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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Virus

We hold our support-group meetings in a room with Oriental carpets and deep green easy chairs. I arrive a few minutes early to set out chips, cookies, a foil tray full of fried-chicken dinners, and a liter bottle of Coke. Food is a big draw. One by one, they drift in.

Grave Matters

Two weeks ago I turned forty-six. Four lovers and numerous friends and family have so far died before me. By most estimates I am closer to my death than to my birth.

For Lulu, With Love

She is pushed in through the door of the rural Mississippi clinic where I work. Behind her is movement, the rise and fall of slurred voices. Then a cluster of people crowd in behind her. But Lulu stands where she was pushed. She looks at me. I look at her, but not for long.

Baccalà

I was not home the day my grandfather Nonno died, but my brothers were, and they told me how my father had received the news. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas, and my brothers, Johnny and Peter, were visiting my father at his law office.

The Polish Language

A faint murmur weaves its way through my dreams, like a radio turned down low. It’s my mother’s voice, but I can’t understand what she’s saying. Sometimes, in the moment just before I wake, I hear her more clearly — urgent, insistent, warning.

A Friend In America

I held the secret letter deep in my raincoat pocket as I approached the hostel warden. “Excuse me,” I said, obviously American but at least polite. “Are you busy?”

Fiction

Teeth, Death, My Friend Louise

I’m forty-one, but my nine-year-old son persists in thinking I’m only forty. He’s at that phase when children become obsessed with their parents’ mortality, and for him this takes the guise of frequent (incorrect) recitations of my age, my birth date, and how old I’ll be on my next birthday.

Hey Jude

Always before it had been of no consequence: someone else’s intensive care. It had meant nothing to her in her normal life that, all day and all night, through waxing and waning moons and in every season, a child balanced on the eggshell edge of life, and someone else simply waited.

Readers Write

Names

Indian names, the McCarthy hearings, cigars

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 1997

Let’s respect the heroes who live far from public sight: behind a battered desk in a legal-aid office; on a meditation cushion; in the kitchen at three in the morning, rocking a child who can’t sleep.

Musings From Our Founder ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

It’s never been my experience that men part with life any more readily at eighty than they do at eighteen.

Anthony Gilbert

More Quotations ▸
We’re Counting on You

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