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The Defeat of Crabby Guy

I’m pretty sure my inner crabby person is a male over 80, what with the way he swings in, plops down with an exhausted sigh at the kitchen counter, and acts like I should pour him a cup of coffee because he couldn’t possibly pick up the mug in front of him and...

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Belle of the Bell

It was a square room. The dishwasher lived on wheels and rolled to the sink, where it was hooked up to the faucet when enough mugs and cereal bowls had accumulated. Hanging at the entrance to the dining room was a swinging door–usually propped open, unless there was company for whom...

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The Third Floor

Her tears wet my shoulder. I hardly knew her. Three minutes earlier, we’d been standing next to a cement pillar, talking quietly but intensely. Our bodies were close, the conversation intimate. An onlooker would have guessed we’d known each other for years. Yet I’d only spoken to Molly a couple of times before–in the locker room,...

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The Lost and Found of Translation

I don’t have a favorite book. I have multitudes of favorite books–linked to specific phases of my life, places I’ve been while reading them, reasons why they were just the right book at the right time. In truth, many of my favorite books aren’t remarkable, from a writerly standpoint, yet...

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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...

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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,...