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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Finding Peace After A Lifetime of War

From the day I was born, I was trained to be a soldier, encouraged in the way I was brought up to hunt, kill, dominate, rule, and control my environment. My family life was a form of war, filled with anger and violence, which made it no different from that in most of the houses around mine.

One Man, One Vote

The morning isn’t going well. When Norma woke up feeling sad, I said the wrong thing. I often say the wrong thing when my wife is sad. I forget that what she wants then is compassion, not my attempt to put things in perspective.

The Long Road Turns To Joy

The Buddha was asked, “What do you and your disciples practice?” and he replied, “We sit, we walk, and we eat.” The questioner continued, “But, sir, everyone sits, walks, and eats.” The Buddha told him, “When we sit, we know we are sitting. When we walk, we know we are walking. When we eat, we know we are eating.”

The View From Here

There is a huge difference between simply testing positive for HIV and having full-blown AIDS out of the blue. This is like falling headfirst into my grave. I keep thinking, I’ve never even been sick! as if that should be some kind of protection in itself.

Time, Attachment, Hair

Hair time was dead time: you could not leave the house with your hair in rollers, even in disguise. In the house, rollers in place, I was held captive by my own hair.

Traveling Stories

When I was seventeen, I moved from my father’s apartment on Long Island to the apartment in Beverly Hills where my mother and younger sister lived. Shortly thereafter, my father’s best friend also moved to Los Angeles, and began showing up regularly at my mother’s for dinner. I said nothing, but studied him carefully, as though I were lost and he were a map. We all did our best to pretend he and my mother were just two adults, alone in a new place, helping each other through a difficult time.



Jayne, my hairdresser, has just had her eyebrows tattooed. Two black scabs arch across her forehead. “I don’t dare frown,” she says, “or they might bleed. But, oh, when the scabs fall off, my eyebrows will be deep gold, to match my new hair. And even when I go swimming, I won’t lose my face.”

The Vomitorium

Ralph ran his hand through his hair, briefly flattening it before some freak combination of wind and static electricity blew it straight up again into a real-life fright wig.

Readers Write


A couple of months before his twelfth birthday, I forced my son to cut his hair.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.

Charles Peguy

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