Jeannie sorted through her change purse, counting out nickels and pennies to pay for the milk. She would have rather had a Yoo-hoo but remembered all those School House Rock songs about nutrition. Funny how things can get stuck in your head. She had just enough, with three cents over. The man behind the counter smiled. […]

थोरै मान्छेले मात्र तिम्रो दुःख बुझ्छन्

Batsa stands in the foyer watching his father pack. He can see himself in the gold-framed looking-glass on the wall beyond,  the crisp school uniform and shined shoes looking out of place on his sturdy frame.  As always he admires his father’s precise movements as he stows the complex array of mountaineering equipment into the […]

The Consolations of Philosophy

I sit on the bed waiting for Noni to dress me. My medium-focus glasses don’t give me a clear view of my feet, but I know they are purple and swollen. I just turned 97. I don’t know why I am still here. I never took especially good care of myself, never had any particular joie de […]

How Goes the Project?

The Provincial Chief Inspector got out of the jeep. Zhou thought the military boots and trousers an odd outfit for a Provincial Chief Inspector, but the ways of these higher officials were nothing if not mysterious. Another man got out as well, a man not quite Chinese and not quite European, what Zhou’s mother would […]


October 28, 1906 Remanded into custody, State Facility at Cedar Grove: one Johann Blück, clockmaker of Paterson, New Jersey. Johann’s mania became unbearable to his wife. He would stay in his workshop day and night, neither eating nor sleeping. When asked why he was working so hard, Johann would jabber hysterically or mutter incoherently, his […]

No Plan Wanted, No Plan Needed

Dale’s primary rule:  plan your dive and dive your plan.  For years he’d done exactly that, and not just in diving. The long years made of seemingly identical days of hurried breakfast and work and weekends. The kids moved from grade school to middle school to college and finally off into their own lives. Through it […]


I went outside and built a bonfire in the yard. We passed a bottle of bourbon around. Soon all the wood was used up. I got the chairs off the porch and threw them in. When they were gone, I grabbed anything that would burn––my daughter’s wagon, rakes and shovels, a bag of bark dust. […]


Gulder waded through the muck and swatted at the spit of flies hovering around his face. New Netherland. Such a grandiose name for this shabby place, but that was Stuyvesant all over. Pompous and self-important, quick to take insult, and––above all––immensely ambitious, Stuyvesant’s first action upon landing was to read the proclamation declaring himself Director-General […]