Miller Time

First Date

UNITED STATES—Giselle found herself on a date with Travis Knowles, who was almost as wide as he was tall. The very loud houndstooth design on his jacket could have been discerned from the nose-bleed seats to the end zone of the Colosseum. The very few hairs loyal to his head were painstakingly dyed dark red. This was kind of a...

Bedside (19)

UNITED STATES—"Hello, this is the son of Betty Bird, and we'd like Dr. O'Leary to prescribe anti-anxiety medication for our Mom, Betty Bird, here at Wastonville Manor." Davy hangs up his phone with a sigh. "They're out to lunch, I left a message." "Yeah, yeah, I could tell," says Karen. "I can tell when it's your message voice." "The doctor's are out for...

Collaboration

UNITED STATES—The writer-director Everett Lewis called me up a week or so later and said he had read my screenplay. He said it was basically a mess, but his terms were much more genteel. Within that mess he saw the germ of something real in its treatment of Satan worshiping teens. I had touched on something that was truly...

Roommates

UNITED STATES—Agnes had the idea that we could share the apartment. We could get cable TV and it wouldn't be so lonely, and she could bring her furniture. She had nice furniture, fruitwood. It reminded me of Rancho Grande where we liked to go on margarita Fridays. "It will be fun," Agnes said. It was fun for a while, and then...

Briefly Noted

UNITED STATES—Freud in New York the latest Otis Quigley Keefauver novel (Norton 897 pages) explores one of history’s intriguing what-ifs: what if Sigmund Freud had sized up Hitler’s threat sooner and immigrated to New York instead of London? This rambling but ambitious mish-mash of naivete and fantasy was inspired by the amazing but true New York link in the...

Writing Routines

UNITED STATES—I am in the final stages of a major novel, my first, and both my bonds with teaching are eroding and emotional tensions are mounting. I am under great tension albeit, creative tension, which is very good, sort of like good cholesterol is good. But this makes me prone to uncharacteristic outbursts and sudden tenderness, at the most...

A Lotta Shaking

UNITED STATES—One Tuesday afternoon, sunny and cool, lullabied by the sound of cars streaming from the 10 to the 110, I neared the end of another day on my Olivetti. Mac, the electrician, ran into the kitchen. “I was watching the World Series on TV,” he panted, his voice congested with emotion. “The camera started shaking. Then TV went...

The Ducks Of Las Rozas

UNITED STATES—Off we went, five people piled in a car, to the round restaurant in the planned community of Las Rozas. Around the table were our host, a rock musician self named Dave America, to whom we owed this trip, his girlfriend Miriam, and the poet, Oscar Noviembre. I had translated a selection of his poems for our bilingual...

Resolutions

UNITED STATES—I get steamed when radio DJs start chirping about resolutions, usually a couple days before people put on the funny hats and start getting drunk. "What are your resolutions for the coming new year?" they ask disingenuously. It gets my goat. I hate those glib radioheads who catch me unprepared, and make me feel dumb--which is something I...

Christmas In The Hood

UNITED STATES—The owner of the store had moaned and whined about the neighborhood before the shooting. The porch homies affected his business as well as mine. He moaned and whined about it more afterward. “Oh the gunshots and the graffiti,” the Korean said, “they keep me awake at night!” The bags under his eyes deepened, and his skin tended to...
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