Fiction

I propped myself with the pillows from both beds in my neighbor’s guest room, my thumbs blazing across the phone as text after text came flying in. I was messaging frantically with the woman in Amagansett who told me they were going.

My wife is young and lovely. I am old and not. In a bathing suit, she resembles a raven-haired goddess, a ravishing nymph; in similar garb, I resemble, at best, a walrus. So it is perhaps not surprising that the beach house was her idea. The real truth is I do not care much for beach living, but my wife, she does, and I care for her greatly. Over...

Judge Milton Black has been found murdered in the federal courthouse, and assistant F.B.I. director Grace Loomey and federal marshal Henry Rogers are on the case.

Promptly at 10 a.m., facing a crowded federal courtroom, the bailiff signaled for silence: “Hear ye, hear ye, court is now in session. All persons having business before the court, draw near and ye shall be heard. All rise. The Honorable Milton Black presiding. God save these United States and this honorable court.”

When I was 13 I went to Woodstock. Not just the town but the actual festival that took place in Bethel in 1969. I wasn’t alone. My mother and older sister were there while my father and younger sister stayed home on Long Island.

Since we were no longer co-workers, Seymour called and asked me out. “Anywhere you’d like.” He wanted me to do the picking and planning — he’d pay. Fine.

Here and there I like to detox from talking, which means I stop listening to what anyone says. When that happens I like to reminisce.

Some time ago I bought a new comforter for my bed — a blue cloverleaf design tinged with gold-green foliage against a red background. After years of sleeping under a down comforter tucked inside a white duvet, the new comforter, to my delight, woke up the room. It came reversible, too , in matching red, green, and gold stripes with two shams and a...

The ad in the magazine announced in bold, black letters that it was time to “Retire Your Iron.” It listed the merits of a new material that was guaranteed to provide a wrinkle-free shirt after washing.

When I was a teenager I remember sitting in Amagansett with my friend Maria Bowling, who at the time had a summer job at a boutique clothing store called The King’s Mistress.

Every summer during my childhood, my mother had to attend the State University at Cortland in order to study for her master’s degree in teaching, and so she dumped me over at her sister’s in Van Etten, New York.

Nimrod sat on the tractor and watched the bull watching him. The massive animal stood in the shadow of the hickory tree, taking refuge from the searing summer sun that had baked brown the endless miles of surrounding prairie.

There are two people in my life who were extraordinary; they hold that title with me even to this day, though they’ve been gone for many years. They are my grandparents and, although they have equal places in my heart, this particular story is about my grandfather, who was born in 1885 and died in 1961. I knew him as Pa.