The Stories: Notes from the author


... there isnít much machinery at the drug store except for the cash register. At his other job there was a stepladder and a floor polisher and an elevator that you could lock in place when it was being serviced. Sometimes, during the day, the doors on the third floor opened but the elevator would be somewhere else ...

This was my very first morning glory. The initial early morning image was of a young man crossing through a shopping mall food court carrying a brief case filled with pamphlets heíd picked up from anywhere and everywhere. No more than that. Just an image. One worth noting, I thought. But as I jotted it down, the next image came. He was handing out the pamphlets to those he felt needed them. At this point I knew he wasnít quite normal. One sentence led to the next, until the story had been told. There was no forethought, no planning and, afterwards, very little structural editing.



... Faithfully, morning and night, Anna fingered these burnished fragments like beads on a rosary. What no one yet suspected, no one but Anna, was that these memories were like unstrung pearls in her pocket, a pocket with a hole, and one by one she was losing them ...

Just as Overburden is my Dadís story, this one is Momís. Again, there is nothing of my mother in the character or the circumstances. But the Ukrainian background is hers and all of the details are as she told them to me. The opening paragraph is her remembrance Ė mistaking her long-absent father for the peddler, a Jew, and the punishment that followed. It was difficult to write, politically incorrect. But it does reflect the attitudes of a certain time (ca. 1932) and place.



... Garnet didnít ask about Billy, didnít question why Wendy was still doling out his personal effects, helping out other young men who had lost themselves along the way Ė all out of some misguided faith that the universe was in balance and that someone somewhere had passed on the same kindness to her little brother ...

A third morning glory. These early morning stories do seem to have a dark thread running through them. Hmm, I wonder what thatís about.


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Last update OCT2014