A family recipe, a childhood memory, a Depression-era handout
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Cynthia Weiner lives in New York City, where she is assistant director of the Writers Studio. Her work has been published in Epiphany, Open City, and Ploughshares, and she won a Pushcart Prize in 2005. When not perusing fashion blogs or being begged for more food by her (big as a) house cats, she is working on a collection of short stories.
There was a flutter in my rib cage, a somersault of uneasiness. I hadn’t witnessed such concentrated weirdness up close since my parents were alive: my father’s conspiracy theories and colon-cleansing elixirs; my mother’s ground-up lithium in a locket around her neck.
Although it’s close to Labor Day, there is no hint of fall in the air. No streaks of red in the trees, no breeze stirring the leaves. The temperature in these last days of August has been ferociously high, even for Manhattan. Every day dawns steamy, and by nighttime a haze of heat blocks out the moon.