A Good Job

A Good Job

At 10 centimeters dilated, after eighteen hours of labor, and maybe just to make me feel better, my nurse admits to once masturbating under her desk for the eyes of an intern and surgical fellow. At the time, she had a kid at home with night terrors who’d scream...
Everyone I Know Is Here

Everyone I Know Is Here

    On the packed Purple Line Express train, Emma pretends that every person touching her is someone that she knows and loves. The young man under a canopy of newspaper with his elbow cinched around her hip could be the first boy that she ever kissed—under...
State

State

  They have no names on their jerseys, only numbers. Names boost the ego, the former coach had said. Names separate the team. We all win. We all lose. Anonymous in dark blue and off-white, the home team marches through tunnels toward the light of the day. Lauded...
Why I Say This Now

Why I Say This Now

  When I get to my father’s house, he’s outside pushing a tripod orchard ladder across the lawn. No surprise he checked himself out of the hospital and has already started working. It’s been six months since I’ve been home, and he looks thin, even under his...
The Tall Man in Black

The Tall Man in Black

On this morning Casey’s family sat in the same place where they always sat in the Addison Methodist Church, a little more than halfway back on the right side, first Aunt Ada, then Casey’s little sister, then his mother, then himself, then his father. Uncle...
The House We Stole

The House We Stole

My family talked big game about summers on the Vineyard and the rest, but it was all too insistent, and you’d see right through. Dad said our wealth “disintegrated.” That was his word. My siblings did what rich people in crisis do: they ran aground, sank in placid,...
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