True Facts from the Small Town of Phenix, Virginia: The Aces

In the mid 1980s, there was a makeshift skate park on the tennis court off Church Street in Phenix, Virginia, where long haired, zit-faced teenage boys would do kick flips and ollies on their skateboards and smoke cigarettes under their perfectly constructed wooden quarter pipe while listening to The Ramones and Motörhead. These kids formed a rough and tumble street gang known as The Aces. See end note.

Down by the Water

Last night as I was reading my daughter a bedtime story, I heard an adult voice cry out in haste from the street just outside our home. Minutes later, sirens pierced into the night, closer and closer. There was an ambulance and police cars, a fire truck. First responders were descending a staircase that leads to a small lake at the bottom of the hill.

But When You Give a Feast, Invite the Poor, the Crippled, the Lame, the Blind

Every seat has a body in it. There are so many faces here in the soup kitchen. Black, white, young, old. A large Japanese man who requests more meat and bread. A young couple enters pushing a baby stroller, a small child in tow. And old man, an amputee, without his left leg, folded up into a square and safety pinned. A large woman with wall eyes. An eighteen year old with short dreads.

This Is Water

The late David Foster Wallace had a way of making you see the minute details of life as if you were wearing the eyes of an entirely different human being. In “This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life,” Wallace delves into empathy, adjustment, and consciousness as it relates to the mundane ordinariness of everyday life—and how these tiny moments guide who we are and/or will become.

The Lady Next Door: An Update

I made some updates to my short story “The Lady Next Door” which is available for purchase as an ebook on Amazon. The cost is 99 cents. “The Lady Next Door,” for those who haven’t yet read it, was written in 2003, and is about a child’s love for his elderly neighbor.