March 21, 2010 Lately, I am obsessed with surfaces; doorknobs, table tops, faucet handles, telephones, light switches —all the daily objects, touched a dozen, a hundred times a day by unwashed hands, fingering everything and leaving a film of microbes like the slime trails you find glistening in the morning after slugs have gone. Food is coated with the killers too, whole crowds of unseen pathogens, from the soil, the air, everywhere. Sometimes, ignorance damn sure can be bliss.
March 21, 2010 To be honest with you, I don't like the picture. I'd never go to that coffee shop. And I'd never leave my paper on the table to let someone else clean it up. There isn't even a crumpled napkin left behind, or a ring of cold, dripped coffee that collected around the base of a now-discarded paper cup. No evidence that a person sat there. Except for the paper. But it's too perfect for a person to have left it accidentally.
March 14, 2010 In Tucson, we found the train-hopping kids, and went with them to New York City. I was 15 and had never been out of Arizona. That summer, I'd learned to eat from Dumpsters, carry a knife in my pocket and sleep with my backpack chained to my waist.
March 14, 2010 The season of cleaning, the wife observes, comes directly after the season of closeness — of holding hands, of curling around each other like sleeping cats. Her mother taught her how to clean and wash and fold towels into thirds lengthwise, but she didn't tell her about the season of cleaning or how it comes.
March 7, 2010 Janet couldn't remember when she'd first realized she was invisible. She supposed it had started, well, maybe it had started before, but she first noticed it when she would look into someone's eyes, say a passerby on the street, or even someone in the hallway at work when she was pushing the mail cart from office to office.
March 7, 2010 It's a good thing I'm not a writer, because everyone knows there's nothing more annoying than Deus-ex-freaking-machina.
February 27, 2010 It was a month after Leland was decapitated that Charlie read about the accident in the local newspaper.
February 27, 2010 You are everywhere I look these days. Everyone looks just like you. I'm at the coffee shop you went to just before you died. You used to write your name and phone number on sugar packets in coffee shops in those last few months.
February 20, 2010 Dean Parker worked newspaper crossword puzzles in ink. Quickly. Accurately. Early. Two blue gel pens clipped in his shirt pocket, one as backup. Dean enjoyed the challenge. Mostly he liked irritating people.