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November 24, 2014
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A summer mystery—Part 2: the victim

It was a little after one in the morning, and detective Brown stood holding a fresh iced coffee in the basement of an apartment building. He stared down at a white chalk outline where a dead body had been found a few hours earlier. “Sprawled” was the only way he could think to describe the position.

“ID?” Brown asked.

“Mr. Peter Johnson of 5C. Worked as a stockbroker. Married, two kids, wife is home, kids are not,” his partner read out of his notebook. Brown focused on a spot of blood on a pipe above the body.  Read more

A summer mystery: Part I: The setup

Eddie had washed the windows and polished the door handle. He had futzed with the flowers and dusted his desk. It was getting to be time to head down to the basement, and he was sort of dreading it. The low hum of the AC kept the lobby cool. The basement would be sweltering.

The Met game was just starting and he decided to give it a few innings. If he got lucky, maybe the heat would let up.

“Sorry about the cardboard,” Santiago, the daytime doorman, had said while he was leaving. And Eddie had said it was fine, even though it had annoyed him a little bit.  Read more

Destination Sullivan County

At first, it’s slow going and it hardly feels like I’m moving at all.

It’s actually calming to lie on the black inner tube as I pass under the bridge and head toward the rapids. I grin at the growing rush of water in the distance and very gradually start to speed up.

It’s too late to do much of anything except keep my feet forward.  Read more

Summertime, when the livin’ was easy

The summer blockbuster that just came out in movie theaters about the kids and the aliens doesn’t make much sense. I went to a matinee last Sunday. It was playing every hour, the way those big movies do. I left feeling a little let down and overall disappointed.

It just wasn’t... believable.

Don’t you find that the “Summer blockbuster that just came out in theaters” can’t quite live up to it’s own hype? You’ve seen the posters everywhere; you’ve caught those vague TV spots. The pull quotes. That buzz. Spoilers.  Read more

Maddy

When Maddy walks down the street, she makes very funny noises. Well, I should clarify. When Maddy does just about anything, she makes very funny noises. But especially when she walks down the street or when she’s “spending time” with the gorilla (more on that later).

Maddy makes a sound that is somewhere between a frog and my grandfather. She breathes with a wheeze/cough/sneeze/growl. I must admit, it’s a little off-putting at first. Some people think that it’s a sound of aggression or distress. But it’s really neither. It’s just Maddy.  Read more

Hang it up

I still remember a diving catch I made in a baseball game of my youth. It was perhaps my finest defensive play. It was the summer of 1998, I was 15 and I was playing second base for the Tusten Chiefs. It was down on the baseball field in Narrowsburg.

It was kind of an out-of-body experience. The crack of the bat and a jump and the glorious feeling of the ball landing in my glove. I don’t remember thinking much about it, just doing it. In my mind, the crowd went wild. But I’m not sure about that particular detail.  Read more

Sleep No More

Last night I was standing on the corner of Madison and 62nd Street waiting for the light to change, when a cab slowly drove by. It crept out of the shadows as if from a dream.

As it drove by, I saw, propped up on the passenger seat, a mask: an oddly shaped white plastic carnival mask. It surprised me. It was a mask I recognized.  Read more

Carrot juice on the rocks

The Easter Bunny’s stump on Cotton Tail Lane was thumping until late in the evening on Easter Sunday. Creatures from every walk of life had come to hang out, eat some candy and pay their respect to Tommy “The Easter Bunny.”

Tommy sat in his favorite chair in the corner and looked around the room. The Young Bunny from across the street was there; she was so cute. He really wanted to talk to her, but didn’t have the energy. His feet ached from all the hopping. As usual, things had gone off without a hitch and it had been a long day of hiding eggs and waiting for children to find them.  Read more

Candy lives on

Every screening of “Beautiful Darling” that I’ve attended since it premiered at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, I was fairly certain would be the last. I have been (happily) wrong each time.

“Well, I should definitely go, because it might be the last time I see it on the big screen,” I would think. And I would go, and I would usually be surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I started work on it five years ago. It was my first real editing job.  Read more

The ACPT

The announcers’ voices were steady and excited.

“David’s still got the mistake on one across but he’s making good time with the bottom left corner of the puzzle. Ken’s got one across and he’s got the entire right side of the puzzle.”  Read more