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When we were dating, I thought it would end when we got married. I thought I could solve the secret of his unhappiness. Then we got married and it didn’t end. When we had our baby and it didn’t end, I knew it would never end but I didn’t leave. Read the rest of this entry »

Unhappiness! She talked about it as if it were a disease we could die from instead of what it is. A mood. The body’s own weather. I don’t have to tell you marriage can be stormy. Read the rest of this entry »

People should have to get a license before they get married and go around having kids. My parents would never pass the test. Maybe the written. They talk like they understand. Read the rest of this entry »

You are all women to me; that, as I understand it, is the nature of marriage. However you endure me is how I’m withstood by the feminine gender, so wear the pink pants for me, if you don’t mind, Read the rest of this entry »

When that’s a wall I’m a subway rider, when it’s graffiti I’m a cop, when it’s a page of autobiography it’s a mirror and I’m another grownup kid from the Bronx, but I’m never a critic and it’s not art. The writers call me Ugly Joe or Officer Joe or Officer Ugly. They’re clever like that. Read the rest of this entry »

They were torches to our matchsticks. They ate our city’s oxygen and everything else on the menu. In the early days of the occupation, we caught rare glimpses of them at the opera, the better cafes, at the racetrack calculating odds. Read the rest of this entry »

Three directions you must know: Out, Too Deep, and the slightly curved Goodness that extends forever and gives our lives meaning. Out is the direction of peril and food. Too Deep is oblivion. Some can be brought back from the deep, but they come back as food. Read the rest of this entry »

His mother never wanted him, but at his most notorious he was the second (and the eighth) most wanted man (also the eleventh, but beyond the tenth, he couldn’t be bothered) in the state where he lay hiding, parenthetical, practically invisible. Read the rest of this entry »

You’re not picking up. Of the million simple explanations for your unanswered phone, I decide you no longer exist. I wonder, in fact, if you—if any of us—ever existed. Read the rest of this entry »

I hate who my dog hates. Not just the mailman, though he’s a good example, but we differ on who to love. I’ve seen the way he looks at other men, women too, with large-eyed, cross-species admiration. If I had to be a man, says the look, I’d be a man like you. Read the rest of this entry »

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299-WORD NOVELS

Character, conflict, emotional impact. And sentences! Everything you want in a novel, without one extra syllable.

Behind the Pseudonym

The pen name David B Dale honors my parents Beatrice and Dale. David+B+Dale = davidbdale

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