Archive | November 2013

Only Happy When It Rains – Sour Milk 2

boomboximagesTo start this story from the beginning, click here.

“What is?” Steve asks after a long pause. He is sitting on the chair next to me, which has taken far more abuse than the couch.

“I think I was happier when I was depressed.”


“I know that sounds nuts, but if I think of the good times I had back when I was in that whole teenage angst stage, and then think about how I feel now that I’ve, grown up a bit shall we say, I think I’d pick the teenage angst deal over this.”

“But, Sara, you wanted to kill yourself every other day.”

“I know, but that was because everything that happened was the end of the world back then. Now, I have real problems and I know that suicide is no solution to anything. What a paradox! I don’t really mean I want to be depressed, though. I just miss all the fun we had, in here especially. Do you remember the first night we claimed the garage for us kids?”

“Yeah,” he says with a smile. He is starting to get that far-off look in his eyes, the same one I feel. “That was so cool. Dad had just finished building it, and they’d thrown the old couches and chairs back here, and then they put in the electricity. Was it you who thought of bringing a CD player?”

“I think so. And Sean, Jerry and Brad were with us.” Sean and Jerry both lived across the street and were still juniors in high school. Brad was the boy in the green house. We hadn’t seen him in awhile.


The second installment of an old short story.

Next installment: The Trouble with Twins


The Old Garage – Sour Milk 1

pt1wjpu1apqfnlpn_580 “It’s weird,” I say. I look around me. I’m sitting on an old couch, long worn out and starting to tear, that my parents got before I was born. Across the back part of the large driveway that has seen countless games of rollerblade hockey and an abundance of chalk drawings, sits my bluish gray house. There are angles and lines everywhere, a window now and then. I used to think it looked unfriendly, kind of aloof, but then was when I had an imagination and houses had personalities.

Inside the garage, the one my dad and his friend built that one summer that I thought I discovered who I was, are so many scattered things a cyclone may as well have hit. My sister’s rollerblades and a pile of bike helmets in one corner, a table covered with pieces of different puzzles in another. The telescope that broke the first time I used it is against the back wall, in a jungle of bikes and scooters. The windows have collected dust, so much so that it’s hard to see through them to the green house with that cute boy my friend May was always chasing after. The walls are unpainted and a bit uneven. The two small lights on the ceiling, which is also unfinished, still work, and that is a good thing.


This is the first section of a story I wrote during my first semester away at college. It’s sort of autobiographical fiction and was probably the first thing I wrote that wasn’t sci-fi or other-worldly in some way.

Next Installment: Only Happy When it Rains


End-of-School-Year Fire Drills – Truth, Lies and the Wicked Witch 17

This is another installment of a rough draft of a memoir chapter that covers fourth grade. This is final episode, I mean installment for this chapter (which is way too long and needs some epic editing sessions). This story comes to a close.

To start this piece from the beginning, click here.

End of the Year 3Late in the school year we took another musical instrument test. I didn’t even look at my grade, just filed the paper deep in one of my black folders with the neon pink and yellow squiggles. The folder was so full now that it was starting to tear at the crease. Mom would have to look through a lot of dittos to find it. I would find this folder years later in the basement of our new house in New Jersey. I’d gotten a D. Mom had never found it, or never said anything.

In the last week of class, we had a lot of fire drills, to meet some regulation. One time, Matt Peer was behind me in line as the class filed in and used the water fountain on our way back inside. Matt Peer, my 107 true love. I drank some water then swirled away in what I imagined was a supremely flirty move.

Continue reading

On the Move – Truth, Lies and the Wicked Witch 16

This is another installment of a rough draft of a memoir chapter that covers fourth grade. This is the penultimate installment–only one more to go!

To start this piece from the beginning, click here.

jupiter-altairOn the afternoon of May tenth, when my dad got home from work, he and Mom sat me, Randy and June down in the living room. What could it be this time? Though it had subsided for awhile, the way light fell on the wall when I walked in from school was creeping me out again. The light was yellower, more spring-like, and it reminded me of something else I couldn’t remember and it made me feel like something terrible was imminent.

Dad spoke first this time. “The Bureau has transferred me,” he said. “To Newark, New Jersey.”

“Well not exactly Newark,” Mom corrected as if we, at ten, eight and three had ever heard of that city and its reputation for dirt, drugs and crime.

“Right,” Dad agreed. “A field office outside Newark called West Paterson. We’ll be looking for a house in one of the nearby small towns.”

“We’re moving,” I said.

Continue reading

Close Only Counts in Horseshoes – Truth, Lies and the Wicked Witch 15

This is another installment of a rough draft of a memoir chapter that covers fourth grade.

To start this piece from the beginning, click here.

3438674887_9328b393ecIn class I overheard some of the more popular girls, Katie and Ann Marie, talking about the Baby-Sitters Club. Ann Marie told everyone she had called the 555 number in the books for Mary Anne and asked for her. “And the guy goes, ‘hold on, just a minute,’ and I got so nervous I hung up!” We all looked at her. I wasn’t part of the conversation but we were into the same books, and she wasn’t making fun of me. That was something. I could almost pretend this made us official friends.

But close only counts in horseshoes as my dad liked to quip, and Mom was back on her favorite train, the “you need to make more effort to make friends” express.

“Why don’t you invite someone over?” Mom asked. “Someone other than Maya.”

Continue reading