November 1996

Readers Write

Under The Covers

An old water tower, an airplane blanket, a diamond pendant in the shape of a heart

By Our Readers
Quotations

Sunbeams

There is only one big thing — desire. And before it, when it is big, all is little.

Willa Cather

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

My New Car

After lunch, R. asked me to give him a ride. We walked across the street to my car. When he saw my beat-up station wagon, he looked at me quizzically. I thought things were going well, he said.

By Sy Safransky
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Everything I Ever Wanted

Reflections On Sex At Midlife

When I was young, I dreamed of meeting a woman in a small, secluded room cut off from the rest of the world, someplace where my acts had no consequences. She wasn’t necessarily someone I knew; our lives didn’t touch.

By David Guy
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Three Spheres

I have not healed so much as learned to sit still and wait while pain does its dancing work, trying not to panic or twist in ways that make the blades tear deeper and finally infect the wounds.

By Lauren Slater
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Mother Material

A picture hangs on the wall of my study. In it, my mother is kneeling to pose with my brother, my sister, and me. The picture was taken a few months before my mother died, and we are all smiling, cheerful, innocent, unaware of the ways in which our lives are capable of changing.

By Ann Marsden
Fiction

Spin Cycle

I’ve always thought there’s something lusty about laundromats. Perhaps that’s why I’m so taken by the young woman I notice as I fumble for change to start my two loads. She’s very European — or at least that’s what I imagine.

By John W. Currier
Fiction

Hag

Mariette tells me we still have beautiful legs, both of us, even if our faces have gone to seed. I am fifty. She is fifty-three and not from this country. A few minutes ago, I was driving into town to a friend’s to decorate Easter eggs when I saw Mariette walking along the road.

By Mary Sojourner
Fiction

Fire-Walking

Wayne had proposed marriage, and she had told him she wasn’t sure she wanted to be married right now. Actually, all she wanted was a long, hot shower. She wondered how this man could ever have made her think her heart had opened as never before. It was becoming something of an ordeal just to be polite.

By Tim Farrington
Fiction

Phone Sex And World Peace

The man she loves might become a monk. He is up at an Ivy League divinity school studying Saint Benedict and looking forward to spending a week of his winter vacation at a monastery. She was hoping they could go to LA, but that was before he dumped her.

By Valerie Ann Leff