February 1996

Readers Write

The Impossible

A prescient daughter, an exhausted and drained nurse, an unlikely marathon runner

By Our Readers
Quotations

Sunbeams

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.

Jules Renard

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

We Don’t Know What It Is

For a long time I thought: I can live without the walks on the beach, without skiing, hiking, camping. But I wanted our lovemaking to remain sacred, untouchable. I wanted G.’s illness never to intrude in that one place. Of course, I didn’t get my wish.

By Ruth L. Schwartz
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Luck Disguised As Ordinary Life

On the way back to the hotel, Martina whispered in a conspiratorial tone that her friend Carlos Castaneda was coming to join us for tea. “Don’t tell anyone. It’s just for us. He’s a bit finicky about who he hangs out with.”

By Nina Wise
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Living For Swans

As we pass under the Roosevelt Arch into the park, beneath the words “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People,” I say under my breath, “I am safe now. I am at home base. No one can find me here.” A friend has a saying that once seemed outrageous and cowardly, but is now my motto: “There is no problem so big you can’t run away from it.”

By Stephen J. Lyons
Fiction

The Eye Man

“Darn,” said the eye man. “Darn.” He ran a hand through his long black hair and shook his head. “OK,” he finally said. “OK, OK, OK. Here it is, right? Here it is: I can’t make eyes that will help her son see. No, I can’t do that. But I will make him eyes that will help everyone else see.”

By Mark Brazaitis
Fiction

B I R D

On a hot summer day when my brother was eight months old, my father carried him to the top step of the back porch, lifted him over his head, and tossed him into the weeds.

By K. A. Kern
Fiction

New Courses

The Tao of Toast: In this workshop, participants will learn to brown toast, butter it, and eat it. A continuation, “What to Do with the Crumbs,” will be offered later this summer.

By Sparrow
Fiction

Visions

It just bursts from me like a thunderclap, only there’s never any clap when my Vision grabs hold. It’s like I fall asleep, but my eyes stay open and the hand holding the pen just moves over the paper all by itself.

By Penelope Moffet
Fiction

The Empty House Of My Brokenhearted Father

It was 4 A.M. and I was walking home from the bar with another man’s wife. I’d been in love with her since she was a little girl, but my good friend had snapped her up very young. I never had a chance.

By Poe Ballantine