Scoundrel Time

My First Friend

Drowned. That’s how I liked to think of my parents. Ironic, as they were competitive swimmers. But this was how I imagined it. I am four years old. We are vacationing by the Caspian Sea. My grandparents are relaxing in their reclining chairs, their...

In the Dark Times

In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will be singing. About the dark times. —Bertolt Brecht There will be prayer, too, but to a different god, and dread will lurk in the songs we sing. Doom in the timpani no matter what the tune...

The Media Megaphone

In his 2007 essay “The Braindead Megaphone,” George Saunders describes a gathering of average folks—discussing topics of interest to them with openness and intelligence—who are suddenly drowned out by a man with a megaphone. “He’s not the smartest...

The Blanket Room

—After Italo Calvino and Dorianne Laux When I’m inconsolable, I like to go to The Blanket Room™. A new one just opened at the Maple Heights Mall. They wrap you in a blanket and turn out the lights. Then someone comes in, brushes the hair from your...

Drops Vanish

I remember very little of my childhood, and less as I grow older, each memory lingering like drops of dew on a mirror dropped, forgotten, in a garden. What do I remember? I remember my brother’s feet beside my face as they pumped up and down against...

Town Hall Time

This week marks the real beginning of the August Recess for Congress, which means your representatives are home and likely hosting town halls. Take advantage of this opportunity for some face time—now is your chance to be more than just an email or...