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This place

If you dropped your wallet in the central square, it would still be there the following day; untouched, including contents. Someone I haven’t seen in years sits at the next café table. Without fanfare, we resume a conversation begun in 1985. A bakery, once new, is known as the Old New Bakery. The more recent, the New(…)

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Why we need schmaltz

At the movies, needing a good cry: Random Harvest, 1942, with Ronald Coleman and Greer Garson. War-addled Charles, an English officer, has amnesia. He’s in a sanatorium. An orderly forgets to lock a door on the day World War I ends and Charles wanders out into the world. He is drawn into a cabaret during a celebratory performance and taken under the wing of Paula,(…)

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Unimagined

I was attending a small liberal arts college just outside of Mexico City on the Taluca Road overlooking Popocatépetl volcano under which Malcolm Lowry’s hero drinks himself to death. I was nineteen. I’d missed my bus back to the city after class that day so I stuck out my thumb to hitchhike and was picked up by two good looking(…)

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In the cards

  Seeing flinty dawn through a porthole, I left my cabin for a cup of coffee. It was November 2013; I was traveling from Patras to Venice on a ship named Coraggio (Anek Lines) with two new friends. A few Turkish truckers and their wives were fast asleep in the lounge where the configuration of classic red and blue playing(…)

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“A free day, a perfect pearl”

I awakened today and found a gift had had been given to me during the night. The gift: a day that belongs entirely to me; seamless; to be shared or not as I like. Virginia Woolf’s line, ‘A free day, a perfect pearl‘ comes to mind. I google the line in order to attribute it properly. What comes up: 1) Wikiquotes/Virginia_Woolf 2) Love in the Second Act: True(…)

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Fear of impending doom

As spring of 1945 burst through exhausted ruins, peace visited Europe beginning on May 8th. Now was a chance to make a better world and what better time to begin than spring. A few days less than three months later, August 6th, 8:15 a.m. 1945 an American B-29 bomber dropped a uranium gun-type atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” on Hiroshima,(…)

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Notes from Ecuador

A young Canadian acquaintance has gone to the interior of Ecuador as a volunteer. Following are a few notes taken from a phone call he made during his stay: “…, they are the most beautiful and lovely people. Words can’t even describe how beautiful they are. I went there to help them. But they helped me –(…)

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Empty chairs

In childhood we had a school chair, dark wood, with many deep scratches made by children, desk attached including circular hole for ink bottle, a drawer underneath for books. In youth we had a hammock in which you could lie and roll yourself round and round, becoming encased in hemp like an ampule. In young adulthood I(…)

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