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—What if she dies while I’m away?
—You can’t stay home until she dies.
—I can’t leave either, while she’s alive.
—I don’t like where this is going. Read the rest of this entry »
With every swing she ages—sometimes younger by a minute, sometimes older by a generation—away she swings, back she falls, away. I stand on widespread feet, in sneakers on sand, in one spot for hours, pushing, waiting, pushing, Read the rest of this entry »
The sign at the border with firm politeness welcomes me in my own language. I take it on faith it doesn’t play favorites but welcomes readers of other languages with equal grace, though why it thinks the Chinese will follow this road here I can’t imagine. Read the rest of this entry »
Chapter Four. If you retrieved the first three bottles, you know the urgency of our confinement and how to help us. If anything, we are more desperate now as the authorities close in on the operation Read the rest of this entry »
As I packed my bags for Chrysalis House, I reviewed conflicting reports from staff whose clients, all old, had achieved 100 years or more and begun the change. I make no claim to their veracity. Some on the floors had started a third set of teeth, I read. Read the rest of this entry »
Her guide did not lead the new doctor all the way to the village; instead, halfway up the rise, he gestured with his stick toward the cluster of huts in the high distance. Four days they had traveled together without talking, by oxcart, by flatboat, on horseback, on foot, and now she had a need to share her misgivings about the job. Read the rest of this entry »
He showed us what was on his fork, triumphantly, as if he had made it or given birth to food. I have no idea what this is!, he told us. What is this? He made us taste it from his fork, reloading as needed, and guess what it might be. Read the rest of this entry »
This godforsaken gravel shoulder is as good a place—as bad a place—as any to have made your peace with life and dying. Still, you probably objected. Not here, you said, by which you meant, Not yet. Read the rest of this entry »
We bought the farm, not to grow anything, but because it came with so much food. The farmer had died without a will and let it go for taxes, complete with furniture and cars, and in the barn some big machines we siphoned of their gas to joyride down the country lanes. Read the rest of this entry »
Tell it to me any way you like but don’t stop talking. Please. I hear what I need to hear. We’ll make a deal. I’ll dunk this misshapen donut into this bad coffee and chew on this cigarette and not get drunk for an hour. And not talk back. I’ll thank my precious life for the sound of your voice; Read the rest of this entry »