Each motel room had a set of French doors facing the ocean and outside the doors was a wooden boardwalk painted gray. The man paid for one of these rooms for three nights in advance. He said he might stay longer and the desk clerk said that would not be a problem since the fall was a slow period for them. The clerk then warned him that six times a day a train went by just one hundred feet from the
SUBJECT: LG French Door refrigerator
FEATURES: Stainless Steel finish, LED interior light, IcePlus ice maker, open-door alarm
CONSUMER-BASED DESIRE: Attractive,
(from NWW archives)
Earl MacKenzie owned a movie ranch in Chatsworth, California. The place was a collection of facades, all of them made of wood that had aged to the color of a jackrabbit. The facades lined two blocks of a dusty street, and on them there were signs for a saloon, a barber shop, a marshal’s office, a general store, a blacksmith, and a hotel. A plank sidewalk ran in front of them,
I am not alone among writers in pretending that I have a “very visual sense” of what I’m writing about. Putting it this way suggests, even to me, that I have untapped talents – except for the fact that I don’t really have them. My husband, who is a painter, deals more intimately with the visual world, however, whereas I can only describe whatever I see by using words, which, in
Her dreams last night had been red dreams, that was all she could say. Not red like blood, more like the red of the first tulips, a shock of color that blasts away the cold and the pale pastels of crocuses and daffodils. Red dreams, traveling dreams. Dreams with a map.
In the daylight, she sorted through statistics as if it were her job. The graphs, the rising line, the maps (maps!) that showed what
Sometimes I stop reading a book, not because I do not like the book but because I like it far too much. There may be a sense that I resent the book having a certain kind of authority which I want to defy, by ignoring it for a time, or chasing it off with another book. This happened to me recently. I was reading Modiano, again— SUCH FINE BOYS— when it occurred to me that I must stop.
When Donna brings home the exercise book from the library, her eight-year-old daughter Tess says of the bare-stomached woman on the book’s cover, “Sexy! She’s got six-pack abs!”
Donna looks at the abs in question. What she sees is caterpillar poop. Donna’s backyard vegetable garden is sprinkled with ridged caterpillar turds, like tiny grenades. That’s because the tree branches that reach
“Think of it,” the mother said, “as if it were a secret, hidden city underwater.”
“Think of it,” the mother said, “as if it were a moving sculpture in time.”
The daughter said, “I think of it as fish.”
The fish in the gift shop are orange and stuffed. The daughter says she wants one.
The mother says, “Maybe.”
The mother says,
Certainly, I admired before I met
you, a person who was doing what I
could not imagine, and not for yourself
but for others, the way animals
adopt lost souls of another species.
Afterwards, I just did not respond when
others talked, ignored them, learned to put you
into what today therapists call a
“compartment” for, though
My little sister heard about the monks who slept in coffins the better to understand life so she asked my brother to make her one. He took some lumber from a half-finished house down the street and in our garage instructed my sister in the use of the jigsaw, planer and orbital sander. Between the two they built a coffin. In home ec she sewed a lining, a silky-smooth blue satin, a color only
This era will be remembered as our Vichy period, that shadowy era in France where the Nazi collaborators sought to blend in with the general population, but were continuously called out, and interrogated, whereupon they fabricated elaborate denials and intricate webs of deceit. The GOP must be held accountable, but history suggests there will be incentives to forget. In time everything is forgotten.
I went for a walk last night. A block in I heard something odd nearby, looked down, found it was the new family dog, a recent rescue, usually too timid to even look at me. Who knows what she suffered in her previous life? But since yesterday, since Monday, I’ve been feeding her table scraps. She’s been looking up when I call her name. And now there she was, keeping pace with me walking the dark street. I was afraid she’d get hit by a car, but she paid no attention to the cars or the other dogs, just walked beside me, her little legs churning. After a time we turned into the park, cut across the baseball diamond where no children were playing, and made our way home.
On the third morning of the conference I ducked into Whole Foods for breakfast and there she was again, the tall young barista with the two-toned hair, horn rimmed glasses and that smile that could eat a dictionary all by itself. I pitched her my latte order before circling the buffet, grinning in a way beyond friendly that made me feel old and creepy, like my dad flirting with waitresses a third
Even before he got out of high school, Teedub told people he might as well be an orphan. Not for any attention, just to heave the truth out there. Trying on the old man’s language, he’d say, “My daddy’s of no-count.” He didn’t need him, not at all.
He was ten when his mama died. His daddy might should’ve gone and done the same thing, too, for all the effort he put into being a daddy.