Two of the stories are old enough for me to struggle to recall the seed of where they came from, or the research I did in writing them. But there are a few details that I can recall with certainty.
He wants his wife’s portrait painted. He knows nothing of art, doesn’t even have an interest, but a slew of recent police brutality lawsuits against the city, his firm’s biggest client, has accrued him the sort of money that’s got him thinking about lineage.
Either it’s supposed to be totally true or totally made up, but thinking too much about which it is will make your brain hurt and suck the joy out of a lovely story.
The oldest story in the book is “I Bought Her a Bird,” about a woman and a man and the literal widening distance between them. I wrote the first draft in 2012.
For days I’ve been looking for the list. It’s somewhere in the house with the rocker, the lamp with the pink shade, the round mirror, the square mirror, the oval mirror, the postman’s desk, the photograph of doors — things I don’t remember acquiring.
My conclusion is that ghosts prefer to embody light. I know I am not alone in this suspicion. How else might energy that possesses no matter present itself to the unsuspecting?
At our weekly Wednesday dinner, Ruby and I burnt the fish and began her pursuit of moving on.
Jason Brown’s A Faithful but Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed is a linked story collection about families, storytelling, and how the two combine.
In the few months that I was in the Pampas, I never really felt like I left Envigado. It was my fault for telling people I was coming back.
I get home and check my answering machine. My daughter always says, Dad, why do you have that thing? You’re the last one in kingdom come.
Walt Whitman, Woodrow Wilson, Molly Pitcher, Vince Lombardi. These are the important people of New Jersey, she thinks, the people whose names adorn the service areas that dot the turnpike like prayer beads.