What can YOU say in six sentences?
Back in the early 1970s, before chew toys and waste management were known to men of our somewhat rural hamlet, a 10-year-old couldn’t mow the grass without first scouting for deer legs and skulls that might otherwise become missiles capable of amputating his own stalks.
A taxidermist lived up the street, and he discarded all the carcasses in the piney woods behind his home, pieces of which found their way onto the…Continue
A few ticks away from dusk, I quit fishing and began walking to the cabin alone. Barefoot, wearing only cutoff jeans, skin slick with mosquito repellent, I crossed the bridge over the creek, and then I remembered the catfish at the end of a stringer still poked in the riverbank.
I’d backtracked about 10 steps -- couldn’t leave my fish for the loggerheads -- when I looked down and saw a fat water moccasin slithering…Continue
“Hey Mom, what did you decide to do with your day off from work?”
“You probably don’t really want to know (giggle, giggle).”
He hinted at first and then, when I didn't get it, he told me outright what he needed.
I should come to his house late at night without warning, let myself in and strip silently while he was sleeping in the bed so that my next move would come as a shock.
I was to pull back the sheet, throwing myself on top of him as violently as possible and roughly hold him down. He said that he wanted…Continue
It was night time on the car lot, and maybe he mistook me for an older woman, given the harsh skin tones caused by sodium vapor lights.
But when the salesman steered me away from the black-cherry Miata convertible by saying, "the suspension will give you hemorrhoids," buddy, he lost whatever sale he might have made-- like, EVER.
(It did not help that my husband nodded in agreement as if to…Continue
She took pictures of him in the shower after they had sex.
She killed him in the shower.
She's on trial and claims it was self defense.
The coroner reported he was shot in the forehead, throat slit, and was stabbed 27 times.
If Jodi Arias is acquitted or freed on a technicality, I'd love to see her on ABC's "The Bachelorette."
I wonder how…Continue
It's been called both the cradle of the Confederacy and the birthplace of the civil rights movement, where Jefferson Davis was sworn in and Martin Luther King Jr. sworn at; where Rosa Parks was just too goddamned tired to move to the back of the bus; and where George Wallace decreed ours a state segregated and proud.
Rush-hour traffic is manageable here, though residents have long forgotten the rules of approaching and…Continue
The 8x10 is still on the kitchen counter, the one Nelda passed out to everyone Christmas Eve. I don't know what to do with it, or what is appropriate since people don't often share photos of stillborn babies.
I thought about this last night, about Nelda's grief and the creative language she speaks best which is photography. The picture made more sense to me when I thought about it this way, how some write about feelings, or paint or sing them; Nelda photographs…Continue
He is sitting on the edge of our overstuffed green sofa, leaning toward the coffee table and a bologna sandwich my mother has made, his face still wet from tears over lack of sleep, the frustration of working the night shift.
I am sitting high on the back of the green sofa, his head between my knees, my four year old hand guiding a dirty black comb through the oily brown silk of his hair.
He is sitting at the formica dinette with my fourteen year old brother,…Continue
His cloak was a dramatic emerald with gold and purple glazing the edges, worn over a plain black smock, ballooning black pants, and sturdy folded-over boots. His beard was long and white with braids and beads, and his belt held all his most valuable possessions: tankard, pistol, dagger, coin purse.
He held her jeweled hand lightly, so as not to offend her. Her clothes, from the blouse to the corset to the long skirt, were all black, the kind of black that held mystic beauty…Continue
There is no accounting for where things will end up after they are sucked aloft by 300 mph winds. Aluminum siding, brick walls, heart pine floors, refrigerators, joists and Ford pickup trucks travel in patterns that seem…Continue
1972: Took my first summer job, cleaning kennels, and saved enough to buy my own brand new bedroom suit: Mediterranean-style with red velvet inlays.
1975: Lost my virginity, if spilling seed by another’s hand counts.
1976: Lost my virginity for real, if the former doesn’t.…Continue
The simmering tap of keyboards blurred into the rain's quiet song. The general hum was interrupted by the occasional phone call or clap of thunder, but nothing could fully disturb the solemnity of the atmosphere.
In the communal isolation, she sat; her fingers joining with the others, adding their own rhythm to the song's tuneless drone.
To her mind, the rain expressed and told all of the stories she had never dared to write in its simple, playful banter on the…Continue
Long before we met, Selma and I had a pre-connection. She was a member of Seabrook's local Alcoholics Anonymous chapter along with my mother, a group housed in a one-storey, once-white building, the sign on the door like the small print of necessity, of being forced to be somewhere: Clear Creek Club.
A few years after my mother died, Selma became my boss at a small free-standing mammography center where she told me new stories about my mother, then about her own drinking…Continue
No human encounter is routine:
The Dance Costume Clerk: This fifty-something Italian divorce'e immediately launches into the story of her marriage ending despite how Catholic they were, how her third-born son's marriage also ended when the young wife decided to "go find" herself, that it's unbearable since her beloved granddaughter was moved three states away and it's hard not to interfere in your kids' lives, which gives me an opening to recommend Anne…Continue
The house at 2839 Bratton Street was difficult to recognize when we drove by yesterday, the trees so much taller, the bricks warmer from an interior somehow more occupied.
It was the first house we lived in when we moved to SugarLand in July of 2003, one month before we married, a house rented from an attractive Chinese woman who thanked us profusely for taking care of it, though later she would keep most of our deposit to pay landscapers to tend her…Continue
Ten o’clock Friday morning, two women in housecoats were smoking in dinette chairs on a porch no bigger than a sheet of plywood. Two shotgun houses away, three men worked on a late model Ford, hood raised, its right front wheel on blocks.
One of the shadetree mechanics kept hitching up his pants, which required that he bite the tip of his cigarette to free his hands. He was…Continue
“Isn’t it gorgeous?” the woman beamed, thrusting the just-framed decoupage plaque in front of the art gallery’s owner.
“Sure is,” he smiled gently. “Did you do it?”
“Goodness, no,” she answered. “It was done by … by …,” she fidgeted with the edge, as if trying to peer under a corner. “I guess it doesn’t have an artist.”…Continue
The Jack Russell terrier, red leash coiled on the grass beside him, cocked his head in front of the giant speakers flanking the Front Street stage.
While Vince Johnson and his Memphis-based Plantation All Stars praised the virtues of big-legged women, little-legged girls danced on the bricked street, oblivious to the lyrics.
As the shadows from the nearby Yazoo River…Continue
When Ken Kesey dropped acid for the first time, he was in an antiseptic hospital room with a cot, white walls, a glass of water and a Wollensack reel-to-reel tape recorder by his bedside.
The LSD was administered to volunteers by the U.S. government at V.A. hospitals across the country.
Kesey recorded his hallucinations for posterity, and, although he was in a sterile room with no visual stimuli, he saw thousands of images over the 12 hours that he spent tripping. Bats and…Continue