From Line Zero, The Rental (flash fiction), upcoming Summer 2013 Issue:

I bought it as a rental, this little bungalow next door—2BR/1BA, vinyl windows, old walls but solid—though other than as an investment, I’ve never had much relation to it.  Was an easy $300 a month until my daughter Jean’s third husband up and leaves her, and she and my eighteen year old grandson, Tim, move in “temporarily,” a word that worried me as soon as she uttered it…

product_thumbnail-1From SNReview, New Room (short version)

Despite all the banter between Rick and Hosea, Hosea and Lila’s marriage had for years stood as Rick’s standard of love.  Amidst the mayhem of the party, Rick had studied the way the two of them briefly touched in, how Lila unconsciously rested her fingertips upon Hosea’s belt buckle, how they laughed, really tilted back.  For Rick and Amanda the lovemaking was extraordinary—sweaty and spiraling, after which they would swoon exhaustively, hold hands and gaze out the window.  But dinners could be marked by formal silences, and the cramped size of the apartment (what amounted to a midsized living room that contained kitchen and screened-off bathroom, and an adjacent bedroom no bigger than a bathroom itself, barely large enough for their floored futon mattress) at times felt cage-like.  Not to mention, over the first few months there were faucet leaks interrupted by no water at all, and even when the water flowed there wasn’t enough hot to fill up the undersized tub.  The tenant beneath them whacked away on the radiator pipes, who knew why; loose plaster sprinkled down from the ceiling; and—just what a shy new couple needs—the toilet regularly backed up.  Balducci, the super, was friendly in a hardscrabble sort of way, but was unfamiliar with the word “urgent.”  Squat, fifties, eyebrows thick as Brillo pads, he finally showed up one night at 10:30pm, mildly drunk, only to say, “You young folks, whaddya need hot water for?  At your age you make your own heat.”

foxing2_coverCfrontFrom Foxing Quarterly #2, In Real Life (flash fiction):

What comes back to me first is how Lalo used to call huddles.  Any decision, even the most sinister, required a huddle to get everyone on the same page.  Rip off Balducci’s for a crate of oranges to sell?  First we all had to commit.  Leave a few on the fire escape of the old lady who turned a blind eye?  All of us had to agree.  Up to the porn theatre on 14th to hassle the pop-eyed Popeyes getting ready to jerk each other off?  We’d all have to be in the right mood.  In the huddle we would humm and Lalo would massage our heads to encourage thought…

From ‘Forge’Issue 6.4/Spring 2013, Equal to Fertility:

Up to that day, I’d only seen my Bio-Dad (that’s what Ma called him) twice in my life.  Neither time did I know it was him until later.  Bio, a put-down of the worst type whenever it sizzled on Ma’s lips, though, when I was a girl, it also sounded sort of like a superhero.  For all the information I had ever gotten about him, he should have been Null Man.

The first time I saw him was in seventh grade.  It was outside the 7-11 over on Plethadora and he nodded at me, which made me mistake him for a perv, look away, and clamp my arms across my chest.  I recall a wide-brimmed hat shadowing most of his face, long skinny legs and badly cleaned work boots.  Later I overheard Ma and her best friend Dottie attempting to whisper on the phone—that “he” was back to town…

Scan 2From Soundings Review, Spring 2010, “New Room”:

Rick recalled the moment he suggested to Amanda that they move in together, pulling her tight in the clutter of their friends Hosea and Lila’s kitchen, the hard morning light falling upon the piled, maculated dishes, a thin swinging door away from the uneven bursts of laughter, the noon party in honor of baby Che’s first step.  Rick had squeezed her even closer, worried about her response; Amanda’s bare shoulder there in the band of light, the fresh scent of it, suddenly seemed such rich promise of a new way to wake up each morning…