Miller Time

Our Man In Amsterdam (Part 2)

UNITED STATES—I reviewed my diary from 1989-90 and found an entry that divulged much more about the weather and a prize fight watched on television than what I tersely referred to “an interesting proposal.” The proposal was a plane ticket to Amsterdam and a job packaging opiates to be sent back to the U.S. At the time I noted,...

Full Circle

UNITED STATES—Astonishing how things blossomed after joining the Spanish-language theater group. After one of the group's rehearsals Rafael, the director, invited me to check out a new cultural group. He gave me a street number on Vermont Avenue that I scribbled on a scrap of paper. They were meeting the next Saturday afternoon. Bring something to read, Rafael said. I...

A Miracle On 42nd St.

UNITED STATES—Out came the shotgun from behind the door. The old artist stood at the threshold and extended the barrel. His hand trembled. Gil Talbott steadied his hand just as he’d steadied it to chisel the newest statue that crouched in his garret on the top floor of DeVille Manor. This statue was a sandstone Christmas tree and, beside...

Artist’s Return Part 3

UNITED STATES—Off Archer drove after being frisked and subjected to an elaborate sobriety test. The young sheriff told him that they had trouble here at the car lot, and then Archer saw a few pickups in the darkened yard beside the driveway where he had pulled off to sleep. "Somebody had been using something like a can opener to open...

The Best

UNITED STATES—This was the best year of my life. I shall make no feeble attempt to hang onto the unhangable and give up any pretense of clinging to a past even before the calendar relinquishes the year’s final dates. Nor shall I bore you with why this was the best year for me (you and I are so selfish...

Bedside (14)

UNITED STATES—Davy and Karen are assembled now by the bed. They're a bit strung out after a night of coffee and confessions at the local diner. "Can you do something for my head," mom groans. "It doesn't feel right." "It's so awful," Davy whispers to Karen, "I want to puke. I'm telling you, strangers inspire kindness. Family contempt." "What are you whispering...

Shockwaves

UNITED STATES—In the weeks after the play’s successful run (one satisfying performance celebrated to the hilt), I showed rooms out and distributed three-day notices. “The agony,” I noted in my journal. The ecstasy was handing old good tenants, like Pedro and Tava at Estrella Avenue who were moving on and out and hopefully up, their deposit refund check. The weeks...

Bedside (10)

UNITED STATES—Davy goes on: "Oh, sister, it's a relief to share this with you and get it off my face, my chest, you know what I mean. Imagine how I felt, I'd driven all night to be here. I'd driven down the 5 and took the James Dean Memorial Highway, and then got to the hospital. I spent time...

Scandalous

UNITED STATES—Brendan Howe watched the hypnotic tumblings the drying socks and underwear through the glass circle of the dryer door. It was his first time here in the laundromat in the new neighborhood where he had moved after the divorce. Scribbling in a small spiral notebook, he sat in regimented plastic chairs, bolted to the floor. An attendant watered hanging ferns....

Aftermath

UNITED STATES—The end of April, the city was in flames. Incredibly my new city, a week before had suffered an eight-mile explosion when a sewer full of gasoline exploded and left a permanent scar in Guadalajara, April 22. Then Los Angeles was in flames. A lot of people had seen it coming. "The Day of the Locust," Nathaniel West had...
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