Baby

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  My mom must’ve told me Leslie was pregnant a couple of months after we broke up, but I didn’t know how pregnant. I tried not to think about it, to be honest. Someone told me once that if you … Read More

Day Is Done

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  By the time the hearse pulled up to where the dead corporal was to be buried, Private Crane felt as if the rubber soles of his jump boots had melted. The boots hadn’t been broken in yet and the … Read More

Kicking the Stone

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  The bookstore café was lit by lamps on tables, the big windows at the front beaded with condensation that acted like a blind, dimming the afternoon light. Sylvia had secured the corner table and, as she waited for her … Read More

Half Hitch

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  Spring   What passes for weather is cold and slick, the spit and runnel of raindrops. Padilla Bay reflects early sprigs of forsythia, yellow spikes bouncing on stems. A hardness in the clouds, an unwavering blank grayness that enters … Read More

Away the Birds

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  Stevie and I, we live in Fischel’s attic now. It’s small but we don’t need much. There’s room enough for a wobbly nightstand and a chair we’ve piled over with clothes. Most of the attic is taken up by … Read More

Girls Girls Girls

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  Elkie trusts Don absolutely. He’s a cross between a boyfriend and a father, though Elkie knows boyfriends and fathers aren’t supposed to be the same thing, and he’s not at all like a regular client. But then one Sunday … Read More

The View from the Necropolis

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  The officials have asked us to redo the museum: walking through the ruins of the Greek settlement, they poke at the stones with their feet, render instructions to me without looking up. I stand at a remove from them, … Read More

You’ve Got to Be Good to People

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  Florian Davis was hit by a truck on Monday at 3 o’clock; she was just crossing Main Street. That’s what everyone said: “She was just crossing Main Street.” They said it as though it would have made sense to … Read More

Mastermind

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  It was the fall the NFL players went on strike, asking that their wage scale be calculated as a function of gross revenue—a demand the team owners recoiled from as if someone had upended a pitcher of urine across … Read More

Seventeen Things about My Friend Farzana

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  1. Farzana is even more beautiful than I remember. The girlish softness of her face has sharpened into angular maturity, as though someone reached under her skin and adjusted her cheekbones to sit higher. She dyes her hair with … Read More

Vibiana in the Half-court Set

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  Callie and I were thirteen the summer of ‘87, the summer the Los Angeles Lakers won the World Championship. During the school months, we were required to wear the Saint Vibiana uniform, only the purple and gold of our … Read More

The Spectrum of Wonders

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  It was 1987, and I was eighteen years old. My parents made me get a post-graduation summer job in the cafeteria of the local college, a liberal arts school founded in the 1800s by a religious sect I’d never … Read More

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