What can YOU say in six sentences?
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
George tried for the third time to get all the wheels on his shopping cart to go in the same direction, but something -- bearing? socket? -- was beyond repair.
Swapping carts was tricky. George knew all about it: if you went to a grocery store parking lot for a new one, you had to stand there…
George had a social services caseworker who had seen him maybe three times in a year. That was as much George’s fault as hers, since he refused to ride in elevators and therefore would not meet with anyone who worked above the third floor of a building. Since she worked on the seventh floor of a county government high rise, they compromised and held their meetings sitting in the stairwell, on the third floor landing.
At the long table sits George, who rolls his cart on wobbling wheels through Gleason Park and
Marty, whose medication makes him shake until he can't take any more, goes off his meds
and howls at unseen samurai.
Others whom I don't yet recognize sit hunched or focused, elbows to table, fists under…
It's appropriate to divorce a friend, if she's an old and dear one who's buggered up your life, because there are orders of magnitude of friendship, and each requires its own severance package.
Delia and I went back to childhood jump-rope days, LONG before she became a huge celebrity.
I held her hand through two divorces, I warned her that gorgeous Geoffrey was homosexual when she was…Continue
He looked up, Bosley did, and saw his wife standing next to the bed like a giant, pale jelly bean.
He reached in the dark for his glasses and when she came into focus, he gasped: Hattie was stark naked and very, very white.
Certainly I'm dreaming, Bosley thought, because this was not at all the Hanratty way. Not even on their wedding night had he seen every part of his wife's body and…Continue
I knew that marrying Kenley would be a mistake the moment he brought me home to meet his mother who, it appeared, never left her kitchen. A passive-aggressive woman, her way of conveying anger was to bash pots and pans around like cymbals and gongs while she showed annoyance by slamming cupboard doors. Her kitchen was a symphony of rage.
Kenley made the introductions, and…
When Teeny’s neighbor, Mr. Shin-Lee, died, we were totally curious to see the inside of an actual Chinaman’s house. I told Teeny for sure there would be red flocked wallpaper, paper lanterns and lots of porcelain figurines of men with long beards and single pigtails, which I knew because of the Chinese restaurants my parents took me to.
Teeny said Mr. Shin-Lee…Continue
Among the men who worked at Hayneville Tool and Die, it was generally agreed that they were well treated and fairly compensated.
Still, every so often, a man would get bitten by an entrepreneurial urge and think about starting a business of his own.
In his younger bachelor days, Stump Shiner had been eager to open a Taco Bell franchise, certain that the old, Shiner family recipe for…Continue
In the beginning, the shallot was not sure whether she wanted to be an onion or garlic.
The carrot was confident and grew with such exactitude that its leaves aimed skyward while its fleshy root beamed straight down, a spear of orange.
The squash seed sent up a vine that bore a bloom so bright and yellow that butterflies came to it by day, and night moths found it in the…Continue
A rowdy ex-con named Zinc Hollister stumbled into Hayneville’s one and only cocktail lounge, the Seven and Seven, the other night, and demanded three shots of Black Velvet whiskey, pronto. Dorie, a brick house of a lady bartender, expertly assessed Zinc’s trouble quotient, set up three glasses in front of him and simultaneously hip-bumped the red S.O.S. button that summoned help.
Now, if you’re new to the Seven…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