Family don't have to stand on ceremony. What is expected. Cordial hellos, heartfelt goodbyes. I love yous every two hours.
But they won't listen. I stand and I talk. I move my hands to entice interest, to wake them. All else is motionless, void. But family.
My father would have insisted I wear a suit to this lecture. God is in the details. A man must show pride in himself.
I heard, God watches from the corners. I believed pride was vanity. I believed my father and the whole of our lives was constructed on ceremony, without need.
I grew paranoid and then exhausted. Then I needed money and knew I could mold these things into a fastball, a curveball. Whatever pitch I needed.
I speak often. Motivational lectures about finding that comfort zone with your wife, husband, son, daughter, father, mother, and on and on. But beneath my words, in every other word, like a finely woven fabric, a wedding ring quilt, is the real truth.
I wear the jeans and roll up the sleeves of my $160 shirt to put people at ease. I move my hands to wake them up. I speak to hear myself. If only I listen, someone learns.
"What’s got you down?” he asked her. “Tell me the story—I’ll give it a happy ending."
I've published for the last couple of years an online journal called The Airgonaut . I've placed a submission closed update there t...
Best Small Fictions 2017 Guest Editor Amy Hempel Series Editor Tara L. Masih Braddock Avenue Books (September, 2017) $13 (Braddock Av...