Miller Time

Bedside (3)

UNITED STATES—"Good afternoon," says a very tall man dressed in blue, a bit too cheerily. "You're the occupational therapist," says the son, remembering him from the day before. "Are you still trying to give my mom a new job?" The man in blue gives a forced smile. He's heard the joke before. "I train the patient to turn on a faucet, to open...

Bedside (2)

UNITED STATES—"What about my leg," says the haggard skull-like face floating just over the edge of the blanket. "You can't do anything about my leg?" "Yes. I can cut it off." The withered but rosy mom smiles from the hospital bed. "I don't really want that. Excuse me for sneezing. Do you have a kleenex." "I'll have to ask the nurse." "Should I...

Bedside

UNITED STATES—Scene: Smells. A dog would love this place and never leave. There are ripe smells and revolting smells. There are cooking food smells from the kitchen that emits salsa music when the swing door opens. There are smells of fresh nurses reporting to work. From wide ajar doors escapes the unmistakable, humbling effluvia of a bedpan being changed,...

Happier

UNITED STATES—We all wish each other a Happy New Year and the post modern among us cringe at the conformity of the cliche. But what do we do about increasing happiness? What can we do about it? Here are a few ideas to chew on: 1. Learn to take a step back and let things ride. People are really wound tight these...

The Mogul’s Mom

UNITED STATES—Pete Mohr was a suit at one of the legacy studios which are kind of elite hotels for nebulous folks, subdivisions that shuffle in and out of offices that have suffered more coats of paint than a New York brownstone. And then there were the likes of Pete Mohr, a hot indie producer, a slick dresser with seven...

The Last Payphone (4)

UNITED STATES—Since Denny wasn't so bright, he had thought he could get the cash for Danielle's fender-bender pay-off at the ATM. It exceeded his daily limit. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) they were in luck (or unlucky) depending if you were in Danielle's Ferragamo's or Denny's Dan Post boots. "One-thousand five-hundred d-d-d-dollars," Denny stammered. The bank teller...

The Last Payphone (2)

UNITED STATES—"Hello," she called out. She was in front of another body shop not 30 yards away from the first, with its yard of wounded cars. They were wounded, but they were the best makes, and their owners demanded perfection. In contrast stood what had been a payphone on the corner. Danielle was old enough to remember, but for the...

The Last Payphone

UNITED STATES—It was splendid, driving home from the university and taking the scenic route, winding down Sunset Boulevard, where all is green, dark and shady. You pass by the monastery, the route punctuated by green lights and yellow lights that blink and flash. The screams of children wafted through the open cabriolet window, down a crack. Danielle shivered for...

Loving Neglect

UNITED STATES—The week of savage Black Friday crowds we would do well to consider loving neglect, the counterpart of radical love, discussed last week. Accepting this concept when dealing with others may add a degree of peace to the season some call the most harried time of the year. Loving neglect is where a laissez-faire environment is created for the...

Radical Love

UNITED STATES—Radical love is to let play out the intention that a kind impulse dwells in others as it does in oneself. Goethe said something to the effect that if you treat people as if they displayed good qualities, they will actually start to display them. Radical love exalts kindness beyond one's own skin and the empathetic view of being...
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