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Into the Light

Yes, by all means, let’s talk about gun control.  Neither you nor I need a semiautomatic rifle to kill a deer.  Or an intruder. And yes, please, let’s talk about mental illness, the silence, the stigma, the  misconceptions.  Let’s consider what we need to not only detect but also restrain, support or integrate the severely […]

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Faces I

Gallery #1

My sister Barney painted this.  Many years ago.  In high school, I believe. At this time she lives very simply in Western New York not taking her medication, not conforming to society and not consuming much of anything.  Many of her friends and admirers think she is a prophet.  Those less admiring consider her an […]

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When Did You Start/Quit Smoking?

I started smoking when I was fifteen years old, back when almost everybody smoked, shortly after the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health confirmed a causal relationship between cigarettes and lung cancer. The committee’s four hundred page report claimed that an average smoker was nine to ten times more likely to die of […]

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gray face

Why Is Everyone So Angry?

From ten-year-old Marguerite, called Meg……….. My Daddy watches the news.  All the time.  He watches it when he comes home from work at night before we sit down to dinner. (He works at a bank.)  He watches it before he goes to bed.  In the morning, the little TV in the kitchen plays the news […]

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EE Cummings

I Must Have Been Dreaming

Just because I’m of a certain age, it doesn’t mean I’m all grown up. And just because I’ve been in therapy for the past twenty years, it doesn’t mean I’m entirely sane. At five o’clock this morning, I woke up in the middle of a “project.”  As I bobbed up to consciousness, I found myself […]

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The Husband Store

One lovely day in June, back when I was thirty-something, my mother came to town to conduct her annual appraisal and denunciation of my life choices. She determined almost immediately that my job, my lifestyle, my finances (hair, apartment and cat) showed no promise of ever being what they should have been by that time, […]

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Now We Are Sixty

You’ve seen it before – it was inevitable – aging baby boomers everywhere changing the title of A.A. Milne’s book to suit themselves, from Now We Are Six to Now We Are Sixty.  For many of us, the gentle inhabitants of the 100 Acre Wood enriched our earliest years: Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and […]

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Too Fat to Live (Story #2)

They lived in a large, gracious house that included a mahogany-trimmed butler’s pantry and a second dining room for the servants, now ghosts, just off the staircase to the abandoned servant’s quarters.  At the top of the stairs, between a large common room and a corridor of narrow bedrooms, there was a smaller room that […]

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The Butterfly Was One of Three

The butterfly was one of three that decorated my fortieth birthday cake.  The white arrowhead my grandfather found when he was young, perhaps as young as he was when the nearby picture of him was taken in his doughboy uniform. The baby hairbrush just below that picture belonged to his firstborn daughter, my mother, who […]

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