Fiction

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.

My father was always a very special man in my eyes. This quiet adoration began when I was about 12. Now you have to remember what it was like back then in the ’50s — life was a whole lot simpler and safer. I also have to explain a little about me. I was, from the time I could walk, what was referred to in those days, before people developed social...

You’ve never heard of my father, a postal worker who barely earned enough to keep his family fed, clothed and housed in a small apartment. And yet, if you were to ask me if he were a good provider, I would say the best, because from him, through his actions more than his words, I learned what it is to be an extraordinary person.

Today is September 11, 1992. It is the start of yet another school year. There have been 34 of them behind the desk, and another 16 in the rows. This year’s setting is an old subbasement gym that has been partially converted into a computer room. It is here that she will daily meet with her special needs class. The class is scheduled for fourth...

It’s early summer in 1954 and I am home in Bridgehampton from my sophomore year at St. Lawrence University. It’s too early to begin waiting tables for the summer. I have worked at most of the posh places in East Hampton: the Hunting Inn, the Hedges Inn, the 1770 House, and the Sea Spray Inn. Later these places of employment would include the...

I was standing at the window in front of the kitchen sink. The sun was setting, its buttery rays fading. I watched as they melted into the horizon. I had stood there so many times, yet I was always engaged by the sunsets.

This time she chose aquamarine. It was her favorite color, and the tastiest, she thought. She chewed at the pointed end of the crayon like a chicken wing. She liked how the wax stuck between her teeth and held them together momentarily. Dr. Philips told her mother last week that her teeth weren’t as strong as they could be, that she needed to eat...

Less house, more trees. My mother has few maxim-worthy beliefs on the subject of real estate. A child of the Depression and second World War, her people didn’t think it wise to “put too much money in bricks.” Even after her father became a man of some means, the family didn’t move from their modest Philadelphia row house. (Though my mother’s...

Playing Ping-Pong was not just a game in the basement for me. In fact I didn’t play Ping-Pong, which was a Parker Brothers trademark. I played table tennis.

Mom. Dad. Pete. Amigo, the cat. Auntie Anne’s in the mall, the smell of those hot cinnamon sugar pretzels. The feeling of leaving the cinema after a great movie, that first breath of cool air outside the Megaplex.