Every year about this time my wife gets weepy over “family,” those distant ones in Iowa (now Minnesota), Georgia, or wherever. Location doesn’t matter except that we aren’t there and weren’t expected anyway, distance being what it is. She remembers Thanksgivings in Ottumwa, Des Moines, or Muscatine with piles of food, the special china, journeys, [...]
A JHF classic! Originally published as “Pall of Flame” on 11/24/2003. Hard to read, even now that everyone is dead. The bitterness, the deprivation, oy. This was me, though, 16.5 years ago, when I lived here by myself. Can’t believe we haven’t moved yet. Where’s the intervention? It’s 19 degrees at noon here in el [...]
All morning long I cleaned. First I backed the truck down the driveway, almost to the front door. I needed to empty the back and re-arrange the contents—boxes of family artifacts from my late Aunt Mary’s house in Maine, the “truck box” (tow chains, jumper cables, tools, rope, lug wrench), the carton the microwave came [...]
This keeps happening to me. Someone dies, and eventually I get stuff. Not that I mind. I come intensely alive in the presence of unopened tombs. Also garages, old suitcases, boxes, and drawers. Callie the Wonder Cat is curled up here with a bronze sculpture of mine (“Catbeast #4: Caterpillar from Mars”) and some goods [...]
Three days past one full year ago, to be exact, I was standing in the ocean on a beach in Maine. I have a photo of my foot in a few inches of water from a receding wave to prove it, but I just looked and there is nothing to be gained so never mind. [...]
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