The Maps Within Us

My head is muzzy, and I am out of sorts. I stayed up too late, lost in a compelling book, and then woke up too early, my brain–still full of images from the book–unable to rest. My head hurts; my body is empty of energy. I have class in an hour. The idea...

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Say Anything Smaller 6

Ultimate Gestures of Love

Byron and I are saying goodnight to Paco, giving him kisses and discussing the next day’s plans, when Byron rubs at his armpit. “What’s going on in there, Champ?” I ask. “You got chiggers?” His answer is better than chiggers. “I have this weird knot in my armpit hair. I...

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Teyzes 2

Going for a Run in Turkey

I wrote the post below five years ago, when our family lived in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Since that time, not a day goes by when I don’t feel some resonance from that experience. I look in our spice drawer in the kitchen, and I see bags of pul...

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Up, Up, and Away

My physical therapist stands in front of me, pulling back his shoulders and lifting his sternum towards the ceiling. “Like that,” he says, demonstrating the latest addition to my ever-growing list of shoulder-improving exercises. His movements have triggered a memory. “Oh, man, Mike. That posture-improving move there reminds me of taking ballet lessons...

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Get a Job

I slip into the high school classroom a few minutes late–hell if I could find Room 3031, tucked back there in the Foreign Languages suite. Since when do high schools have “suites”? Did the demise of the smoking lounge make way for the rise of the language suite? Most of...

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Free Crap Body 6

7 Reasons You Need the Free Crap We Set out on the Curb

I’m an accomplished trudger. Every time I carry a basket of dirty clothes from the master bedroom down two floors to the basement, I adopt a full-on trudge. Usually no one’s home when I do the trudge, but even if they are, they don’t care. The ingrates hardly notice my slow,...

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Party 6

Competitive Potlucking: Party

We had a concept. We had an invitation. We had a guest list. We had promotion. Eventually, the big day arrived. It was time to potluck. Competitively. As always, the set-up took a fair bit of time. Fortunately, after the Children’s Stories Potluck of 2014, we’d set our neighbors’ long tables...

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lights 3

Competitive Potlucking: Promotion

The beauty of social media is that it can not only be used to issue invitations to a party, it can also be used to remind invitees of the upcoming event. The hosts can occasionally post a little tidbit to the event page, attempting to wring one or two more...

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Potluck Invite 6

Competitive Potlucking: Invitation

My mom had a punch bowl. I do not have a punch bowl. I don’t need one. The only reason I’d need a punch bowl is to hold my excess shoes, the ones I can’t fit on the floor of my closet. Or on the floor of the back porch....

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car blur 4


The whole thing took less than a second–the fleeting fraction of a second, in fact. It was a flash. A blip. A blur. The whole thing passed so quickly I didn’t fully feel it until the next day, the day after, again today, right now, in the dark, petrified spot at the bottom...

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