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Murmurs

He was such a nice guy, one of the first to make us feel comfortable when we moved to the village in central Turkey. Thus, it was a shock when he asked me to become his mistress. Because his store was on the main drag, on a corner our family passed...

Track 13

Going the Distance

It’s almost 11 p.m. We’re waiting for her call. Byron would like to go to sleep. Yet I would like him to be the one who responds to her. My legs are tired. I’m in my pajamas, a glass of wine on the side table. When she calls or texts,...

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Dear Diary: A Few Hours Later

Dear Diary: I’ve scrubbed the pressure cooker, eaten some delicious ham-and-white-bean soup, and have a few minutes now to finish up this entry about that Saturday last month when nothing much happened. You know me: it’s not a “nothing much happened” kind of day until I’ve written 5,000 words about it. No wonder...

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Dear Diary, Thirty-Three Years Later

Dear Diary: Me again. Hey, so I visited one of your predecessors a few weeks back, and, boy, did that totally bitchin’ trip back to the early 1980s reaffirm my love for Rush’s lead singer Geddy Lee; since then, my Spotify’s been cranking “If you choose not to decide, you still have made...

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Dear Diary

  Dear Diary: Let me begin with an apology. I know I’ve neglected you these last few years–since 1985, in fact, when I went to college, and life took off. During my freshman year, for example, I spent at least two weeks giggling over the name Balzac. Then I made...

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Bappy Hirfday to Me

I turn 48 today, and, oh, the joy of it! Behind me are the days of wishing, hoping, longing, wondering. Here now are the days of loving, laughing, appreciating, and clarity. I’m in the thick of it, this business of a happy life, wanting to hug it all to me, hard,...

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Grit

It was a glorious spring day, the hard edges of the air softening into mildness, the sun reflecting in puddles, spirits sitting up and stretching their arms to the sky. Awaking from the freeze of winter, everyone was out running, walking, looking faintly stunned by the exposed squares of sidewalk....

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A Message for the White People

Photo: “Clayton-Jackson-McGhie-memorial-Duluth-Minnesota” by Carol M. Highsmith – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Collection. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. ——————————————— The teens found a photo of their classmate and made some changes to it. The classmate is a young black man. They drew a noose around his neck and added the words “Gotta...

Fitting Room 14

The Fitting Room

I’m leaning against the clearance rack when Justin Timberlake’s voice fills the store. He’s singing about his suit and tie, which seems appropriate since my daughter is in the fitting room trying on semi-formal dresses. As I lean, I look at the space below the fitting room door and see her...

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The Ultimate Splinter

  Zowie, but the kid was a screamer. First, she had colic, a condition that also made me cry a lot. Poor Byron would desperately knead my hand, pleading, “What can I do? Just tell me what I can do.” That’s what it looked like as I read his lips, anyhow. For...