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Love At The Gun Runner

At the edge of town in Merced, California, sits a pale building whose sign says, “The Gun Runner.” A shooting range and retail outlet for rifles, pistols, and any kind of bullet you might need, it is owned and operated by Sandy, a friend of my family’s and the only true psychic I …

The Grand Boy

She had no grandchildren; he was a substitute. She thought of him as her “grand boy.” He wasn’t unrelated, being the grandchild of her father’s sister. She remembered the first time she’d seen him, on his father’s lap in a baby’s stretch suit, fisting the k…

These Dark Woods

When my son Tom was born, I was surprised that there was nothing physically wrong with him. I suppose this is the reaction of many first-time older parents. Proud and relieved to have a “normal” child, I had no aspirations for my son to become an artist or to graduate from Harvard or to…

Sunbeams (Issue #390)

War, at first, is the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn’t any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone’s being worse off. Karl Kraus

Dining Out

I am sitting with my parents in a restaurant only a few miles from where I grew up. Our dinner conversation meanders like some venerable stream through well-worn and familiar channels. My mother does most of the talking. She talks about Ethel Nussbaum, who has breast cancer, and Doris Steinmetze&rs…