Issue 281 | The Sun Magazine

May 1999

Readers Write

Just In Time

A hairbrush, a knock at the window, a misdiagnosis

By Our Readers


I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalms 139:14

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

For No Good Reason

I remember clearly how it started. I was fifteen years old. It was the middle of winter, the house hazy and yellowish with dry furnace heat. I had eaten a Lean Cuisine lasagna dinner — a dish that had fewer than four hundred calories (good for me) and required no preparation (good for my mother) — and gone upstairs to my room to finish my homework.

By Deborah Y. Abramson
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Fat Free

Let me express the rage I feel toward the word obesity. This ugly noun, with all its pejorative implications, this term for unhealthy corpulence, has been mobilized by the medical-health-beauty industry in order to stigmatize people who don’t conform to an absurdly restrictive concept of ideal weight.

By Richard Klein
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


My mother once told me that, during her labor with me in the living room of her Brooklyn apartment, she’d tugged on the long white drapes in her pain. The image of her on her knees, dark hair neatly tied back, mouth open, remains vivid to me.

By Gene Zeiger
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Time Past, Time Remaining

Lessons came fast, and sometimes violently. Once, an older boy urged me to yell, “You dirty Jew!” — words that I didn’t understand. I shouted the phrase up and down the alley until a tearful woman came running down three flights of stairs to slap my face, hard. My cheek can still recall the sting. That woman did me the ultimate favor.

By Stephen J. Lyons

Incidents And Dreams

We ought to be glad for change. You want to tip your hat to anything that slits open the seams of your life, even just a sliver’s width, allowing for the possibility of minor rearrangement. You want to bow and curtsy, even if you cannot give the thing a name.

By Linda Moore Spencer

When My Best Friend’s Boyfriend Died, By Taffy Smyth

When Chris died it was a shock. No one had ever really died before, although everyone in his group of friends had almost died at least a couple of times.

By Jessica Anya Blau