My Stories

A Season in Hell

The bugler in his dress blues played Taps over the government supplied coffin. Inside there were pieces of Arnold. The pieces had been gathered together and tossed hurriedly into a zippered body bag. Read More…

A Life

You could say that I have had bad luck with grandfathers. My paternal grandfather died in a truck wreck twenty years before I was born. He left a widow with 15 children to shepherd through the depression years.
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Haircut

Edna, my normal haircutter seems to be out of business. The house-turned-salon is dark and has the air of a mortgage that did not survive the banking collapse of 2008. I will miss Edna, a short, portly Filipino woman who ran the hair salon in what used to be her living room. I will not miss her conversation too much because she was deeply religious. I have little interest in talking religion and in addition I often do not understand a word she says due to her tagalog accent. But she did a good job cutting hair and her salon was the only karaoke barber shop I’ve ever been in.
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TAKING STOCK AT FORTY

A few days ago I caught a glimpse of him while passing a mirror in the men’s department. I stopped and stepped into the mirrored alcove to study him more closely: He was every bit of forty. He had crinkles in the corners of his eyes. He moved when I moved and he seemed to be wearing my clothes. I touched my finger to the dusty mirror and slowly traced a deep furrow across his brow, as if to smooth it away.
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La Belle Americane

When the battle of Yorktown was won ending the war of independence, many young officers of the continental army turned their attention to finding a wife. Debutants of the New York social season of 1786 were looking for husbands after several seasons when the young officers were occupied with the war and could not marry.
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Walden

My life is a delicate balance of routine and ritual. In the morning I rise, waking on a mattress on a large wooden platform suspended four feet below the ceiling and ten feet above the concrete floor of the former auto repair garage where I live. Read More…

John Adams

When an author writes something about John Adams, the second president of the United States, it usually begins with a justification for writing about a man with the personality faults that Adams had and the adventures he didn’t have. He was a pencil pusher, but a very effective pencil pusher.
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Intelligence

When I am watching my little backyard creatures, the bees, the birds and the squirrels, I am aware that they have different kinds of brains and different levels of what is called intelligence. I watch their activities to see if I can recognize what differences there are between their thoughts and mine. I have read quite a bit about intelligence. What I know about it might be enough to pass a college final exam. I know those answers but I still don’t know what they mean. I still don’t know the important stuff about how they think and what they think about. Maybe “think” is not a word I should use.
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Trotsky on the D Train

A poor, sick, tired old Jew in steel-rimmed spectacles, pressed between clerks and secretaries, rattling and swaying beneath the streets of that city which must have been, to him of all people, Golgotha.
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The Back Yard

I work for a coalition of birds, squirrels, raccoons and bees. In winter I feed them as necessary and watch over them from my window overlooking the back yard. In summer I often watch over them from my chair poolside. In the Spring I welcome the newborn and I encourage and watch the bees pollinating the raspberries.
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Howard

Howard was a high school friend of mine. I don’t know why I considered him a friend. He could also be a major pain in the ass. Maybe I pitied him. Read More…