“On good days, the trees creaked in the breeze and when he killed the chainsaw to start splitting, the woods shuffled like giant cattails. If the wind picked up, their branches sounded like bucks ramming antlers. Despite their threat of falling and that they were already dead and gone, it was peaceful. It was his.”
Her, Guts and All
“Don’t,” she said. “You don’t get to speak for a dead man, especially my husband. Walter took his tag limit every year. And now my son will have to, too. The State of Michigan allows landowners to take antlerless deer, including doe. Look around you. Where do you think you are? It might not be hundreds of acres of soy or wheat or sugar beets and it may flood during a wet spring but make no mistake, Mr. Bellows, you’re on solid land. That I own.”
Enough to Lose
Normal people lost their homes, bank people lost their banks. Both lost faith in each other and all that was left behind was countless properties nobody could buy and nobody could sell. I was one of the in-between people. Alice and I got by, lost some things along the way but still had enough to feel more or less human.
not really There
A gasp came from her as if she were drowning in air, a streak of blood crawled from the corner of her eye. She crumpled into a pile on the floorboards and started convulsing. Someone screamed and ran into the bar. Cellphones came out, cameras flashed.
Start All Over Again
I realize that my father banked on my ignorance when he asked me those things because I never did see him use a ratchet himself and we never did rebuild a car and I never did get that treehouse when I was ten. And now I had no idea how much a haircut cost.
But he didn’t drink that first beer. No, it was like he had had enough. Instead, he tipped the beer over his dad’s grave and let the whole thing pour out onto the already drunk earth. Then he reached for a second beer and did the same thing, a twist, a snap, and a long pour.
Chicago as a Conversation
Southside Sox fans vs. Northern Cubbies; Red Liners vs. Brown Liners; Chicagoans who fight the city’s corruption vs. those who idolize/joke about it vs. those who just don’t care; black vs. white; the solidarity that arises from complaining about the weather while simultaneously arguing about who has the best pizza in town.
A Work In Progress
Cuz when I -and maybe you- are thirty,
we’ll still be learning.
And when I’m forty -just like you-
I’ll still be working.
And when I’m fifty,
we’ll all be tired.
And when I’m sixty,
hell, ain’t none of us are
going to be able to retire.