Calm

ONE (1) WON This will help you stay calm you’re told as you’re handed small bright pills and a paper cup of water; as you’re handed the keys to the new car; the diploma or certificate; the instructions to the new appliance which tells you how to install, equip, and load.          The trouble-shooting guide […]

Chickening Out

“I’d like the veggie burger, please, with fried mushrooms.” Sarah nodded, writing on her pad. “I’d like it well-done,” Derek had to say. Sarah looked at him and raised an eyebrow. “Well-done, eh?” “Yeah. Uh, yes please.” “What for?” “What?” “Why you want it well-done?” “I like it crispy.” “It’s not a real burger.” “I […]

Jack Frost

  “Jack Frost kills your daisies and mums, your tulips and bums.” — Bob Roberts, Jack Frost Blues   Jack started calling me his “little student” shortly before he died. He was 38. I met him while doing research for my school paper about the “homeless” that choose to sleep on the street. He was […]

Spring Cleaning

Sarah Hewson has this habit whenever she moves into a new place. She’ll sweep and dust and mop, and then arrange the boxes in descending alphabetical order down the hall or in rows in the living room. She will then unpack them, starting with “bathroom” and ending with “vestibule”. The exception is the kitchen. She’ll […]

Direct Action Services

“Thank you for calling Direct Action Services, how may I direct your call?” “Yeah, hi, can I talk to Joe in, uh, the grassroots department?” “Would that be Grassroots Organizing, Grassroots Mobilizing or Grassroots Development?” “Uh, the grassroots department.” “Well, I’d need to know which section….Joe, you say.” “Yeah.” “I don’t think we have anyone […]

Reclaiming Vallarta

“Wherever one vacations, dear, there is no reason to let one’s standards down,” said Becca’s mother, sipping her wine. They were sitting on bright canvas chairs under a beach umbrella in front of their hotel in Puerto Vallarta, a tourist town sprawling within a huge bay on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The sand-proof shortwave was tuned […]

Holding Cells

“So you’re an anarchist.” Uhhh… “Is Joan your leader?” Uhhh… Derek looked at the Inspector’s shoulder. Inspector Cousins, Nat to friends or suspects when he played good cop, was unsatisfied with Derek’s answers.  Nat looked bluntly at the young man on the bench before him, sitting there in some vague and unconvincing posture of defiance. […]