Vuelva a la Vida

Kati’s smile brimmed with hope. Red drops ran in rivulets down the glass in her hand.  Outside the van, waves crashed on white sand. Brian opened an eye. Took in the scallops, lobster, and shrimp swimming in tomato, lime, and cilantro. Groaned. Rolled over. With Brian’s resurrection delayed, Kati surfed. Originally published in Friday Fix… Continue reading Vuelva a la Vida

Election Result

Recounts. Lawsuits. Faithless electors. A slow-motion soft coup? Ten days of nonstop news left me with one burning question. I ditched the television to visit a professional. “What drink can I order that won’t make me look like an alcoholic?” “Easy,” she said. “Bloody Mary.” I said, “Give me two.” © Copyright 2020 by Jim… Continue reading Election Result

Winter Above the Circle

Winter lasts eight months. No sun for three of those. None. Temps cold enough to freeze your eyelids together. Wind gusts to 50 knots — enough to sever a finger caught in a door. We grin and bear it, watch our hand placement, and pray for a summer that never comes. Copyright © 2021 by Jim… Continue reading Winter Above the Circle

Who Freezes a Canned Ham

It was a slow night at work. We were turning the freezer inside out looking for ice cream and found a canned ham. “That’s weird,” Kris said. “It’s redundant,” I said, hefting the cold tin.“It’s canned. Why freeze it? That’s duplicate food preservation.” “Beats me,” Kris said. “I’ll bet you anything it’s required by the… Continue reading Who Freezes a Canned Ham

First Dose Problems, or The Privilege of a Sore Arm

The needle stabs and the guilt stings. My country, the USA, has spread the virus and hoarded the vaccine. I’ve commiserated with my international friends who remain at risk, but didn’t delay my first dose. Soon I’ll travel safe while they’re still locked down. Cheap flights beckon. My guilt fades. © Copyright 2021 by Jim… Continue reading First Dose Problems, or The Privilege of a Sore Arm

Invisible Friends

“When I was a kid,” a friend said not long ago, “I thought cats were female and dogs were male.” “Did you ever, uh, look at them?” I asked. “I grew up on a farm. The relevant anatomy is displayed pretty regularly.” “I’m a preacher’s daughter,” she said. “From the city.” “I forget that about… Continue reading Invisible Friends

Dekel’s Eyelashes

Our waiter’s name was Dekel. He had the most amazing eyelashes I’ve ever seen and was friends with the lady I was traveling with. While they caught up I ate a small piece of perfection in the form of a chocolate croissant. The morning sunlight reflecting off the creamy Jerusalem limestone was warm like the… Continue reading Dekel’s Eyelashes

Bus Stations on the Equator

Restaurants near the city’s bus station were my favorite places to eat in Ecuador.  Beans, rice, meat—usually chicken—an egg, a small juice. A checked tablecloth, a small TV on a high shelf, a soccer game.  All that for a buck, buck and a half. Plus: a shy waitress surprised a gringo spoke Spanish and impromptu… Continue reading Bus Stations on the Equator

Xanax and Legumes

The vasectomy doc named Buzz prescribed Xanax and legumes. “The Xanax is for before,” Buzz said. “While the pharmacist counts the pills, grab a couple bags of frozen peas for the swelling after.” “I’ve got ice packs at home,” I said. “Ice packs won’t mold to your body,” Buzz said, holding up a cupped palm.… Continue reading Xanax and Legumes