The kid in the first row, sitting up straight with hands folded, eyes on the teacher — that was me (long ago when students did such things). I know how to meet expectations. I can sense people’s expectations a mile away, and I have this morbid fear of disappointing anyone, of dropping the ball. This […]
It’s only a body. That’s what I said when we talked about death, mine in particular. I pictured my body in a bed (how often do people actually die in a bed?) and my spirit, the real me slipping away, suddenly untethered from its bodily constraints. Free at last. I won’t be there, I said. […]
Most of us are familiar with the story of the son who rejects everything he’s ever known to live what he thinks is the good life. He moves far away from home and spends his entire inheritance chasing his misguided dreams. Eventually his life choices have narrowed to sleeping with the pigs he feeds. When […]
My in-laws said they’d meet us. My father-in-law had a hankering for wiener schnitzel — the German version of chicken parmesan made with veal — and found this restaurant online. Jager-Haus had been around forever and had a reputation for authentic German cuisine. We drove right past it the first time, missing the sign in […]
A response to Joe Bunting’s Fail Faster (So You Can Become a Better Writer). “Writers are terrible judges of their own work,” Joe said. The words resonated deep in the recesses of my soul. All my life, I was the student in the front row, needing that big red “A” to tell me I was […]
The woman he loved had her arm outstretched. She was offering him the fruit, the juice still dripping down her chin. The man watched himself take a bite.
“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love … . Abraham’s heart had dropped to the pit of his stomach. He could feel the sweat cold on his temples, as he thought, “Lord, could this please not be a hard request, another stretching, another move beyond my comfort zone?” He had wanted to cover his ears, but he could not cover God’s mouth, and God had continued as if he had not known Abraham’s desperate thoughts, as if it did not matter.
He was not a coward. No, not in many things. But he had an irrational fear, a foreboding almost, that someone might kill him to get at Sarah.
“The serpent deceived me,” the woman said, hoping to mitigate what she was about to say next. “That’s why I ate it.” She was relieved when God turned his attention to the serpent.
She had followed Abram on this crazy journey, leaving behind all her friends and her childhood home. She never imagined it would end this way.
I watch the monster who is me pressing the blade into my brother’s flesh until his blood runs hot over my own flesh. I see my brother’s face, the shadow passing over it when he realizes what I’m about to do. I rewind and see him running towards me from across the field. He is just within arm’s reach. I can choose to embrace him, but instead I pull my knife from its sheath.