Ancient Personal History

Cheers

She looks so pretty, but the martinis are a bad idea. She hasn’t eaten all day and is already halfway through the second one before the waiter comes by for our order. She’s in her ebullient stage, laughing out a story I’ve heard before. I laugh along, watching for the change. I know it’s coming.

Read on »

Those Who Wronged You

  You mere scarecrow again and again in my youth You, bully, your shotgun in my face I found a way to back down, with grace Oh you wise men said this as such would happen again and again, a safe bet and you bet on it and the bookie called all the clever fellows

Read on »

Doc

When I met Doc he shook my hand like a man, told war stories with a southern accent. My best friend Reno introduced him to me. Doc, he said, was cool. Doc had a nice house, a marble sculpture. Greek boys wrestling, masculine furniture, heirlooms and aged books, a Colt’s revolver on the nightstand next to a

Read on »

The Cubs Win, But We Lose

Think about 1908 for a second. This is the year the Model T debuted, the year the Wrights finally unveiled their flying machine to the public. Theodore Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor William Howard Taft was elected as president. The Dow closed at 60.7296, a solid recovery after one of the many panics. In 1908, there were

Read on »

411

Sunday, January 16, 2005 Talked to Chris Morris on the phone about aliens, the end of the world, the meaning of both our lives, growing older, philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, my father, women in general and particular, the law, Oregon, the midwest, world culture, American history as it relates to the current situation, the spiritual

Read on »

2nd & Pike

Seattle I am sitting by the window at Pho Vîet on Pike when I see my ex wife walk past, arms swinging and happy like she used to be before the bad times. I don’t even have time to knock on the glass when my childhood best friend goes past in the other direction, riding my bike he

Read on »

Regular

Max always came in around three, a folded New York Times  in his pocket. I’d have his drink ready before he sat down at the bar. Max dressed like a college professor, tweed jacket and sweater vest. He always sat on the same stool. Midway through his second drink he’d ask for the dictionary. We’d spend the afternoon working together  through the crossword puzzle.

Read on »

Snapshot from 1893

This is a copy of a letter from my great aunt Sarah Herring Sorin to my great grandmother Henrietta Herring Franklin. I love everything about this. 8 West 45th St. N.Y. City Oct. 10 – 93 My darling Eat: I got Nick’s nice letter yesterday morning, and yours at noon. Hers was postmarked the 3rd and

Read on »

Überhaus Diary: Scams

September 27th, 1998 I pulled up in front of the building. This black guy in a beret and an open shirt leaned toward the car and asked if he could borrow a gas can. I had none and said so. He asked if he could ask me something. He fumbled with a cellular phone and began

Read on »