Issue 221 | The Sun Magazine

May 1994

Readers Write

Dirty Words

A ballerina, a horse trainer, a horny man

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

May 1994

Perfect Rooms

The language is so much bigger than I am, so much older, more beautiful. How can I hope to tame it, cram it into a style?

By Sy Safransky


Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.

Ernest Hemingway

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Disaster Envy

Hanging up the phone, I am overwhelmed with an embarrassing emotion: I am feeling left out. After all, I spent thirty-three years of my life in the San Fernando Valley waiting for The Big One. I should be in the muck of it.

By D. Rose Hartmann
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Notes To Each Other

We were not brought together through signs and wonders; we did not even particularly love each other. We married on impulse the night of our third date without “hearing a Voice,” and things went rapidly downhill from there.

By Gayle Prather & Hugh Prather
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


When we’d been married for a while, I expected my husband to say “I love you,” which he’d never said except on the inside of my wedding ring. Instead he told me he thought I really liked women and encouraged me to listen to my instinctive self.

By Sarajane Archdeacon
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Conversations With Women

Women seem to trust each other best by giving over the contents of their lives to another woman, who will allow those contents just to sit there undisturbed. Women look at each other and say, Yes, I have known this too.

By Sallie Caldwell
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


I had come to Yellow Springs for the Antioch Writers Workshop, an annual event on the Antioch College campus. My college writing teacher and advisor, the poet Jud Jerome, was an integral part of the workshop.

By Ruth Rudner
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Anatomy Lesson

I didn’t hear the word vulva until I was thirty. Instead I grew up hearing about it, my private parts, my down there. My mother and grandmother used Italian slang to refer to it: pesciuscia.

By Bella Mahaya

It Starts With M

My grandmother regularly receives letters from my dead father. I’m on my way to see her now with one of them. Uncle Kirby wrote it. He writes them all.

By Lesley Dahl


After fourteen years of yard-walking a life sentence, Broadus Creek wore the mask of a traveler, implacably intent upon his route but thoroughly fortified against destination.

By Joseph Bathanti

Cabin Pressure

Ted stares blankly at the seat before him, wondering how his travel agent could have construed his standard request for more leg room as a request for this miserable seat. His legs are cramped, his neck tense.

By Jeffrey J. Merrick