Sk8r

June, 1985

If it had been night, the neighbors wouldn’t have stared at Ilsa in the back of the squad car. In darkness, the blue and red lights overhead might strobe her mother and Harold into sight, but Ilsa would …

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First Aid

I have probably failed as a father, thinks Marshall, as he pumps gas and watches through the windshield as his daughter sucks on a cigarette while apparently thinking herself out of sight.

How did she get so good at …

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Hammer & File

The January that William fell down—1968—his father had plugged Christmas lights one strand into the next and laid them circular-wise around the banks of the skating pond immediately behind their house. The bulbed string haloed William as he lay on …

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Peterloo

I chose Italian because I was craving pasta. I chose this place in particular—there are at least three new nouveau-Italian restaurants in the neighborhood—because it was the shortest distance from home. It wasn’t until I walked through the door that …

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The Fur Handbag

With gratitude to Pu Songling

 

Before the fur handbag, gorgeous Canton Therien would never look at me. I had a massive, irrepressible crush on her that must have shown in the way I stared. I knew my staring was …

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Two Goats

There was a story in the village of Bjni that went like this: When Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union, there were two types of people—Armenian A, who sold his Soviet state-subsidized goat, spent all his money, and

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