I remember, Sister Marie, that Mother held her finger to her lips, like this. ‘Soldaten,’ she whispered. I wanted to tell her how hungry I was, since we’d not eaten a thing since the day before, and that had only been the stale bread made of sawdust that you got at those roadside charity kitchens during the war. Maybe you don’t know those places because you only came after Germany surrendered. Continue reading
1. Let go of your material possessions
I spent months packing for the trip. My husband had just bought me new breasts. Thousands of dollars so that I would look like a European in Europe. A pair of double Ds pushed so high into the air that they nearly touched my chin. Wearing anything felt like wearing lingerie. There were a couple of times in Italy when they made me wear a plastic cover just to go into a church. Continue reading
Sandy was a hooker. But she’s not anymore.
The reason their mailbox was down is that it developed a rust spot on the back, right where the pressed metal says Steel City Mfg, Youngstown, O.
Francine didn’t want it to rust anymore because she saw the face of Jesus in it, and, oxidation being unpredictable, it might turn into something else. Continue reading
The next day – Saturday – Dan sat at a table in Boudreaux’s Café with a cup of black coffee and a cheese Danish. It was lunchtime and he had thought about ordering a beer, then decided against it, wanting to project a good image. Not that he’d ever had a drinking problem, but he felt that a wayward dad trying to reunite with his daughter was best served ordering something non-alcoholic. Continue reading
A few miles after his conversation with Randy, Dan saw a billboard advertising Captain Steve’s Driving Range, and he got off the interstate. His clubs were in the trunk, packed just in case he had the urge. Captain Steve’s was a run-down joint, for which Dan was thankful, not wanting to drag a collared shirt out of his bag just to hit a few balls. He pulled into a gravel parking lot and hauled his clubs inside, where he bought a large bucket for ten dollars. Continue reading
On a Friday morning in June, Dan sat in a booth at Hardee’s with a cup of coffee and a plain biscuit. He didn’t have the appetite for either, but eating was a comfortable routine. Every few minutes he pulled out his cell phone and checked the time. He’d shown up at the bank right when it opened at nine o’clock, the agreed upon time, but was stopped by Chuck’s secretary when he tried to walk into the manager’s office.
“Mr. Palmer is in a meeting.”
She was a little too curt for Dan’s liking. And the whole “Mr. Palmer” thing was obnoxious too, considering they’d all known each other since high school. Continue reading
Manny chased comets. He was big into comets. He told women at the casino that he had stars in his blood. Continue reading
One summer, when I was in college, I planned a hike from Georgia to Virginia on the Appalachian Trail. It was going to be over 500 miles and take seven weeks.
I spent the last afternoons of classes doing calf-raises and squats in the hallway of my dorm, listening to Bob Dylan’s Hurricane on a boombox that could get pretty loud. Continue reading