Miller Time

Mary Reno (11)

UNITED STATES—A blistering wind was coming through the glass and concrete towers. It rustled a flag at three-quarters mast. Just before reaching the lower echelons and stirred the hairs on Mary's natural fright wig, the breeze ran out of steam. The stifling stagnation the ruled the city like a wasted metaphor. Mary saw a way out. There it was before...

Mary Reno (10)

UNITED STATES—Mary Reno hurried away from the stall in the Swap Meet, that boasted the sign "We buy gold." The toothy smile of the Mongolian woman was seared in the back of Mary's cranium. In her ears echoed the enthusiastic decree, FAKE...! She was at the end of her rope. There'd be some comfort in knowing there was a...

Mary Reno (8)

UNITED STATES—They had it all wrong. They had it backwards. Suicide is considered a weakness, and even a cowardly act. Balderdash, if I may step in. The fact is: a healthy person may entertain the idea of self-slaughter: a world without me at least once a day. It is humble preparation us for what things may be. Sooner or...

Mary Reno (7)

UNITED STATES—Mary Reno awoke with a violent start. Fears swooped down and crowded in like crows. Her fears were flakes of pepper that could never totally obliterate the snowbank brightness of the moment. Her thoughts and hopes we're tangled as the dry leaves that clotted the gutters. She gasped. It started her swollen feet moving again. One swollen foot trudged...

Mary Reno (6)

UNITED STATES—The fingers of the bearded guy in the driver's seat fondled the gold chain. Mary Reno's heart clenched. She stood, knees trembling in the gutter. Mary blurted out, "The chain means a lot to me. My dog found that." The guy's nervous hands and eyes kept probing the gold chain. He let out a sigh. "And I lost my dog,"...

Mary Reno (4)

UNITED STATES—Mary Reno twirled her heels on the baking sidewalk. She was still smarting from the loss of the figs.  Yes, she was. Add to that the nagging hunch that something else was wrong. Mary had lost the bundle that had her money folded up in one corner. A coolness pervaded her toes through the open toes of her...

Mary Reno (3)

UNITED STATES—Mary Reno stopped and stared at the fig bush. It looked more like a tree now that it had been severely hacked since Mary first saw it a few days ago and was filled by anticipation for ripened figs. She was crestfallen. All the bulbs from the fig branches about to turn purple-black had  been pruned away, and all...

Mary Reno

UNITED STATES—The hot wind blows through the stillness, already superheated before the sun peeks out from the east. The weeds are way overgrown, having their heyday in the cracks of a dusty lot that the market economy has jilted, even though they've got permits to build a new wing to the abandoned glass and brick office building. It all looks...

The Laughing Keys (3)

UNITED STATES—There was a manly surrender in heading back on that freeway from the Westside. The phantom set of keys that would let Irma into her new quarters might be on the bed stand where she'd housesat near downtown. They might not. My job was to flush thoughts of defeat out of my head and drive. We got through the...

Mad Cinerama Dome: A Landmark For Tourists From The Future (11)

UNITED STATES—The Cinerama Dome is a geodesic souvenir. The Buckminster Fuller thing was supposed to run wild, architectural hubris being what it is, so it is unique, modest, and iconic in terms of what the sequel to 1962 brought us. It has been immortalized in Quentin Tarantino’s valentine to Hollywood and the summer of 1969—and now young hip tourists...