Readings from the Gettysburg Review and Creative Nonfiction.
check out their websites for more readings. Subscribe to them!
FOR ABOUT NINE MONTHS in the late 1980s, when I was in my early thirties and a graduate student, I shared a house with a stockbroker named Louise. She did not ordinarily take in roomers, but the market’s collapse had forced several unpleasant new realities upon her. Her few remaining investors telephoned at home around the clock, talking bankruptcy, talking suicide. If she and I happened to light in the kitchen at the same time, she told me about some of the calls,
Not in the Cards
In my early 20's, fired by the experiences of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky and my mother, I embraced financial austerity, taking a path that would produce unforeseen difficulties years later when I would try to get a credit card.
At that impressionable age, I read about Dostoevsky's
the steep interest rates, the tight
the fear of debtors prison, harassment by creditors, and the friendship
ruined when a loan from Turgenev went unrepaid. Closer to home, I
help but notice that our family was becoming burdened by the
on our charge account at J.C. Penney, where Mom seemingly bought as
ardage as she sold to customers . . . Not
In The Cards
Hold it still," my father told me. We were in the barn, setting steel traps for the raccoons and groundhogs that came to feed on our corn and beans. "Easy now," he said. "We're almost home." Traps
"Now, remember, I'm not God," is a common disclaimer you hear in Colon during the Magic Get-Together. This is important. A magician will say this before performing a trick so as to assure you of his flesh-and-blood status. Magicians consider themselves entertainers, nothing more. None of these people pretend to have supernatural powers. People who make such claims are not allowed into the brotherhood of magicians, because they are not abiding by the honor code. Inside the brotherhood, magicians share tricks with generosity and pride. The reason they never reveal tricks to outsiders is, simply, because they have sworn to one another that they never would. Magicians have a heightened sense of honor. Magicians are some of the happiest people you will ever . . . magic
At the Goldstream General Store just down the road from my house, three creamy wolf pelts dangle from the log beam above the dog food section. Their paws brush my cheeks as I walk the narrow aisle, the wood floor creaking beneath my feet. My fingers drift across the fur. A single paw covers my entire hand . . . killing wolves