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Chicago

Chicago

I talked my sister into travelling from Indianapolis to Chicago on a Greyhound bus. I was back in Indiana visiting family, making those periodic reconnections fueled by tribal obligation and familial love. She lives in Elwood, the small town where we were born, where...

REST IN PEACE

REST IN PEACE

From Palermo eastward to Messina, then south along the straits across from mainland Italy, Sicily rises steeply from the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. Millenia of seasonal rains have carved river beds into steep, narrow folds in a deeply corrugated, undulating...

Wearing a Mask

Wearing a Mask

Years ago, I came across a bound set of dated motivational posters in a bookshop in New York. I bought it for its retro-chic graphics. The posters were designed to hang in canteens or locker rooms where the workforce might absorb their exhortations to kindness,...

Mercy

Mercy

Following a bereavement late in life I underwent a prolonged struggle to regain my sense of purpose. Everyone said a pet would be a good idea, that it would help me steady myself, give me a focus, cheer me up. The timing was perfect, they said. I determined I would...

Communion

Communion

My local was a small roadside pub, just beyond the Leitrim border, on an otherwise empty stretch of the regional road leading into Sligo. It is closed now. The license has been sold. Most people called it Vincie’s; the old ones called it Hargadan’s. A round sign...

Leckaun

Leckaun

I once owned the old cottage across the lane, and the twenty-five acres of moss-covered grassland that it sits on, up a switch-back lane off the Calry Road in North Leitrim.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

In the beginning, the time I spent with Louis was limited to Friday nights. He would insist on going home at sunup on Saturday.

Hartnett Hall: A Memory

Hartnett Hall: A Memory

The first place I rented in Washington, DC, was Hartnett Hall. This was in the spring of 1975, in the DuPont Circle neighborhood. The hall was an aggregation of 19th Century townhouses, nearly half a city block long, whose once-spacious interiors had been walled off...

Valencia, October 2022

Valencia, October 2022

I am staying in an Airbnb rental in Valencia for a week, in a half-acknowledged re-examination of a long-ago formative period. I have reached the age when the view behind me is more enticing than the one ahead. I chose the flat for its central location in Ruzafa, the...

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