Outside Man

I’m surprised when Randy’s name appears on my phone. He rarely calls now except to thank me for the box of frozen steaks I send him every Christmas since my dad passed. More often, I just get a card with “Thanks for the steaks. Merry Christmas from Randy” printed in child-like block letters. “It’s okay, [...]


At first, I didn’t see you, as I walked uphill from the Spuyten Duyvil station under the early darkening five o' clock skies. A large woman stood by the playground gates, bellowing over horns that honked in and out of unison, waving her arms wildly towards the road. I couldn’t recognize her words, only the chaos; it [...]

Duck and Cover

“In case of an atomic bomb attack, duck under your desk and cover your head.” Today, that advice seems ludicrous. Anyone familiar with the pictures of post-attack Hiroshima knows how futile such a ‘protective’ action was much less against the more powerful bombs available in the early 1960s. The Civil Defense training videos featuring Bert the Turtle, [...]

The Fly

Two clocks, out of sync, beat out time on the white wall. The rhythm reminds me of that tell-tale heart, driving a little crazy into my head with each stroke. I tear up toilet paper to plug my ears, to escape into white noise and imaginary music but then I stopped hiding. After a month [...]

Cave 7

A few weeks ago I received an unsolicited package at my door, tore open the envelope and found a 355-page, just-published paperback novel written by an old friend. It had been decades since I’d had any contact with Will, and suddenly, his book arrived at my doorstep. From the info on the book’s cover, it [...]

After Daniel

“He’s buried in the back,” she tells me, “by the angel.” I only met her a couple of weeks ago, and we shouldn’t know each other this well.  We’re working long hours at a terrible job, getting pools ready to open for Memorial Day. The days are crazy — driving from pool to pool, rushing to [...]