Tag Archives: creative nonfiction

Stand Short

tall boy short girl

Short people of the world, unite!

My wife and I are having breakfast one morning at a local restaurant. In this establishment, you stand in line and place your order at the cash register. You take a number, find a table, and wait for your food.  We’re here early. The restaurant is full of men. It’s the power breakfast hour.

While we wait for our food we watch more men come in, many of them dressed in summer business casual.  A couple tables over, two guys with a laptop talk in hushed tones. At the table next to us a guy leans over a legal pad, checking his notes. He’s wearing a black and white gingham shirt, jeans, and running shoes.  He’s got serious, shiny, freshly-combed-back Gordon Gecko hair. In a couple minutes he’s joined by another guy in jeans. Their meeting begins. Continue reading

Bridge

power-double-sketch

In the end it all came down to two points.

My freshman year of high school the wrestling team had no one to put in the 95-pound weight class. That meant at every meet the team would forfeit that match, giving the opposition five points for free, and an automatic advantage in the final score.

The coach at the time was a guy named Jack Curl. He was a big guy with short blond hair and an easy smile. In the fall he coached football. That’s where his heart was. He also taught gym, although “taught” somehow seems like the wrong word. “Moderated” or “presided over” or “benignly neglected” might be more accurate. I recall him walking around the gym holding a clipboard, blowing on a referee whistle he wore around his neck, yelling at kids. Winter semesters he coached wrestling, which as the phys ed guy he probably had to do. I don’t think he knew much about the sport. He referred to it as “wrastling.” Continue reading

The Enjoy Agenda

medusa

I’m not feeling so good

A couple Sundays ago we spent the afternoon in the emergency room in Santarcangelo di Romagna.  We went to Santarcangelo because it was a sunny day in April. We went because it’s the beginning of pea season.  We went because we thought we might shop around a little and then have lunch.

We were in this store and my wife was looking at sweaters and I was trying on a pair of pants in a changing room in the back when I heard her say, Oh. Continue reading

About Your Stuff

spoons2

She says I should have kept the anvil.

It was a real blacksmith’s anvil that belonged to my dad, before him to my grandfather, before him I don’t know who. This was no beginner’s anvil. Coal black, it had felt the heat of a forge and the beat of hammers for a hundred years or more. It had a bick, or a horn, for hammering curved pieces of metal, it had a step and a pritchel hole, it had a smooth face with a rounded edge on one side. It sat on a log end. Anvil and log together I’m guessing weighed somewhere in the area of 250 pounds.

Both my father and grandfather had shops.

My wife and I have a back porch. Continue reading

Death by GPS

murlo from above

He had been delivered to us by GPS.

“We could go for vespers,” my wife said.

It was late afternoon. We were leaving Murlo, which I have to say was something of a disappointment. Somewhere along the road in Tuscany we’d seen a billboard or two for Murlo, with its iconic cowboy image. And somewhere along the road in Tuscany we’d talked to someone, probably in a wine bar, who told us about it: Murlo, town of the Tuscan cowboys. I said it sounded like a football team. Continue reading