Ho Chi Minh City

Summer and it’s time for the Great American Trust Fund Indochina Tour. Baggy cargo shorts and sandals, backpacks, and Macbooks. My gramps said that in ’66 it was the same, except instead of cellphones and laptops it was cameras and transistor radios. “Always, though, they don’t want to walk, Americans hate walking. That’s why you […]

Living In The Now

Two AM was prime time for me, my lizard brain in full control, springing into action to arrange the next few hours but nothing after that. Tomorrow was a canyon, a black abyss of regret and consequence that was on its way soon enough. Drunk at 2AM was the essence of Living In The Now, […]

You Better Call Tyrone

“Come on, baby. Be reasonable.” “I am sick of your shit, James. This is the last straw. That money was for the Verizon bill.” “You saying you don’t like these shoes? Damn, baby. I did this for you. You always on me to dress better.” “I’m on you to get a goddamn job, James. I’m […]

Gentrification

I was on my way to Essex station to catch the F uptown when I saw Schmecky, buttoned-down in topcoat and bowler as though he just stepped out of a Civil War daguerrotype. “Hey hey! Samuel!” he croaked. We shook hands. Up close he did not look good. Bags under his eyes, deep creases bracketing […]

Immoveable Object

She lay in bed a long time trying to put it off as long as she could, to summon the will. Not a morning person  she used to say, when there had been anyone to say it to. No reason now to see anyone. The government check came on the fifth every month, ALDI delivered […]

Swimming Upstream

As Mahala walked into the interview, she ran her tongue over her unbrushed teeth and thought shit. Everything had gone wrong from the start. The midnight power outage that reset the clocks and caused her to oversleep, the Google directions to the wrong building, the newly-discovered fact she was wearing mismatched shoes. Close but no […]

Hands Around The Circle

The tea was laid out, the sandwiches made with Arnold’s Brick Oven crustless  bread. Salmon spread from Klein’s, Cracker Barrel cheese and pimento.  Gladys had mentioned Girl Scout cookies, so Ethel had not laid out dessert, though she had plenty of reserves. Hydrox, marshmallow creams, Chips Ahoy. The cars began to arrive around 2, the […]

Exodus

Tante Sarah was having none of it. To the Via Dolorosa she said “it looks like Spain.” To the Wailing Wall she said “I’ve seen it on the television. I think George Bush kissed it. Feh.” “Was it a bad idea to being her here?” Rachel asked her husband. Moishe shrugged. “She’ll get used to […]

The Lost

“This store like one of those charm bracelets,” she said, “only the chain is broken.” “Uh huh.” He was inspecting a framed set of trout flies, each with its  name neatly inked below it. Yellow Stone Fly. Beetle Bug Fly. She plucked a photograph from a basket marked 2 for 50 cent. A man and a […]

Principles

“I’m a pacifist,” he’d told Eddie Arnold, a foot taller and two grades ahead of him. “So that means you won’t fight back if I hit you?” “Violence doesn’t solve anything,” he’d said. “It’s barbaric.” “What did you call me?” said Eddie, who immediately whipped him two hard blows in the face that knocked him […]