten statute of limitations on heartbreak, and he didn’t want to be that guy, the one who turned everything into a sob-story memory. Montage Read more [...]


  Considering Hannah’s history with the word memento, it was unfortunate that this fumbling, flirt – did he say Dan? Don? – not only used the word, but pronounced it with excessive enunciation. Hannah couldn't think of the word without some sort of caveat coming to mind — a red line scratched through it, a hurried swirl of red around it, a block-letter correction in the margin. She'd misspelled it for years, never figuring out a mnemonic for remembering it, or at least never remembering Read more [...]

As Requested

Joan had given Uncle Bob the camera four hours earlier. He hadn’t been their first choice for photographers, but when the hired photographer twisted his knee while taking the wedding party pictures at Sunset Park and needed Uncle Don to take him to the emergency room, Joan’s photographer criteria changed. No one in the wedding party had time to be the photographer, and Joan didn’t trust most of her relatives to take photos during an open bar. When she and David arrived at the Ramada, she Read more [...]


What frustrated Erin most was that nobody believed her story. They might pretend to, maybe give a nod or an exaggerated “Ahhhh, what a bummer,” but she could tell by the way they kept looking that they were really listening for chinks in the narrative, scanning for evidence to support their suspicion. Some people didn’t even try to be subtle, looking at her with a raised eyebrow or cocked head, silently inviting her to drop the ruse and reach out for help. “Seriously,” she’d repeat, Read more [...]

Last Snapshot

  As they packed their dirt-infused gear back into their respective cars, Lu and Kyle heard Jeremy’s curse and looked over to see him holding his arms pleadingly to the sky, a small black package in one of the outstretched hands. He turned to them — “It had fallen between the seat and the door. I can’t believe I missed it.” He was talking about the camera. He had been talking about the camera all weekend. The camera he had searched for before they left the cars at the parking lot and Read more [...]