Follow my sister, Nina, and me as we make a book together: my writing and her gorgeous inks on paper.

Posts from the “Fiction” Category

Following The Notes.

Posted on March 4, 2014

In high school I had a job as the hostess at The Trawler, a seafood restaurant at Esplanade Mall. My battery went dead and my father had to come to the mall parking lot to give me a jump. He dug for the cables in his trunk, pissed that he’d been called away from the new piece of music he was writing at home. It was Father’s Day and what he’d asked for was for a quiet house and lemon pie for dessert. “You left the headlights on?” he said. “The passenger light,” I said, pointing at the back seat. “Door wasn’t shut all the way.” “Who was in the back?” he said. “I thought you were driving to work and home, only.” My…

Three Cigarette Stories

Posted on August 22, 2012

ONE: SMOKING IN THE HOUSE My mother is private with her grief. Since my father’s death last year there has been almost no talk of him. When she got back from the funeral, she put his clothes in boxes for Goodwill, and rearranged the furniture in the den. She won’t discuss what she will do now. She’s 55. I want her to do something. I think I know what is best for her. I always did. I remember watching her get ready to go out with my father, dressed in a green silk shirt, her hair up, red lipstick, frowning in the mirror because, she said, “The light was bad,” and thinking: She should look happier than that. The light is fine.I can see her,…

Stop

Posted on August 22, 2012

Accept that your husband’s heart always belonged to his first love. You should’ve noticed sooner because she works in your building and won’t look you in the eye. She takes the stairs because you ride the elevator. Give him back to her. It’s been sixteen years of marriage and there’s so much that’s hard—him asking why you have on that tight skirt when it’s for him; you turning your face to the wall while he climbs in bed at 1 a.m. after office drinks; you forgetting to kiss him for days; him checking your cell phone bill for calls made late at night, finding none, but not putting the pages back in order. Check his cell phone bill and you might find her number fifteen times…

Baby Hater

Posted on August 22, 2012

Babies get in my way. Babies interrupt everything good, like morning coffee and TV, a phone call you like, sleep, sex when you’re finally not too tired to have it. You leave your husband and go to the nursery at 2 a.m., painted so cute, go to them, and that’s the only place you want to be, and there’s no chance to leave, or trust they will be okay if you turn your back on them. They won’t. SIDS. Meningitis. A blanket kicked off and now the air-conditioning vent’s blowing right on them. They are babies. They need you. Do you need them? What do they do for you? They fill you up like an ocean inside a balloon. It’s too much water for…

Ambulance.

Posted on July 16, 2012

Once you start telling the truth it’s hard to quit. You look around and reasons are everywhere. It’s like a new appliance, truth-telling, a can opener that’s so good you barely have to turn it. On the phone my sister asks me why I don’t come out and see her in San Francisco. She thinks I need a break. Instead of saying I’m busy with work and family I tell her I hate the people in San Francisco, don’t see what’s so great about steep hills, what’s so great about wearing a sweater, and the fog is cold. I make her cry. On the phone with my mother I ask her why she had an affair thirty-three years ago when she was pregnant with…

Following the Notes

Posted on July 9, 2012

In high school I had a job as the hostess at The Trawler, a seafood restaurant at Esplanade Mall. My battery went dead and my father had to come to the mall parking lot to give me a jump. He dug for the cables in his trunk, pissed that he’d been called away from the new piece of music he was writing at home. It was Father’s Day and what he’d asked for was for a quiet house and lemon pie for dessert. “You left the headlights on?” he said. “The passenger light,” I said, pointing at the back seat. “Door wasn’t shut all the way.” “Who was in the back?” he said. “I thought you were driving to work and home, only.” My…

When I Lived There

Posted on July 9, 2012

When I was six, my family and I sailed to Italy on a mammoth ocean liner. Our Italian relatives in New Jersey threw us a going-away party with confetti and gifts, and my grandmother’s eleven brothers and sisters came dressed in their good clothes. A dozen cousins I barely knew ran around the lawn, playing tag. Aunt Vita came with her bachelor son, Tommaso, and I avoided her because she asked me questions like “Aren’t you excited?” I was not. I didn’t want to leave my grandmother. Aunt Vita kept saying we were going to Europe, and I corrected her, said, “We’re moving to Italy,” but she insisted they were the same. I knew she was wrong. I didn’t understand what a continent was…