To See That Look Again

I sold my car and gave my suits to charity. Olympic Airlines had a stand-by ticket available, and in ten hours I landed in Athens. I took a bus that dropped me near Syntagma Square. The street was dry and dusty, the pavement radiated heat, autos honked, buses rumbled and belched black diesel fumes that…

How I Met My Wife

During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung hosted a dinner at the Guy Savoy in Caesar’s Palace. After coffee, women in Roman-style, white, frilly things offered us head and neck massages. A thirties blonde caught my attention. Her blue eyes were intense. A bit of a frown above her too-bright smile made me…

I Think She was Crying

Sitting on his red, concrete-smear stoop, Mancuso whittled with a pearl-handle, nine-inch stiletto. His hair was white, complexion pale, with deep facial creases like a Hellenistic bust. Moss-covered, stone planters flanked him, an aluminum door with an “M” in the grill, behind. His faded-shingle, row house stood across from a brown-brick, public housing apartment where…

Texas Badass

I told folks in Piedras Rojas that I’d driven south from Minnesota with a snow shovel tied to the trunk of my beater Chevy and settled in a town where nobody recognized its purpose. I’d buried my mom the month before I left St. Paul. When my father died, she just gave up. With winter…

Dreams and Aurora

(Author’s Note: Jane and I lived four magical years in Brazil. At the time, inflation ran hot, reaching a peak of 80% per month. Brazilians joked that a taxi was cheaper than a bus because you paid at the end of the ride. “Dreams of Aurora,” was inspired by our time in Brazil, first published…

She Lost Her Ear in Curitiba

We were a modern dance troupe on tour in Brazil, and I designed and built the sets. Our manager was Gasparino, beak nose and slick black hair. He wore flowered-shirts and displayed a gold malocchio horn on his hairless chest. Isabelle was the lead dancer for the troupe, and my first thought when I woke…