It Ain’t Me–living with the dead

Three men stand in front of a billboard in Santarcangelo di Rimini. On the board are “manifesti,” broadsheets announcing the recent leave-taking of people or the anniversaries of their deaths, often with an indication of a mass that will be said for them. For each person there’s a color photo, how they wanted to be…More

Broken–passing, stopping, showing up

“You’re going to freeze your ass off,” Tizi says.  I’m piling tin-foil food containers on a tray so I can walk them over to the neighbors. It’s a February evening in Michigan, dark at 6:00 p.m., cold and damp. There’s no snow to speak of, just bone-chilling 30 degree weather, what my mother-in-law called “aria…More

Feeling at Home in San Marino

All these years I don’t know how I missed it. Almost fifty years we’ve been coming together to this apartment in San Marino. Mornings I open a cupboard door, take down the stainless steel espresso pot, and make coffee. There are half a dozen cups from my mother-in-law’s China. Not the good stuff in the…More

And Then Not Do Nothing–not another shooter

I Googled “shooter” and found the Cambridge Dictionary describes the term as “mainly US.” It wasn’t the sort of thing you wanted to see. The cabin doors closed. The aircraft pushed back, engines started. I figured it would take 70 minutes or so to fly from Virginia Beach to Detroit. Then, ten or twenty feet…More