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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Homeless

I was just rousted off the floor of Grand Central Station by two cops, one of each race. It didn’t occur to me to say, “But I’m waiting for the train to Poughkeepsie!” I accept as flattery that I’m mistaken for the Homeless. It’s my watchcap, partly, with its gruesome chalky hue of blue. But mostly it’s what grows out of my cheeks.

Journey Into Zen

Zen is a religion for adults, although even adults have a hard time getting the hang of it. Children don’t need to understand it because they live it. That’s a paradox — a Zen paradox. In the perfect world of logic, paradoxes can’t exist. But in real life, they flourish. And Zen is, more than most religions, here-and-now oriented. It has to be: for Zen, there is no hereafter.

Notes On Sex And Love

Love is an energy. It is not something you can force. Love energy is something you can become receptive to, because it is always there underneath the surface. Love energy is joyous, and joy is always linked to sexual feelings. What we call sex is a small part of love energy.


Lakestone, Minnesota

I sipped Constant Comment tea. One cup of it. Another cup. I didn’t even like the taste, but it had caffeine. I could have ordered coffee, but if I drank coffee from those white styrofoam cups, my blood would turn to black boiling water and I would rise out of the Croissant Express, turned to vapor. I couldn’t do that, because my heart was too heavy. Actually, I wasn’t sure how I’d carried it the eight blocks from my house to the corner cafe. I thought it would rip out of the casing in my chest and fall like a bowling ball to my feet. My only work in the two days since the divorce was to lug around my heavy heart. It wanted to go nowhere. I finished my second cup of Constant Comment and took the third bite out of my second chocolate croissant.

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

Readers Write

First Kiss

I was fifteen, abnormally vague, self-absorbed, and naive — that is to say, much as I am now, only more so. He was seventeen, just released from Juvenile Hall, serving time (he said) for armed robbery. A terribly tall, gaunt young man, with bad skin, an overbite, and a shy, wicked smile. He raced motorcycles, and his greasy Levi’s jacket smelled of motor oil, dope, and sweat. He was always stoned on something, anything — but you could never tell. I hung out with the smart bad kids (as opposed to the smart good kids, whom we despised), but he was smarter and worse than any of us.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest, which co-mingle their roots in the darkness underground.

William James

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