Miller Time

Bedside (6)

UNITED STATES—"OK, when will you be back?" the mom says from her wheelchair to the parting figures of her caregiver and boyfriend. "Sunday afternoon," Tatiana calls back and then the glass doors shut behind her and Oscar. A serious looking woman in a gray knitted sweater and shouldering a handbag comes to close to the door and a harsh new...

Bedside (5)

UNITED STATES—His dog on a leash, Davy exits from the room, passing by the two other beds, one empty and the other occupied by a woman in catatonia. In the halls, there's a man in a wheelchair pushing himself along with his legs. Before Davy crosses to the gymnasium, cries reach his ears, "Nooo, I'm going to fall. I can't...

Bedside (4)

UNITED STATES—"I can't sleep," says the mom. "Is there something you can do for me? You haven't done anything for my leg." "Which leg?" says the son. "Oh, I don't know." "I haven't done anything for your leg? I only put a pillow under it. I only took a pillow out from under it. I rolled up a towel. I made you...

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 (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...
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