It was almost two o’clock in the afternoon, and my stomach was growling so loudly that I was pretty sure that Wendy could hear it. As we cruised down Alma’s business section towards Wendy’s apartment, I thought back to our conversation about Harry Potter. I had only invited Wendy to ride with me to the nature preserve because I had such a good time eating dinner with her that day I got punched in the gut. And, almost everybody had gone home for the summer, so I didn’t have very many other people who I could ask. But, my first impressions of her were thatRead More →

One Inspired by the Reedsy Prompt “Summer Love, the quarantine edition.” View the story prompt here: I entered the main lobby of Sparrow Hospital at a near-sprint, and nearly crashed into a surly looking nurse who was stationed at the front door next to a big metal sign that read “All visitors must be screened  for COVID19.” “Hold still while I take your temperature,” she said through gritted teeth. Displaying a forced smile, she rubbed the tip of a device against my forehead. “Thanks, now don’t forget to pick up a mask.” I followed her gaze to a box of masks which was locatedRead More →

. I had last seen my dad in March when he was staying in a care facility. Then, the covid19 epidemic hit, and the state went on lockdown. I had stayed in contact via the phone, but that wasn’t the same as being there. Yesterday, I drove down to see my mom and dad for the first time in three months. It’s been rough on both of them adjusting to dad’s needs, but he does seem to be a lot happier to be at home. Rummaging through his barn for a gas tank we needed, I was struck by how much so many of theRead More →

As I have talked to people and researched the best strategy for marketing myself during my job search, I’ve reached the conclusion that I should try to sell myself in the same way that labels sell the products that sit on retail store shelves. For example, the information on the front of a box of laundry detergent might claim that it “rids clothes of more stains.” Taking this analogy further, if the benefits I offered companies had to be condensed down and made eye-catching on store shelves, what would the labeling on my box be? In many ways, this isn’t that far from reality. WhenRead More →

One morning a couple of winters ago, I hit some black ice at the end of the on ramp for the expressway, spun out, and ended up inside the median between the two sides of U.S. 127. The ride into the ditch was scary, but it was even scarier trying to figure out the best way to get out. The sides of the median were sloped, I knew this because my car had gone a tad airborne on the way in. They were covered with snow, and I wasn’t sure how much traction I’d have. I also wasn’t sure how safe it would be toRead More →

. Luke’s vision narrowed with each lurching thud his heart made, the edges of the tile he gazed at swelling and shrinking as blood flowed in and out of his eyes. The teller shouldn’t have pressed the panic button. A tooth had come to rest directly in the middle of one of the bank’s floor tiles, the edges of the tile framing it like a poster of ideal dental hygiene. The teller shouldn’t have pressed the panic button. They were trained not to be heroes, to just hand the money over and let insurance deal with the fallout. Damaged employees cost more than inflated premiumsRead More →

Over the weekend, I rearranged my bedroom so that my bed was in the corner between the two windows, and my desk/workspace was on the opposite wall. Basically, this was a flip-flop of how things were set up before, a remnant of how things were positioned in the room last June when my wife and a friend of mine moved our furniture out of the master bedroom on the first floor into what had for the longest time been the boys’ bedroom. Everything in our sons’ bedroom had been moved downstairs or, as one say, flip-flopped. This was in anticipation of our oldest son’s returnRead More →

.In “Despicable Me,” the main character Gru is introduced via a short interaction he has with a small child. The boy, around five or six, is crying because some of the ice cream from his ice cream cone dropped onto the ground. Seeing this, Gru appears to take pity, and then begins to cheer up the kid by inflating a balloon and twisting it into a fun balloon animal. Gru then hands the balloon to the boy as though it is a gift. In half a breath, he then proceeds to pop the balloon with a needle. This is a part of a longer sequenceRead More →