What can YOU say in six sentences?
Douglas was done with his history lesson and now it was time for L'amea and I, the two ghosts, to be on our way.
L'amea the ghost blew Douglas a kiss and he blew one back with a bit of a laugh, and then we went out the window; it was closed, but hey, we were ghosts and ghosts can do stuff like that.
Our long-term plan, if such you could call it, was to get ourselves back to the present, though we couldn't get there the way that we'd come to…Continue
For research I read thirty other memoirs, two books for adult children of alcoholics, and interviewed four craggy alcoholics at the Clear Creek club in Kemah, Texas who once knew my mother and her fifth husband, Red.
But I still had a problem writing my memoir because there were gaps in memory and years when various family members were missing or hospitalized, but I recently solved this problem with a wild solution my mother's ghost whispered in my…Continue
Count the trees on a mountainside.
But first establish in your own mind what constitutes a tree and what doesn't.
Then decide where you're going to start counting, and walk there, no you can't drive or bike or hang-glide (That would be making things too simple).
Then bitch and moan and complain about having to count them, even though you asked to count them, and waste time wondering how to get out of counting all these damn trees.
After that, simply be in a bad…Continue
"Hi Old Shoe."
"Oh, hello High Heel."
"I've been watching you Old Shoe."
"Yes I have and for the longest time… I think I like you."
So they shuffled out of the closet and shimmied down the stairway into the firelight only to dance the mashed potato all night long.
In the cold dry hotel room you ask me to push needles into your skin, slowly. We use a towel so we won't stain the high thread count sheets. Your body flinches, vulnerable, then rises to meet the sharpness, until at last you cry out, freed from expectation and sex and the questions of love, nothing between us but steel and blood for a single flickering hour. The anticipation; the satisfaction.
As the airplane banks north on our flight back home, back to the jobs and the…Continue
"And so here we are on this fine summer day," Douglas smiled, a bit wearily I thought, "and the question is now, how shall we, and by we I mean you, find our devil?"
He saw my surprise at his used of the "you" and said, "Dear, I'm 1,000 years old, though I must say--" here he laughed "--I don't look a day over 912, and while we live an ungodly long time, perhaps forever or close anyway, we Nosferatu do age, and aging in us takes us out of the world, so to speak, to a place…Continue
Fourteen years ago, at a former house in the country, I started a garden. It went through many incarnations, as gardens do, but always, as a work in progress, it brought me joy.
Then I was forced to move, so I dug up dozens of beloveds -- some rare and heirloom -- and brought them to this house in the city to transplant in a kidney-shaped design at the corner of our street. That was four…Continue
She brought wine.
Samuel would not have had any idea how to buy a bottle of wine and would have been stumped from the first detail, red or white, since he usually just drank a coldbeer or ocassionally a glass of scotch, neat, on a long winter evening.
He lay in bed adrift on the warm red float and thought of how Anne, her name was Anne, had solved the dilemma of his corkscrew-less kitchen by using a horseshoe nail and a pair of pliers, and how her laugh has been like wind…Continue
I sit beside my father-in-law where my children play with their cousins in the sand, and he speaks in a low voice so his pregnant daughter will not hear, "Why do you think God is letting this terrible thing happen even though I pray for help?"
His daughter stands nearby with her sister and aunts, her belly sixteen weeks full of a child with only a partial brain.
"It's more God's stage than his will, a place where anything can happen, and our prayers are meant…Continue
"After the war America ruled," Douglas said, "and every last Dagwood was king of his very own castle, and every Blondie a Queen For a Day; meanwhile, the European empires were toast and now, of course, it was Uncle Sam's turn to, uh, sift through the pickings of faraway lands.
"There were the Evil Commies, of course, and Madison Avenue sold those poor devils as threats to your mother, just like they sold all those Heavens on Half-Shells, and through the '50s a new kind of culture was…Continue
The ice girl escaped the frozen wastes of Winter's Pole, her blueglass eyes glittering, her hooves trailing frost where she fled.
Great lumbering yeti pursued her across the Autumn Hills, where flocks of ravens stirred fallen leaves to obscure her trail.
In the Meadows of Spring, a boy made of straw was stringing his guitar when he saw her parting the grass. He fell in love and she wove her melting hands into his dry heat.
Their kiss pulled the…Continue
The old train station has been restored, and now houses the Chamber of Commerce, where Marvin is standing on the wide firm boards that once supported the feet of travelers coming and going - back when people came and went. He is holding a handful of slick trifold visitor information pamphlets which he will be taking back to Magnolia Antiques to place in a rack beside the register; they are slightly sticky in the afternoon warmth. No one is in the room with him, and his eyes drift upward…Continue
I’ve just written myself a note which begins ‘say more about the reasons why’ and although this is early stages and these meanderings are far from finalised, I’m getting cold feet.
The heroine married, a dozen years previously, the ‘wrong’ man.
Probably because a) she was pregnant and b) the father refused to admit it was his.
Husband is now a mess – possibly as a result of discovering child not…Continue
"The '30s, my dear," Douglas said, "I don't want to take up a whole lot of time because people generally know what took place, if not quite why: Hitler took power, Stalin shoved Russia into the gulags, and Roosevelt saved the banks from themselves, sparing them a revolution or two in the process.
"L'amea and I came back to New York in August of '27 I think, to see how things shaped on this side of the pond, and, well, my dear, things had changed...
"The U.S. was now a…Continue
He escaped the city to the mountain to avoid people’s Janus-facedness, and hypocrisy, and to search for a feeble breeze that could cool down the heat dwelling in between his ribs as his life became such a hell in this city after going bankrupt. All people used to greet him warmly and take off their hats to him, but now no one talks to him.
Everything changed for him, and he felt that the world turned upside down; even the blue sky became black and the vivid roses seemed…Continue
The passenger ignored the small talk as the photographer flashed the camera. She only glared and then boarded the vessel on its way to Ellis Island. Young, stern and deliberate the damsel began her new life away from dark-age restraint. In fact, she took control of her life and became the controlling factor of every man that crossed her path. With scars on her arms, wrist, and hand, but not her face, she felt a higher authority by her side.…Continue
She laughed at his jokes.
He'd been so used to making them--under his breath, as an aside to the dogs, silently grinning through his days like a jack-o-lantern any time a funny occured to him--that it was both startling and pleasing when her laugh sang its way through their conversations.
And they'd had several... conversations... over the course of three weeks, in various settings... the grocery store by the bread and pasteries, beside the road when he stopped to see if she…Continue
Douglas fell silent at this point and, for the next little while there wasn't a sound in the room but clocks ticking.
I chewed through all he had told me, especially regarding L'amea's origins, and as I did so I felt as if somewhere inside me tumblers were being unlocked on what had been dark, and I saw my past now, the whole of it clearly, for hers was my own, and it was like shadow given a voice and made to enunciate clearly.
This was true for the young one I'd been in this…Continue
A cold rain fell on the lilacs beside the old homestead cabin where he still lived despite having been away to college, having been away to try his hand at living elsewhere, having been away in his heart never.
He no longer farmed full-scale, had let the fields return to pasture where cattle grazed, but he had put in a garden that fed most of the small community, and he sold goat cheese and eggs, too, let the schoolchildren pick pumpkins in season, made intricate furniture out of wood…Continue