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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Stolen Time

Blind luck put me on this yard where the men have decided to make good use of the empty time forced upon us by the state. Yard A is downright peaceful, nothing like the prison yards where racist convicts stab and assault people.

Cop Diary

Over the past year, more than a hundred people have worn my handcuffs. Not long ago, in a self-defense class, I wore them myself. . . . The catch of the steel teeth as the cuffs tighten is austere and final, and never so much so as when it emanates from the small of your back.

First Place

Three months before his third birthday, his Italian grandfather (on his mother’s side) set him on a proper bicycle, pushed him forward, and shouted, “Spingi, spingi, spingi!” Just like that, he rode down the driveway.

Geronimo’s Cadillac

I suggest that a powerful antidote to the manufactured past now being created for us is the secret history of Indians in the twentieth century. Geronimo really did have a Cadillac and used to drive it to church, where he’d sign autographs.

A Single Suitcase

We left before they told us to evacuate. I saw the smoke over the hills, knew the ferocity of the Santa Ana winds, and figured it wouldn’t be long before the fire would reach us. I packed a small suitcase.

The Way Home

Jessica and I periodically take walks together. Her small dog, Ortiz, sometimes joins us. He spends his days eating shoes, peeing on the carpet, and jumping the backyard fence. But no matter where we go, I notice that he always knows the way home.

Fish Poison

Like the other fishermen, I am waiting to have the day’s catch processed and flash-frozen for transport back to the Lower 48. A recent vasectomy makes me stand in line at a cant. I shift my weight to ease the dull throb in my groin.

The Explorer

But he’s not getting caught on this trip, he says. He’s packing his stash wrapped in tinfoil, sprayed with deer urine, and taped to the inside of his engine, as per a YouTube tutorial.