The New Economy

We’d bought the Caravan two years before Clark was supposed to retire. “We’ll finally get to see this great country of ours,” we told each other. Three months before the big day, Clark was summoned to an office where sat his new supervisor, a Harvard MBA who’d been part of the team that had come […]

The Adversary

The Lord said to the Adversary, “Where have you been?” The Adversary answered the Lord, “I have been roaming all over the earth.” -Job 1:7 Sol got up from his desk and walked to the chessboard in the corner of his cluttered office. He enjoyed playing chess by mail, having the time to consider all […]

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Tom stepped onto the Hoboken Pier weak-kneed and sick, the ten-day trip from LeHavre stretched to fourteen by the unrelenting Atlantic weather. Two years before on this same jetty, his life had been full. He’d had patriotism and the backing of his family, a home to return to, a just cause to fight and maybe […]

Eye of the Beholder

“You know that scene in Papillon where Steve McQueen is locked in a pit for five years?” he said once. “I’d be fine with that.” She’d smiled at what she thought was a joke. Years later, when the kids had fled to families of their own and they both retired, they’d sold the house and […]

Actiones Secundum Fidei

The mirror again. A necessary evil, though it ceased being kind years ago. Jens once had had the gall to call her vain, a case of the pot and the kettle if ever there was one. Jens, the preening peacock, crucified between his hairline and his waistline. She leaned in, concentrated on drawing a tight […]

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 […]