Issue 214 | The Sun Magazine

October 1993

Readers Write

Locked Doors

Chopping a door into slivers; sitting two seats back, one row over to his right; being swept up by an undertow

By Our Readers


You are sitting on the earth, and you realize that this earth deserves you and you deserve this earth. You are there — fully, personally, genuinely.

Chögyam Trungpa

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Banana Hymn

You were ready to don the handcuffs, leg chains, and orange, ill-fitting jumpsuit required of all prisoners in transit. But you didn’t really want to go to your dad’s funeral. That’s what you’d told the man a few weeks before his bone cancer finally killed him.

By Jackson Stahlkuppe
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

From Yale To Jail

For no reason I can explain, I began to discover how little it matters where you are or what anyone does to you. I was sure that what I had done to get put in the hole was right, and somehow the longer I was there the better I felt.

By David Dellinger
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Conjuring Tibet

Turning youths loose on actual or possible dissidents was probably the shrewdest and cruelest of Maoist strategies. Here were True Believers, lacking life experience to complicate their thoughts, still endowed with the primal cruelty of children. Having internalized the rhetoric of the Cultural Revolution, they were empowered to indulge in any form of torture, from breast amputation to castration, secure in the righteousness of their cause.

By Charlotte Painter
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Burden Of Violets

All the men concentrated on the distant stripper as if that were where the action was, but I figured her bumps and grinds weren’t worth a drop in the bucket compared to the swelling in unison, the mass erections, of her all-male audience. It was a vision of group genitalia that struck me with a pang of beauty — what I feel when I think of the first green shoots of spring.

By Sarajane Archdeacon
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Venice Shimmers

Meanwhile, less than a day’s drive from here, the fighting continues in Bosnia, where tens of thousands have been killed or displaced, where starvation and concentration camps and rape hotels have become weapons in a campaign of ethnic extermination. Yet Washington is by and large indifferent, as Bosnia sits on no oil fields and sends neither Democrats nor Republicans to Congress.

By Sy Safransky

If We’re Lucky

“Prophet?”No one had called me that in a while. Before I turned around, before I looked for his face in the mirror behind the bar, I knew, I felt who it was.

By Donald N. S. Unger

Might Have Been

“Mom, did you ever have an abortion?” Annabel helped herself to more lasagna, meticulously skirting the carrots that Kit had sneaked into the filling. “If you don’t mind my asking.”

By Nancy Weber