Fiction

What makes a happy marriage? Is it children or no children, or in-laws or lack of in-laws? Is it lots of money or lots of sex?
The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column, of between 700 and 1,200 words, and of short fiction or memoir, of up to 2,000 words. Please send submissions for review by email, in text or Word format, to submissions@ehstar.com.

She spent Memorial Day weekend in a glass sunroom at a friend’s house in Locust Valley, N.Y., where just a week later she would die. I spent the weekend in the Bahamas with my family. I rode a bike for the first time since I was 12 years old without falling. I felt fierce about my physicality in a way I hadn’t felt since giving birth to children.

One year after her fifth child was born, my friend Paige Hardy collapsed on the street while running errands. Paige pulled herself up with the help of some pedestrians and went home thinking she was just tired. And who wouldn’t be tired with a 10-year-old, an eight-year-old, a six-year old, a four-year-old, and a baby? She had always been healthy...

It’s a gray October day. I open the car door and make a dash through the parking lot, dodging the droplets of falling rain. I pass by a red neon sign — “BAR” — that flickers and fizzles as I approach the entrance. I pull open the door and enter the dimly lighted tavern.

Long years ago when I was teaching at a middle school in lower Westchester, the schedule was such that teachers shared the same lunch hour as the kids.

One-Armed Sam was not a discriminating man when it came to drinking. He showed up about six months ago and never left.

Anyone working in New York City has had celebrity sightings so often we jokingly called them “brushes with greatness.” From strap-hanging with a makeup-free Gwneyth Paltrow to sharing an elevator with J.F.K. Jr., I’ve had mine too.

I was a reporter in Chicago in the dead of winter, 1967. Nasty. Below zero. Snow and ice everywhere. Brutal wind. A little before Hanukkah and Christmas.

Finny fastened the buttons on the gray coat that was her best-ever find in the clothes barrel at church, even though the sleeves barely touched her wrists. From the kitchen, the querulous voice grew angrier in answer to the person on the other end of the phone. The drinking buddy, who would be over soon. Shoes in hand, Finny crept down the dark...

It began when I was a teenager — a strange magnetic force that propelled me into places and experiences that were the provenance of the rich and famous. During my life I found myself in close proximity to the privileged, the talented, the movers and shakers. I didn’t seek it, it just happened again and again — like being in the right place at the...

When I stopped by, she was sitting in the sunroom in a bright peach cotton robe and her pink plaid pajamas. Her sister and niece and the nurse were with her at the table under the hanging bleeding heart plant, surrounded by potted hibiscus. She was eating coffee ice cream for lunch, in a pretty china bowl, with a pretty silver spoon. Her napkin...

A year ago, at the age of 92, my widowed mother spent her days in one of south Florida’s numerous four-story, pink cinderblock, sanitized senior communities (“Over 55 years; Children prohibited.”) Other than occasional aches and pains and some loss of hearing, her physical health was remarkably strong. To those who met my mother, her keen memory,...