Paris holds too much loveliness for a lifetime. I know too well though that one can suffocate on saints, the single breast, the virgins and graces. Understand that to survive you will have to return to this city again and again for as long as you can, as long as Americans are welcome.Read More
When everyone had assembled, Bruce led us into his bedroom. His parents weren’t home, “Take a look at this,” he said, spinning an army-issue .45-caliber pistol on his finger in the manner of an old west gunfighter. “My ‘ol man gave it to me. This thing is so powerful,” he went on; “My dad says if you shoot a man in the thumb, it will knock him to the ground.”Read More
In late November, 1951 my pal, Jim Simpson and I were standing outside our tenement building at Farme Cross in Rutherglen. I was a week or so away from leaving Scotland with my parents, Jimmy and Bessie Johnston, so Jim and I were settling important questions.Read More
She cautioned us about the large green containers at the supermarket, “Until you girls turn five, I can put you in that bin and send you back to the Used Kids Store. Some parents do it for no reason at all, but I will only return you if you keep disobeying me.”Read More
“Dad,” I announced, “I’m going to get a PhD.”
He looked up, and raised his eyebrows. “Why?” he said, with the y curling up into the atmosphere, as if it were utterly alone without answer.
Oh no not again, I thought. What kind of argument will it take this time? “Because I want to be the boss.”
He smiled and quickly tilted his up and back down, “Okay.” He said, and went back to reading his paper.
I sit alone on my balcony, underneath this year’s Harvest Moon, which has risen in mid-September to a golden globe of soft light. A streetlamp in front of me competes with the moon’s glow. The sounds of the busy highway ricochet off the cluster of these apartment buildings and the concrete parking lot below.Read More
It was with exquisite awkwardness and nervous fragility that I held the infant, cradling him in quivering arms away from my body like carrying a nest of bees or a tin of glowing coals, stunned by the squirming weightlessness of new life and the surging energy and light, marveling at his pulsing fontanelle in all its haunting delicatenessRead More
If I am lucky, he will gently rest his head in my palm for a chin scratch. In those moments of treaty, he is no longer the alien invader in our house. Mom smiles down at him and then back up at me. She is happy, and the borders of my fear begin to subside.Read More
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