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The Sun Magazine

Family and Relationships

Siblings

Fiction

Stop Hitting Yourself

I was twenty-six, working full time at the Bagelry in suburban Chicago, avoiding the future. The future did not seem like anything you could count on. Even in suburban Chicago, where Public Works employees smiled while scraping up roadkill, people were unhappy, desperate to convince themselves of something good. Desperate.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Salt Seas Of The Heart

A Tribute To Brian Doyle

You believed that everything is a form of prayer, including laughter, including tears. Yes, you were a reverential man, but you weren’t stiff or boring or preachy or dour. Your essays were both concise — often just a page in length — and lush, your sentences as intricate and twisty as plants in a terrarium. You combined prose and poem (and prayer, you said) to bear witness to the miracles around us.

Fiction

The Hogs, The Sow, The Wind

Once there were two hogs and a sow who lived in a sturdy pen outside an old man’s hut. Then the old man died. That morning, no one brought food to the pen; the next morning, no one brought food to the pen. By evening the animals were panicked and ravenous, the bottom of the trough licked smooth as tile.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Sudden City

The man who owned the dairy farm on which the Fair was held was named Max Yasgur. He was born in New York City to Jewish immigrants from Russia. He owned 650 cows. He was forty-nine years old. When he saw how many people had shown up, he instructed his children to give away all the milk and dairy products on the farm to help feed the crowd.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

To The Beach

One time for no reason at all my kid brother and I decided to ride our bicycles from our small brick house all the way to Jones Beach. We got maps out of the family car and pored over them and concluded that it was about four miles to the shore. He was twelve and I was thirteen.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Vote For Jesus

The short story is my brother got arrested. Again. In Pampa, Texas, this time: possession of marijuana and driving under the influence. “A total violation of my rights” is how he put it. They took his passenger into protective custody — “they” being animal control, since his passenger was a snake.