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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Editor’s Note

The Right Words

It wasn’t always gray, but that’s what I remember: the rags of an English winter, strewn across the sky; clouds and more clouds, endless, gloomy; rain hitting the sidewalk outside.



There was a scarecrow named Sam. He lived in a field of corn, with no shelter from the sun and snow. He wore an old felt hat — gray — and a faded black suit jacket. On special holidays, he wore certain accessories: on Easter, flowers; on Halloween, a mask; at Christmas, a cross. Sam was four years old, but he felt older, possibly from living outdoors. Once a year he came inside. The family near him, the Andersons, invited him for dinner on July 13. (They pitied him more in the heat than in the cold.)

Small Talk

I was flirting more that summer than ever before or since, but I had a dull and temporary job at a convenience store, with the prospect of serious employment in the fall; I was new in town and unattached; and there were, apparently, plenty of lesbians in the neighborhood. or at least on their way home. I was especially interested in two women, one of whom came into my store over the radio.

The House Of Esperanza

The house of Esperanza was a small concrete Structure near the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the southwest section of Immokalee. Its detail work had never been completed. Three of its outer walls lacked stucco, pipes and wiring were exposed throughout the interior, and several windows were still without glass. The roof had been tarred but remained ungraveled , and it leaked from a half-dozen places. Esperanza had informally inherited the house from Salvador Escondido, her husband by common law, who one morning kissed her goodbye at the door, left for work in the fields, and never came back. That was nine months ago. The most popular rumor was that he had run off with a gringa from Fort Myers and was now working as a waiter in Chicago.

The Testimony Of The Snake

Yessssss: and every snake must slough its skin, leaving a trail of cellular clothing around the forest, or, as it were, this garden. And I myself have undergone multiple transformations: I am not the snake I was before, or before that, but was once an entirely different arrangement of protoplasm, not unlike you. So you see that, no matter how much you bathe or pray, despite your fears of the darkness, we are much alike, yessssss?

You Go To My Head

When she first sees Sol, he’s telling stories at a party, a party for musicians. All the players sit in the living room, drinking beer and telling jokes. Some of them tell musical jokes, humming the punch lines from albums which appear to be sacred. They are happy people. They have shine in their eyes, they rock.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write


On the subway platform sat two crumpled men in their fifties, unshaven but dressed in clean clothes. They were drinking beer, and they were not waiting for the train.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


That sudden and ill-timed love affair may be compared to this: you take boys somewhere for a walk; the walk is jolly and interesting — and suddenly one of them gorges himself with oil paint.

Anton Chekhov

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