Over the River

Claire doesn’t think much of those kids. That much was evident even before I met her, and it’s plain to the kids, too. I imagine Tank-Top lady telling the girl after their visit, “Grandma Claire wasn’t feeling well today,” but she’s old enough to know better.  “Grandma just isn’t an affectionate person,” Tank-Top probably insists to the boy while he stares at the television and nods his head to her, silently wondering if his mom is really that clueless about Grandma’s obvious Read more [...]


“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 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 [...]

The Art of Competition

Sunday (beep) Hi hon. Got your message earlier, glad your flight was good. I imagine you're at your sister's now, so I'll talk to you later, but I wanted to ask a favor real quick. I'm hoping Maggie could draw me a picture tonight. I know I don't mention it often, but I love Mag's drawings, and I think they would add a nice mood to my cube at work. Just have her draw it on regular paper, or maybe bigger, like 11 by 17, then take a photo and email it to me. I'll resize and print the photo at the Read more [...]